Me Before You

Me Before You

Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now...

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Title:Me Before You
Author:Jojo Moyes
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Me Before You Reviews

  • Lynge Munch

    Being a male reader on a booksite you kind of expect to be outnumbered when it comes to the sexes. But that doesn't keep alarm bells from blaring like a convoy of reversing trucks when practically every reviewer of a book is of the female gender. And when the author in addition is touted as the winner of multiple romance novel awards your primal male instinct is to run like your being chased by some primordial predator.

    So it was really against my instinct and better judgement that I began readin

    Being a male reader on a booksite you kind of expect to be outnumbered when it comes to the sexes. But that doesn't keep alarm bells from blaring like a convoy of reversing trucks when practically every reviewer of a book is of the female gender. And when the author in addition is touted as the winner of multiple romance novel awards your primal male instinct is to run like your being chased by some primordial predator.

    So it was really against my instinct and better judgement that I began reading this book. But this is NOT a romance novel. In fact it is a brilliant comment on the issue of euthanasia which claims it's brilliance by reading like a romance novel and not a political comment. Having personally cared for a handful of terminal people over a period of years, I feel I can safely say that many of the thoughts on serious aquired disabities and the quality of life is fairly realistic, and though the romance part can't avoid a bit of Hollywood-sheen, it never really gets unbelievable, and helps the reader engage him/herself in the characters and thus in their horrible dilemma.

    Thoroughly engaging and thought provoking, this is the best book I've read so far this year (and I so did not see it coming).

  • CaroB

    I'm sitting here with tears running down my face having just finished this book. I know I should probably let my emotions settle before reviewing but I want to get all the feelings down...

    Firstly I want to say that the cover does not do this book justice. It gives the impression of a bland and fluffy read when in reality this is a heartbreaking story, with subject matter that may be difficult for a lot of readers.

    The characters begin as likeable, yet maddeningly realistic in all their egocentri

    I'm sitting here with tears running down my face having just finished this book. I know I should probably let my emotions settle before reviewing but I want to get all the feelings down...

    Firstly I want to say that the cover does not do this book justice. It gives the impression of a bland and fluffy read when in reality this is a heartbreaking story, with subject matter that may be difficult for a lot of readers.

    The characters begin as likeable, yet maddeningly realistic in all their egocentricities and self-absorptions. As their fears and insights are exposed, they develop in strength and purpose to reveal rich individuals who are all irrevocably changed through the events which unfold. I enjoyed the first person POV, and the odd change in character thrown in stirred the narrative nicely for me. I would have liked to have had at least a chapter from Will's perspective, but can understand how challenging that may have been for the author. I was really glad to have read Will's letter though!

    I commend the author for producing a book which I found extremely readable; the language was straight forward, no purple prose or a whole bunch of medical jargon. The plot is relatively simple yet not uncomplicated for all that it raises some controversial or ethical questions. How can you read this and not ask yourself what you might do in similar circumstances, how you would feel if it was your friend? Could you be what they needed, and the moral impact of that. The writing is smooth and effortless and yet the result is a story which is invested with

    emotion. I'm left feeling so mad, sad and even, oddly, happily resigned about the ending. I can't remember when I last finished a story that had tied me up in so many emotional knots and still left me completely satisfied with having read it.

    I'll be chasing down more of Ms Moyes' works.

  • Emily May

    As much as I like a good love story, I wouldn't call myself a romantic. Not by a long shot. In fact, I can be pretty cold-hearted when it comes to romance books, remaining emotionless in the face of tragic heartbreak and loss.

    didn't move me.

    was cute, but still an average read for me.

    There's just certain things that I don't like. Emotionally manipulative books that feel as if the author set out with an agenda to tug at my heart strings - that would be

    As much as I like a good love story, I wouldn't call myself a romantic. Not by a long shot. In fact, I can be pretty cold-hearted when it comes to romance books, remaining emotionless in the face of tragic heartbreak and loss.

    didn't move me.

    was cute, but still an average read for me.

    There's just certain things that I don't like. Emotionally manipulative books that feel as if the author set out with an agenda to tug at my heart strings - that would be up there with the worst. I guess I subconsciously rebel when I can see what the author's trying to do to my feelings. I avoid a lot of adult chick lit for this reason - because experience has shown that most of these books are like

    movies: melodramatic and cheesily message-driven.

    But somehow - despite my reluctance to try this book because it seemed it would fall into all the aforementioned boxes - I ended up caving under the pressure and grabbing this book from my local library. I didn't expect much. I was just going to try a little bit and see how it went, feeling confident that it would be crappy and I would be right.

    I just... I can't even pretend anymore, screw the book snobbery,

    Being proven wrong may never have felt so good.

    I got the giggles about halfway through chapter one and struggled to get rid of them. Humour books are always a difficult sell because I guess it always depends on what you find funny... but I found Lou Clark to be an hilarious heroine. She's one of those charming but unfortunate individuals that finds herself in numerous awkward situations but somehow gets through them and just warms your heart with her delightful lack of propriety.

    I don't know if there is really such a thing as a "British sense of humour" but I've enjoyed a bunch of British chick lit/humour with similar MCs -

    ,

    - so maybe there's a pattern here with my tastes.

    If you're considering this book but think you're a shameless unromantic like me, DO NOT read any quotes from it. People keep pulling up these quotes about the meaning of life and carpe diem and it makes the whole thing seem much cheesier than it is. I thought there was a pleasant lack of cheese, hehe. It's also nowhere near as romantic as everything tries to make you think: the cover (the UK one is even worse), the blurb, the title... when actually there's very little romance. There is a touch of finding love in unexpected places and against the odds, but

    If you haven't already been told, the story is about Lou who needs a job and Will who needs a carer after an accident left him paralysed. Completely unable to move anything below his mid torso, Will longs for death and wants to go to Switzerland to put an end to his misery. Horrified by this discovery, Lou sets out to improve his life and give him a reason to live and look forward to each day. The relationship between them is told in such a wonderful way and develops through several stages, each filled with hilarity.

    I think people's reactions, emotions and decisions felt completely realistic in

    , even if I didn't always like them. The whole book was filled with the funny, ridiculous situations that we expect to find in comic fiction, but balanced out with a hard dose of reality. It makes you think about things you didn't think about before without seeming like the author wanted to make you think about them. Things like just how depressing the lack of wheelchair access is in most venues. But there's a great balance between the funny and the serious, so the latter never becomes too much.

    Love was found in a

    and I definitely want to check out the author's other work.

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  • Navessa

    People seem to love opening their reviews of this book with gifs of ugly crying. I see your ugly crying and I raise you some rage:

    This not a romance novel.

    This is a story that revolves around an immature, self-centered, vacuous woman named Louisa. She has no desire to do anything in life or better herself in any way, is perfectly content to work whatever job she can find, allow herself to be stuck in a loveless relationship, and forever remain a selfish child.

    People seem to love opening their reviews of this book with gifs of ugly crying. I see your ugly crying and I raise you some rage:

    This not a romance novel.

    This is a story that revolves around an immature, self-centered, vacuous woman named Louisa. She has no desire to do anything in life or better herself in any way, is perfectly content to work whatever job she can find, allow herself to be stuck in a loveless relationship, and forever remain a selfish child. FFS, the "woman" is 26 and still has the type of immature fights over clothing with her sister that you’d expect from a pre-teen.

    She also has zero skills related to the care of the disabled, and yet somehow gets hired to be the caretaker for a quadriplegic, so clearly, she isn’t the only idiot in this book.

    The man she’s been hired to look after, Will, used to lead an incredible life. He was wealthy, successful, adventurous, athletic, passionate, and intelligent. Basically the complete opposite of our MC. He was injured in a freak accident and is now relegated to a wheelchair, and his spinal injury is high enough that he barely has the use of his hands.

    You’d think his story alone would slap some sense into Louisa.

    Wanna know what changes her? Huh? Do ya???

    This is where someone will likely want to argue with me. They’ll want to tell me that’s not how it was, because they’ve convinced themselves that there’s another reason. Well, there isn’t. She doesn’t change her mind because she realizes that any day could be her last. She doesn’t change her mind because she realizes that she’s let her past dictate her present. She doesn’t change her mind because she realizes that she hasn’t really been

    at all.

    She changes her mind because Will forces her to step outside of her comfort zone. He tells her that she’s intelligent *snort* and that she should pursue fashion because she likes to dress eccentrically.

    Yup, that’s why she does it. Because he said so. Because his opinion of her means

    . So, for those of you who would like to argue about this, this is what I’ll have to say to you:

    I had a lot of other issues with her, but they’d all be spoilers and would likely fuel a full-fledged f-bomb laden rant from me, so I’ll keep them to myself.

    One thing that struck me as singularly strange about this book was that towards the end of it the first person perspective shifted from our MC to other characters. I have no idea why. It didn’t make me like characters I already hated and it didn’t further the story in any way.

    That said, the moral of this book is a good one, and the writing wasn’t bad - if a little inconsistent on the details at the end while trying to make the events fit together. Those are the only things that kept this from being a one star review. In the end, the main character absolutely ruined this for me. I disliked her so much that I didn’t even read the epilogue, because I couldn’t give two shits what she ended up doing with her life.

    And I'd just like to add one final "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??!?!" for the message this book sends that life just ain't worth living if you have a disability.

    Fuck right off.

  • Emily

    Did anyone else notice that the ultimate message of this book is that a disabled life is not worth living, even despite a caring family, endless wealth, the best medical care, and (by the end of the book) a devoted, loving romantic partner? For a while I was enjoying the story, but by the end I was deeply distressed about the moral and ethical implications of the book's ending. The book juxtaposes an adventurous, athletic, and sexually active lifestyle with life in a wheelchair - and decides tha

    Did anyone else notice that the ultimate message of this book is that a disabled life is not worth living, even despite a caring family, endless wealth, the best medical care, and (by the end of the book) a devoted, loving romantic partner? For a while I was enjoying the story, but by the end I was deeply distressed about the moral and ethical implications of the book's ending. The book juxtaposes an adventurous, athletic, and sexually active lifestyle with life in a wheelchair - and decides that life in a wheelchair is not worth living. For those of us with close friends or loved ones with similar disabilities, this is a disturbing and morally callous ending.

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