ebookclassics

Me Before You – Book Review

jojo

Confesssion #1 – I only read Me Before You because I decided to join a book club and may never have picked it up otherwise.

Confession #2 – For some reason, I thought Jojo Moyes was a guy.

Confession #3 – After reading nothing but classics for the past 15 months, I ate this book up like a kid in a candy shop.

* CONTAINS SPOILERS

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a romantic comedy about Louisa Clark, a young girl in her twenties just toddling through life with no clear direction. When Lou begins working for Will Traynor, a former go-getter who is now confined to his wheelchair as a quadriplegic, she doesn’t know how long she can take his moody, abrasive personality. However, Will slowly warms up to Lou’s quirkiness and they develop a bond that takes their families by surprise. Lou and Will are not afraid to be blunt with each other and often discover things about themselves they weren’t willing to face. As Lou grows closer to Will, she is shocked to discover he intends to end his life in a few months. Angry and confused, she tries to resign, but Will’s mother begs her to stay and convince Will to change his mind. Lou agrees and becomes fixated on proving to Will there is so much to live for even though he is completely dependent on others to enjoy it. In her efforts, the lines between professional and personal relationship blur even further and Lou finds herself desperate to not only to save a life, but save the life of the man who has captured her heart.

Me Before You is charming, funny and bittersweet. It is a light read, but with such great characters and a meaty storyline, it feels like you’re reading something much more substantial. I found it such a captivating read, I rushed to bed every night to get in a few more chapters with Lou and Will. Lou is sweet and smart, without a hint of pretension. Her only flaw I thought was she was a bit wishy-washy in her decision-making. As for Will, he is a smart ass, but thoughtful, kind and generous. With Lou he knew when to push, and when to back off. I loved the main characters because they were so normal and I could easily imagine knowing them in real life.

When I began reading the book, I didn’t know that euthanasia was part of the story. Even though I should have guessed it, I was surprised when the topic was introduced and yet it didn’t seem heavy-handed at all. Euthanasia is a topic I have thought about, but scampered away from because of its intensity. Me Before You puts you in Lou’s shoes as she weighs what is right and what is wrong, what it means to live and what are the things you want to live for. I think it speaks tremendously to the talent of Jojo Moyes that she could handle such a controversial issue so deftly in her book.

Many reviewers said they cried at the end of the book and while I can’t say I did the same, I wholeheartedly loved the characters and the unforgettable story in Me Before You. I knew very little about the story before opening the cover and was stunned at how many 4 or 5 star reviews the book received on Goodreads. Really? I wondered sarcastically. Can it be that good?

Yes, yes, it’s that good!

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17 comments on “Me Before You – Book Review

  1. Riv @ Bookish Realm
    January 22, 2014

    I read a Kindle sample of this book and although it’s not exactly the kind of book I’d pick up myself either, I kinda liked it.

    I think I blinked twice when I saw this book title in my mailbox – I’m pretty much used to you writing about classics only 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 22, 2014

      Ha ha … surprise! I can’t believe how much I enjoyed the book. It makes me think I need to branch out from the classics and read more contemporary fiction. Any suggestions?

      Like

  2. Naomi
    January 22, 2014

    I was also pleasantly surprised by this book when I read it, and I did cry at the end. As for the euthanasia, I don’t think there was any other way to end this book.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 22, 2014

      I have to agree with you. I don’t think there was any other way to end the book. A sad ending, but very fitting. Have you read any other Jojo Moyes books?

      Like

      • Naomi
        January 22, 2014

        That’s the only one I’ve read, but I’ve seen quite a few good reviews for her latest book (I can’t remember what it’s called, though).

        Like

  3. Cedar Station
    January 22, 2014

    I was surprised to see this one on your to-read list, just because I’m so used to seeing classics! I’m glad you liked it. I’ve heard so many good things about this book.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 22, 2014

      The classics have been fun, but I’m wondering if I need to expand my horizons a little. I haven’t absolutely loved the classics I’ve read lately and was surprised how much I enjoyed this one. Maybe I need to mix things up.

      Like

  4. Cecilia
    January 22, 2014

    I’ve also heard only good things about this book. I guess I should put it on my (already long) TR list! I’m glad you ventured into different territory and enjoyed it! I’m also reading something for my online book club right now that I normally would never read, but I’m pleasantly surprised that I’m actually enjoying it.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 24, 2014

      I guess that’s the beauty of having someone else choose the book for you. I may not have tried reading Me Before You otherwise and now I want to read more Jojo Reyes books. It’s nice to hear you had a similar experience. Maybe you and I need to experiment a little more with our reading.

      Like

  5. DoingDewey
    January 24, 2014

    I just joined a book club too! I haven’t read this book yet, so I’m avoiding most of your review for spoilers, but I’m glad to hear you liked it. I loved The Girl You Left Behind and would love to read more by Moyes 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      January 24, 2014

      Ooh, I would like to try reading The Girl You Left Behind next. It seems quite a few people joined book clubs to start of the new year. Is it online or IRL? Were you looking for new book ideas or hoping to connect with other book lovers?

      Like

      • DoingDewey
        January 25, 2014

        I’ve been doing some online book group kind of things for a while, including a monthly discussion hosted by http://www.thebookwheelblog.com/ and loveatfirstbook.com, the SheReads blogger group, and some goodreads stuff. However, I recently found an IRL book club! My boyfriend happened to talk to someone at work who had just started a book club and managed to get me an invite. It was fantastic! We talked about the book we read for maybe 20 minutes and then just chatted about random bookish things and life for the rest of two hours. It was exactly what I wanted, which is to connect with other book lovers 🙂

        Like

        • ebookclassics
          January 28, 2014

          Thanks, I’m going to check out some of the online discussions you mentioned. Your IRL book club experience sounds perfect and is what I’m looking for as well. My first meeting is in a couple of weeks, so I hope I have a good experience too.

          Like

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  8. Melinda
    February 5, 2014

    I still need to read this one! Hope I do soon

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      February 5, 2014

      I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. If you like romantic comedies, I think you will like it.

      Like

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