Me Before You: A Novel
by Jojo Moyes
Amazon rating
Critique Circle rating 
PublisherViking Adult
Release Date2012-12-31 (added to CC 8 Apr 2013)
Amazon Sales Rank421
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl 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 he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

Member Reviews
(9 Jan)
I'd like to make a distinction about how this book is put together and how it was written. On the one hand, the characters are drawn inadequately, the multiple-voice narrative was amateurish, and the plot moves forwards like it was on rails instead of flowing organically. There are many separate moments that are lost between plot points because we are told that this next thing that was supposed to happen is now happening — we aren't told why it happens, just that it has magically comes about. Some of these lost scenes should be crucial narrative moments, but are glossed over like it shouldn't matter. This, along with the preposterous sense of detachment that the multiple voices give to the story say to me that there are parts of this story that the writer didn't trust themselves with, as if they were on deadline and couldn't think of a good way to describe those parts in satisfactory manner.

On the other hand, when the writer is freed from the restrictions of the freight-train narrative, the prose is exquisite. This is a very well-written book. Given the constraints the writer had with the thin plot, the ridiculously uncomplicated characters, and the clunky structure, the absolutely gorgeous writing shines through like a lighthouse slicing through the fog.

(31 Jul 2016)
Following the completion of this book, I sobbed for a few minutes. Composed myself. Went downstairs to *ask* for the sequel. Promptly started to sob once more, then laugh at the same time due to my random bout of hysteria. This is how I was found doubled over in the kitchen, crying, laughing, and attempting to say something along the lines of, "I really want the second book!" by a family friend.
(23 Jul 2016)
(18 Jun 2014)
Jojo Moyes is a good — no — very good writer. Her prose is masterful. Her characters believable and emotional. Her scenes and plot take you out of the mundane life you may be living and transplant you. That is exactly what Moyes did in Me Before You.

Despite language found on the cover of Me Before You, this is not a romance novel in the truest sense of the word "romance." There is a hint of romance that moves backward and forward unpredictably leaving the reader anticipating each character's next move.

What I found to be the core of the story is the difference each of us can make in the life of another. In so doing, we often run the risk of finding ourselves falling for someone or in love with that someone when in fact it might not be the best thing for us. However, the giving that occurs in making a difference is what life is all about, every day of the year.

This is what Louisa and Will do for each other. They bring a missing piece to the other's life that fits easily into the jigsaw puzzle that represents their current lives. And when they do, each is made better because of the giving and receiving they have experienced one to the other.

Moyes ingeniously crafted a theme in this novel that pre-empts the usual chick lit novel. Her plot and story arc cause the reader to think deeply about their own lives, their purpose in being here and what they should/could/would do differently if given the opportunity.

Kudos to Moyes for hitting the ball out of the park!

(If I could, my star rating would be a 4.5.)
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