“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes

me-before-youGreat and refreshing because it’s different from the books I usually read.

Goodreads overview:

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 barely 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 and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, 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?  Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

My thoughts:

This one was a surprise. It’s been a while since I’ve read a romance novel, one that’s not based in fantasy, so this was a break from my norm. I borrowed it from the library on a whim. I’ve read many reviews of it that made me interested in the story; but even so, I wasn’t sure I would read it. It just didn’t seem like my sort of book. But since it was available on my library’s Overdrive, I thought why not give it a shot. And I’m glad I did.

I was hooked from the beginning, probably because I could relate to the narrator. As stated in the summary above, this is “a love story for this generation” so I guess Lou, the protagonist, drew me in because we are close in age and our living situation is pretty similar. I could REALLY relate to how annoyed she gets with her family at times. I liked Lou’s family though, and loved how crazy there are but always supportive of each other. They reminded me of mine.

The story is sweet and a bit unexpected. I mean, from the moment Lou met Will I should have known what the result would be but even so, I still didn’t expect the romance that blossomed between them, but I loved it. I also loved that though Lou was trying to help Will realize there’s much more to life, it’s Will who teaches Lou that.

Though their relationship was rough at first, I like that the romance snuck up on me. I guess that’s why I didn’t expect it because for most of the book it seemed that they Lou and Will would be just friends. (Because I went into this thinking romance, I thought it would be exactly like the formulaic romance books I usually read. In some ways, Me Before You was predictable but it still managed to surprise me.) But the turning point for me, and one of my favorite parts, was when Will visits Lou’s home for her birthday dinner and upstaged her boyfriend. That was so awesome.

The story is touching and I got a bit teary eyed while reading, especially when Will tries to explain why he wants to go through with assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is a pretty new topic to me. I think I first heard of it when Terry Pratchet died, though his death was not a suicide. I think he advocated for it (something like that). It’s such a controversial topic in the book that the characters all have very strong, but varying, opinions on it, especially Lou’s mom. Actually, her reaction at the end to Lou supporting Will’s decision seemed a little out of character to me. Maybe she was bluffing and didn’t expect Lou to go visit Will anyway.

The story also made me think of the discomforts that the disabled have to endure, which is also something I haven’t considered much before, which I think is the overall problem. It’s easy for us to take our abilities for granted and neglect to consider the needs of those unable to do the same.

The summary above says Me Before You would appeal to those who enjoyed A Fault in Our Stars. Maybe it would, but I don’t see any similarities between the two except characters dealing with difficult circumstances. I didn’t like A Fault in Our Stars, but I enjoyed Me Before You, so I wouldn’t put the two together.

Overall: ★★★★☆

I enjoyed it. I think it’s more of a 3-star read but I enjoyed it so much that I gave it an extra star. The only thing I didn’t like was the switch in narrators. The majority of the story is told by Lou, but we also hear from Lou’s sister, Will’s mom and dad, and his nurse Nathan. The switches in narration were needed, but I didn’t like it.

Anyway, good read. Give it a try.

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6 thoughts on ““Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes

  1. Pingback: 2016 Reading Wrap-Up: Fourth Quarter | Zezee with Books

  2. Great review! Glad to hear that being able to relate to the narrator made this much more “enjoyable”. For a second I thought assisted suicide was something completely new and different from euthanasia, till I realized it was the same thing. It’s definitely one of those MAJOR controversial topics out there in the world. Do you plan on checking out the movie now? 😀

    – Lashaan

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    • Yea, if I remember to. I read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl because the movie was coming out but forgot to watch the movie. Same with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, though I didn’t bother reading the book.

      Like

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