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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – review
‘I fell in love with this book the moment I opened it’
Me Before You tells the story of the quirky Louisa Clark, who unfortunately lost her job and is seeking a new one. This is how she crosses paths with Will Traynor, who devastatingly became paralysed after a motorcycle accident. He no longer feels the joy of living and goes through each day doing nothing but taking his medication. When Louisa enters his life as his new carer, she brings a new light to his life and the book covers how their relationship develops.
I fell in love with this book the moment I opened it and I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. Jojo Moyes writes in a way that makes you feel connected to the characters and I got completely lost within her words. The story may be about a subject that only some understand but she makes you think about what would happen and how you’d feel in that type of situation. She addresses the topic of human nature and how connecting with certain people will make you see life in a happier way. Not only does the story contain romance but I see it as one that shows the hardships within the adult working life and how life can change at any moment. I feel like the moral is embrace life and live each day to its fullest.
This novel is such a heart-wrenching story and is definitely one that you need tissues for. Although it had quite unique circumstances, everyone can sort of relate or at least compare to how they would feel. The characters are humanly flawed rather than solely being good or bad, which makes them much more likeable and realistic. Moyes writing flows easily but also gives a lot of detail which helps you put yourself into the story and relate towards how the characters feel and what they are experiencing. It’s mainly written in Louisa’s point of view, with some others when needed, which I think brings the reader closer to her character and makes it more emotional as she experiences the different parts of her journey. The story addresses many problems that most people would look over or not really imagine would be a problem, which I think brings a new light towards these circumstances.
I went through every single emotion in this novel. It was a devastatingly beautiful and I have recommended it to so many people and would recommend it to anyone who loves a realistic romance but also just a beautiful story about humanity and the troubles of life.
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Reviews of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Summary | Excerpt | Reading Guide | Reviews | Beyond the book | Read-Alikes | Genres & Themes | Author Bio
Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
- Literary Fiction
- Romance/Love Stories
- UK (Britain) & Ireland
- Dealing with Loss
- Physical & Mental Differences
- Top 20 Best Books of 2013
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About this Book
- Reading Guide
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?
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 exMaster 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?
When he emerges from the bathroom she is awake, propped up against the pillows and flicking through the travel brochures that were beside his bed. She is wearing one of his T-shirts, and her long hair is tousled in a way that prompts reflexive thoughts of the previous night. He stands there, enjoying the brief flashback, rubbing the water from his hair with a towel. She looks up from a brochure and pouts. She is probably slightly too old to pout, but they've been going out a short enough time for it still to be cute. "Do we really have to do something that involves trekking up mountains, or hanging over ravines? It's our first proper holiday together, and there is literally not one single trip in these that doesn't involve either throwing yourself off something or"she pretends to shudder"wearing fleece ." She throws them down on the bed, stretches her caramel-colored arms above her head. Her voice is husky, testament to their ...
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Reader reviews, bookbrowse review.
Me Before You is a story about personal redemption and self-worth, about finding courage, about knowing what to hold onto and what to let go. It's also a meditation on one of the most controversial and divisive issues of our times... continued
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(Reviewed by Norah Piehl ).
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Beyond the Book
At the center of Me Before You is an intensely emotional and ethical debate about assisted suicide; and in particular, of the assisted-death organization, Dignitas, which plays a primary role in the story. Dignitas, founded near Zurich, Switzerland in 1998, has as its motto "to live with dignity to die with dignity." The organization's assisted suicide programs are very carefully regulated and require that prospective patients undergo a series of psychological and medical assessments. Patients must also certify that they are making the decision to die of their own free will; Swiss law mandates that assisted suicide be done without coercion or self-interest on the part of the person or organization assisting with the process. Suicide...
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- Genres & Themes
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Introduction see all, summary see all, themes see all.
- Dreams, Hopes, and Plans
- Society and Class
Characters See All
- Will Traynor
- Katrina "Treena" Clark
- Camilla Traynor
- Steven Traynor
- Georgina Traynor
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Me Before You Summary
Lou Clark is an Average Jane from a small town in England. She worked at café until its owner abruptly announced that he was shutting the place down, leaving her jobless. Bummed, Lou goes job hunting until she lands a gig as a caretaker for a paralyzed man named Will Traynor.
Will is a young business executive and extreme sports enthusiast whose life was forever changed two years earlier when he was hit by a motorcycle while crossing the street, leaving him almost completely paralyzed. His mother, Camilla, tells Lou that her job will be to monitor him at all hours of the day, even though he already has a professional taking care of his medical needs.
Unfortunately, Will is a total jerk at first. He seems bitter. With time, however, he slowly warms up to Lou, and their relationship grows closer and closer. That is, until Lou learns the truth about why she was hired: after a previous suicide attempt, Will made his mother promise to take him to an assisted suicide facility in six months to end his life. Lou's job has actually been to make sure he doesn't hurt himself before then.
Although Lou is shaken by this revelation, she has a plan: she'll take Will on a series of excursions to show him that life is still worth living. Some of these trips don't go well, like one ill-advised jaunt to the horse races, but some are truly eye-opening, like a romantic night at the symphony. The big trip comes near the end of the six months: an all-expenses paid vacation to Mauritius, a small island off the coast of Africa.
It's a magical experience. Lou is amazed by the beauty of this exotic place—not to mention her growing feelings toward Will. On the final night of the vacation, Lou kisses Will and declares her love for him, saying that she knows about his plan but wants him to be with her. Although he loves her, too, Will says that he's going through with it. Furious, Lou ignores Will when they return home.
Eventually, Lou relents and decides to share Will's final moments with him at Dignitas, the assisted suicide facility. Lou's mom is furious about this and tells her to not return home if she decides to go. But that's not going to stop her. She makes it to Dignitas in time and shares a tender moment with Will before he goes through with the procedure.
Before his death, Will writes Lou a letter that specifically requests that it only be opened while Lou is a Paris café. So she goes. The letter says that Will has left Lou a small amount of money so she can go back to school and follow her dreams. It also expresses Will's sadness at causing her pain, though he hopes that she will emerge from the other end of her grief as a better person. Thus begins a bold new chapter in Lou's life.
…While everyone else is reaching for the tissue box. (Go on, we won't judge.)
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Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
By: Author Laura
Posted on Published: 18th August 2019 - Last updated: 5th July 2023
Categories Book Reviews , Books
Me Before You Summary
Me Before You is about Will Traynor, a rich, active businessman, whose life is turned upside down when he is involved in a motorcycle accident and paralysed from the chest downwards. His mother is desperate to find a full-time day carer for him and finds Louisa Clark, a recently unemployed young woman who doesn’t have any qualifications.
At first, Will and Lou don’t get along at all, but they learn a lot from each other as time goes on. This is a heartbreaking story about two people whose lives are irrevocably changed from the moment they meet.
Me Before You Review
Me Before You is written from the first person perspective of Lou, the female protagonist. Lou is a really likeable character and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her narrative because she’s really funny and fearless but also sensitive and unique.
She is the sort of girl who wears yellow and black striped tights even though she’s twenty-seven and you can’t help but love her. I really connected with her character and felt both her happiness and her pain as I read this book.
There are a couple of chapters which give us an insight into the minds of some other characters including Will, Nathan (Will’s medical carer), Camilla (Will’s mother) and Katrina (Lou’s sister). The book starts off with a small chapter from Will’s perspective on the day of his accident so you really understand what Will was like before his accident and see the tremendous difference afterwards.
The story line of this novel is the most moving I have ever read. It makes you think about what it would really be like to be completely paralysed, which I doubt many people have seriously considered. This book gives you an insight into what life might be like for those with physical disabilities but also those around them.
Obviously I’m still nowhere near truly understanding the life of a quadriplegic, you never can unless if you experience it yourself. However, Me Before You really inspired me to find about more about how I can help those less fortunate than myself.
This isn’t the sort of book I usually read, in fact, I usually avoid ‘illness’-related books but I seriously regret keeping this book on my shelf, unread, for the past year.
This is a completely different sort of romance to any that I’ve read before because it doesn’t really involve any physical touching. It’s all about Lou and will connecting on an emotional level. You can see a connection developing between the main characters slowly, a real connection mind you, and not the whimsical ones you often find in romance books.
This is, without a doubt, the most beautiful and heartbreaking love story I have ever read in my entire life. This is the sort of love that creeps up on you when you least expect it. There was one moment whilst reading this that I actually started sobbing (full on sobbing) and I had to put the book down for five minutes whilst I got all my emotions out.
This was not the only time I cried whilst reading this novel, oh no, I was pretty much crying not stop for the entirety of the second half and this book touched my heart in a way that no other book has. In some ways, you could call this an adult version of The Fault in Our Stars , as there are similar issues explored, but I was much more moved by Me Before You – if that’s even possible!
Lou and Will learn a lot from each other as the book progresses, so in turn, I learnt a lot too. Me Before You completely changed perspective on quadriplegics, on life and on love. I cannot recommend this book enough, it is absolutely phenomenal and a must-read for everyone. I didn’t think that this sort of book was for me and now it’s my favourite book, so please give it a chance!
For teenage readers, if you liked TFIOS , then Me Before You is probably also up your street. For adult readers, anyone with a heart will love this book.
Buy Me Before You
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If you liked this post, check out these: Me Before You Film Review A Guide to Paris in Me Before You by Jojo Moyes Paris For One by Jojo Moyes The Break by Marian Keyes The List by Joanna Boluri If I Could Turn Back Time by Nicola Doherty Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
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[First published in 2013, updated in 2019]
Thursday 16th of June 2016
So now that I have read your book review, I can tell that you convinced me to give it a try ;) (btw you're following me on Instagram on my book account @cellequilitdanslanuit so I thought that you might like to know that Instagram made the link to your blog (which I think is quite rear, at least with my blog ^^))
Friday 20th of May 2016
Lovely review!This books sounds like light romantic sunday read!
Loving yourself is the key! This books look like will bring a lot of enlightenment. :)
It sounds great! I'm looking for new books, so I think this is a great option :) Thanks for sharing!
So far so Sabine
I don't know the book, so I haven't read it yet. But i'm not a book person =)
Me Before You
43 pages • 1 hour read
A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.
- Prologue-Chapter 5
- Chapters 6-11
- Chapters 12-17
- Chapters 18-23
- Chapter 24-Epilogue
- Character Analysis
- Symbols & Motifs
- Important Quotes
- Essay Topics
Summary and Study Guide
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes chronicles the burgeoning romance between Will Traynor , a quadriplegic man, and Louisa Clark , his caregiver. Published in 2012, Me Before You is the first novel in Moyes’s trilogy and is followed by After You (2015) and Still Me (2018). The novel was adapted into a 2016 film starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. Written from various perspectives, Me Before You explores the complexities of disability, love, and euthanasia.
This guide is based on the 2013 Penguin Books edition.
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Content Warning: Me Before You references sexual assault, suicidal ideation, and assisted suicide. This guide also discusses the text’s controversial portrayal of people with disabilities.
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In the Prologue, Will Traynor, a successful businessman, leaves for work in 2007 and is hit by a motorcycle. Two years later, 26-year-old Louisa Clark returns home from her job at a local café and announces that she has been fired. A financial provider in her family’s household, Louisa struggles to find a new job before reluctantly accepting a care assistant position for a quadriplegic man. She is interviewed for the position by Camilla Traynor , a magistrate whose son, Will, requires 24-hour care. Camilla warns Louisa about Will’s moodiness. The next day, Louisa arrives for work, is instructed never to leave Will alone for more than 15 minutes, and meets Will’s nurse, Nathan . Will attempts to scare Louisa off and rejects her attempts to speak with him.
Over the next few weeks, Louisa adjusts to her new position but struggles to connect with Will. When Will receives two visitors, she overhears Will’s ex-girlfriend, Alicia, and former best friend, Rupert, announcing their engagement. Out of anger, Will destroys his photographs of Alicia. Louisa attempts to fix the photographs and responds to Will in anger when he yells at her for doing so; her unwillingness to back down intrigues him. They begin watching films together and discussing Louisa’s life outside of work. At one of Will’s appointments, she learns there is no cure for his condition and spots scars on Will’s wrist from previous suicide attempts.
One day during a blizzard, Louisa must stay overnight with Will to care for him. When Will grows ill, she attempts to nurse him back to health with Nathan’s help. Throughout the night, Will and Louisa chat. Louisa shares a childhood memory of a pair of yellow-and-black striped tights that inspired her unique style . As weeks pass, Louisa attempts to spend time with her long-term boyfriend, Patrick , who is preoccupied with triathlon training, but feels like they are growing apart. She and Will begin to spend time together outside. During these outings, Will encourages her to explore life outside of her hometown and agrees to let her cut his hair. Later that day, Louisa overhears Camilla and Will’s sister, Georgina, arguing over Will’s decision to undergo euthanasia in six months at a clinic in Switzerland.
Disgusted by Camilla’s support of Will’s plan, Louisa resigns from her position. Camilla begs her to continue working with Will as she has noticed he has been happier since she started. After confiding in her sister Katrina (or Treena), Louisa decides to plan a series of outings that will inspire Will to continue living. On their first outing, they have a disastrous day at the horse races. Louisa’s lack of experience and planning lead to complications, and Will complains that she did not consult him.
Louisa recalls a sexual assault she survived in a local castle maze seven years ago. After her assault, she canceled a trip abroad and retreated into an ordinary but safe life. In the present, Will convinces her to attend a classical music concert. She agrees to go if Will attends the concert with her. She is moved by the music. Louisa begins going to the library to use the computers and learn more about Will’s spinal cord injury. She takes a more relaxed approach to their outings and invites Will to attend her birthday dinner in her family home. Will attends and charms Louisa’s family. He gifts her a custom pair of yellow-and-black striped tights like the pair she loved as a child. Patrick grows jealous over Will and Louisa’s connection. As time passes, Louisa feels pressure to save Will. After Will recovers from an infection, she continues her adventures with Will, one of which results in the two getting tattoos.
When Louisa informs Will that she will be moving in with Patrick, Will begins to act distant. Despite their distance, Will convinces her to enter a castle maze, which she has not done since her sexual assault; Will rescues Louisa after she becomes triggered. She tells him about her assault, and he comforts her. Later, Will invites Louisa to Alicia and Rupert’s wedding. They share a joyful, drunken evening and discuss plans to travel abroad together. Devoted to her mission to save Will, Louisa informs Patrick that she will not be able to attend his triathlon in Norway. When Patrick becomes upset, Louisa reluctantly reveals Will’s plan to die.
Louisa discovers a chatroom for individuals living with spinal cord injuries and their caregivers. Through the chatroom, she learns of a ranch in California that offers adventures for quadriplegic people. She confesses to her sister Treena that she is considering pursuing a college degree and harbors romantic feelings for Will. Later that evening, Patrick discovers Louisa’s plans for Will’s trip to California and demands she not attend. When she refuses, they break up. However, Will contracts pneumonia and is not strong enough to attend the trip. With the help of the chatroom, Louisa plans a last-minute trip to Mauritius. Over 10 days, Louisa and Will grow closer on the trip. On the last night, they kiss. However, when Will pulls away and announces that he will follow through with his plan for euthanasia despite his love for Louisa, she yells at him and leaves.
Back in England, Louisa struggles with her feelings regarding Will’s situation. She confides in her family and learns that Will’s assisted suicide will occur the next day. Reporters invade Louisa’s home after Patrick sells the details of Will’s plan to the press. Camilla calls Louisa and asks her to come to Switzerland to see Will one final time before his death. She flies to Switzerland and sees Will shortly before he passes.
Time passes, and a letter from a prosecutor clears Will’s family and friends of any wrongdoing in his assisted suicide. In the Epilogue, Louisa sits at a café in Paris and reads a letter from Will. The letter instructs her on what to do in Paris and informs her of an inheritance. Will expresses his desire for Louisa to use his money to live an adventurous life. Louisa finishes the letter and leaves the café to explore Paris.
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Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
- Me Before You Summary
Me Before You begins with its protagonist, Louisa Clark , losing her steady job at a cafe. Since her family's financial situation is increasingly worrisome, she takes the best available job in her small town: care worker for a quadriplegic man. The man is Will Traynor , a former London businessman who has been seriously injured in an accident. Will is bitter when Lou first meets him, and subjects her to cruelty and ironic asides. However, the two eventually begin to connect, sharing jokes and treating one another with straightforward honesty. Will encourages Lou to explore interests outside of her comfort zone, while Lou gives Will practical assistance and helps him to feel less depressed.
After several weeks on the job, Lou overhears a conversation between Will's mother and sister. She learns that Will has attempted suicide once and is still determined to commit physician-assisted suicide. He has agreed with his mother that he will wait six months before going to Switzerland to take his own life. Lou, who has grown fond of Will, is so upset that she nearly quits her job. She returns on the condition that she be allowed to take Will on a series of "adventures" in the hopes of brightening his outlook and convincing him to stay alive.
Lou, accompanied by Will's nurse Nathan , takes her charge on a series of outings with moderate success. They attend horse races, concerts, and art gallery shows, all while becoming closer with one another. Louisa eventually reveals to Will one of the reasons for her cautious personality. As a teenager, she endured a traumatic sexual assault on the grounds of the town's medieval castle. Afraid of taking risks that might put her in a similar situation, Lou stays close to home and avoids new opportunities. Will comforts her and helps her to overcome this event in her past so that she can live more adventurously.
While the two main characters are growing closer and learning from one another, Lou's life outside of work begins to fall apart. Her father loses his job, and her sister decides to return to university, putting the family in more financial distress. Various logistical conflicts result in Lou having no place to sleep in her family's busy house. She moves in with her boyfriend, Patrick , but their relationship is increasingly distant and unsatisfying. This is largely due to Patrick's obsession with triathlons and fitness. Lou and Patrick break up after Patrick accuses Lou of being in love with Will. Knowing she needs a place to stay on weekends, Will invites Lou to spend the night in his family's house.
When Will's six-month waiting period is almost over, Lou takes him on vacation in a final effort to convince him to live. She plans a trip to California, but Will becomes sick, making the trip impossible. At the last minute, Lou plans another trip to Mauritius. She, Nathan and Will spend a blissful vacation at the beach. On their final night, Lou and Will kiss. Will, though, puts a stop to the kiss and tells Lou about his plan to commit suicide. She tells him that she has been aware of the plan and tries to convince him to live so that they can be together, but Will refuses. He asks Lou to accompany him to Switzerland for his scheduled death. Lou reacts angrily, refusing to speak to Will when they return and refusing to go to Switzerland.
Lou is distraught when she returns home, in spite of her family's best efforts to cheer her. Moreover, reporters swarm her house, pursuing a story on the hot-button issue of assisted suicide. She receives a call from Will's intimidating mother, Camilla, begging her to come to Switzerland. Lou, having realized that she wants to see Will before he dies, leaves in spite of her mother's opposition to the suicide and her daughter's involvement. She arrives in Switzerland and has a final conversation with Will in which they express their love for one another. Lou gives Will her forgiveness and cries beside him, trying to show Will that he is loved in his final moments.
After a time-jump, Lou reads a letter from Will at a cafe in Paris. He explains to her how to obtain the fortune he has left her, and commands her to "live boldly" by being adventurous and expressing herself. Lou finishes the letter and then stands up to explore Paris, apparently ready to live the life Will has encouraged her to live.
Me Before You Questions and Answers
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Study Guide for Me Before You
Me Before You study guide contains a biography of Jojo Moyes, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
- About Me Before You
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Book review: Me Before You
If you have yet to read JoJo Moyes’s novel Me Before You , here’s a quick synopsis: The main characters, Louisa Clark and Will Traynor, change each other’s lives. How? Read the book. And for heaven’s sake, don’t watch the movie first.
As for my own take on the novel, the first thought I had after finishing it was “I need more, more and more.” It’s not your everyday romantic cliché – it’s much more than that. The book offers a refreshing, new insight on romance, and every chapter forces you to read the next. When you realize it’s is coming to an end, you’ll try to put the final chapter off for as long as you can. Unless, of course, you’re like me, in which case you’ll stop your entire life in the hopes of finishing the book quickly. If you don’t, then you’ll lay in bed thinking about what’s going to happen next or you’ll be sitting with your family over dinner thinking, “What if Will And Lou do something while I’m away?” That’s what the book does to you – it promises to keep you on the edge. By the end of it, you’ll think of them as Lou and Will, the personable people, not the characters. It’s this attachment that will give rise to the ultimate book hangover.
In general, Me Before You is a satisfying read. It’s unexpected, heartwarming, and even heartbreaking towards the end. The first few chapters may not motivate you to continue with the novel, but eventually, you’ll reach a point where you can’t put the book down.
Whoever you are and wherever you live, the societal problems and ills that are present in this book will apply to you to some degree, which means that you’ll have something in common with the characters, one way or another. A friend of mine even said, “The perfect gift for my friend is a copy of Jo Jo Moyes’s book. It’s a reminder that there’s no such thing as a perfect life with abundant happiness.”
The reality of the book grips you, but the variety of characters make you stay. It’s something the author deserves credit for, especially since each character has a specific role. For example, Treena, Louisa’s sister, is confusing at times, but the voice of reason at other times. She also holds the ability to make her sister feel insecure about herself without even being aware of it. In fact, as we eventually learn, Treena can coax her sister into pretty much anything, and we owe it to her; she talks Lou out of quitting her job and leaving Will.
But, it’s not just the characters that draw you into Moyes’s masterpiece, it’s also the sensitive subject matter she touches upon, such as rape, depression, suicide, and the oppression of women (which is dealt with on a larger basis in the sequel After You) . Moyes gives us an individual’s outlook on these problems and reminds us that the victim should never be blamed, we all need someone by our side, and people who are unable to express themselves find different ways to do so.
Of course, at the centre of all of this lies the relationship between Will and Lou, one that holds all the perfect ingredients together: respect, honesty, and humor. The relationship escalates to a point where we’re fooled to believe that everything is going to fall apart, but we’re surprised at how easily things may just fall back into their exact place.
All in all, this book will touch your very core, driving you to read the sequel, which, to be honest, is as addictive as the first book. Moyes masterfully fits a great story about love, friendship, family, life, and death between the covers of a paperback.
The book is by no means perfect, but its imperfections are the very reason it should be loved. Because, after all, who would ever want perfection in non-fiction?
By Yumna Husseini
Please note that opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views and values of The Blank Page.
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Author : Jojo Moyes Publisher: Penguin Books Released: April 26th, 2016 Genre: Romance, Fiction Pages: 369 Format: Paperback Characters: Louisa Clark, Will Traynor, Camilla Traynor, Steven Traynor, Patrick, Bernard Clark, …
Synopsis (Goodreads) :
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.
My Review :
When I first watched the movie, I was telling myself, I may not need to buy the book. The movie was good but I didn’t think I’d be crazy about the book. So, I didn’t get it until I saw it on sale the other day. I flipped to the first page and oh boi, all the feels actually came creeping to me. Guess what? I bought it of course along with After You.
“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.” ― Jojo Moyes, Me Before You
Reading this book was entertaining. It was funny, not boring at all, fast paced, very meaningful and I love how Lou and Will’s relationship developed. I’m always a fan of that kind of relationship, whereby they hate each other at first and then slowly fall in love with each other. Beautifully romantic, isn’t it? Like I said, since I’ve watched the movie and the book I bought is the movie tie in kind, I kinda expected most of the events but the feelings of reading it is totally different from watching the movie. There was this part where Lou told Will she loved him, at the beach and they kissed. Then, Will said she was not enough. That part when Lou was so upset about it, it felt different from the movie. Because one will not only need to interpret how mad she was at that time, also how confused she was with everything that happened in her life.
“I told him I loved him,” she said, her voice dropping to a whisper. “And he just said it wasn’t enough.” Her eyes were wide and bleak . “How am I supposed to live with that?” ― Jojo Moyes, Me Before You
I also adored the characters. They were genuine and lovely, especially the main characters, Will and Lou. They were both in pain and hurt. Even though Lou was always bubbly but deep inside, she struggled a lot. Her boyfriend did not understand her, her family sometimes put too much pressure on her, her dad made fun of her. All of that just took away her confidence but she was still strong and was so positive about her life. This is what she wish Will would have in himself, being content with his life, with the love he received. But Will couldn’t do just that, he had so much to deal in his life.
“I realized I was afraid of living without him. How is it you have the right to destroy my life, I wanted to demand of him, but I’m not allowed a say in yours?” ― Jojo Moyes, Me Before You
The ending was indeed a tear-jerker. It had so much impact to the whole story. It completed the book and gave it a perfect conclusion. I wouldn’t want to change a thing about the ending.
“You are scored on my heart,Clark. You were from the first day you walked in,with your ridiculous clothes and your complete inability to ever hide a single thing you felt.” ― Jojo Moyes, Me Before You
If you’re a sucker for romance genre, go for this one. 😉
“Push yourself. Don’t Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.” ― Jojo Moyes, Me Before You
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
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3 thoughts on “ Me Before You Book Review ”
I loved this book – I read it before the film came out and definitely agree it is worth a read even if you’ve seen the film. ‘After You’ was okay, but I felt ‘Me Before You’ was a poweful book on its own and didn’t really need a sequel.
Yea, exactly. I haven’t read After You yet, but I do agree that it is a powerful book on its own. That ending is perfect that way. Have you read Still Me?
Not yet but I plan to! I’m too invested not to!
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Me Before You
Everything you need for every book you read..
The book opens in 2007 as Will Traynor is leaving his girlfriend, Alicia , in bed and heading out the door for his job as a high-powered financier. Will decides not to take his motorbike, a thrill that he normally loves, because it is raining hard. When Will steps into the road to hail a cab, he is hit by another cyclist and left unconscious.
The book then moves forward to 2009, introducing Louisa Clark , a 26-year-old woman with outlandish fashion sense living in the tiny village of Bishop’s Stortford in Essex, England. Louisa is walking home dejected after hearing that the Buttered Bun café where she has worked for six years has to close. Louisa knows that her family sorely needs the money, with her mother Josie stuck at home caring for Lou’s Granddad , a stroke victim, and Lou’s nephew Thomas , the son of Lou’s younger sister Treena . Lou goes to tell the news to her long-term boyfriend, Patrick , who is busy running laps as he trains for another triathlon. Patrick simply tells Lou to buck up and find another job.
Lou goes to the job center to find a new position, but hates most of the entry level experiences. Finally, the only job left is a six-month stint as a caretaker for a quadriplegic man. Louisa has no experience as a caretaker, but goes to meet Camilla Traynor for an interview. Camilla intimidates Lou, but somehow decides that Lou is the right person for the job of providing a friendly cheerful presence for her son. Lou then meets the man she will be caring for, Will Traynor. Will is completely dismissive at first, angry that his mother has hired yet another caretaker he does not want.
Lou does her best at work, making tea and doing small domestic chores as Will ignores her and sulks in his room. Will sometimes chats with the nurse, Nathan , who handles his physical needs, but never speaks to Lou. Lou keeps at it because her family needs the money even more now that Treena wants to go back to school. Two weeks into this jo, Will’s ex-girlfriend, Alicia, and former best friend, Rupert visit. They awkwardly tell Will that they are getting married after bonding in the wake of Will’s accident, and Will smashes all the pictures of his old life. Lou attempts to fix the pictures for Will, but he yells at her for trying to help. Lou shouts back at him that just because he has a disability doesn’t mean he gets to be an ass, and Will seems to find a new respect for Lou.
Lou and Will are now on better terms, and Will even lets Lou drive him to a doctor’s appointment, where Lou sees the scars on Will’s wrists left from Will’s attempted suicide. Soon after, Lou gets stuck at Will’s house during a snowstorm trying to care for Will as he struggles with the flu. After that night, Will and Lou become true friends. Lou shares more about her quiet life watching her family and her boyfriend pursue their hobbies and Will encourages her to stretch her horizons outside of their sleepy village. Will introduces Lou to foreign films and classical music, even letting Lou shave his beard and cut his scraggly hair. Despite these promising moments, Lou finds out that in six months is the date that Will has planned to end his life at an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland.
The book then introduces Camilla’s perspective, explaining how helpless she feels in the face of her son’s depression at the prospect of such a limited life. Camilla busies herself with her job as a magistrate and her garden, ignoring her husband’s infidelity and her son’s discontent. After Will’s first suicide attempt, Camilla decides that she has to allow him to go to Dignitas and end his life in a less horrific manner.
Lou is profoundly uncomfortable with Will’s plan to end his life, but she says nothing as she goes into work. Will actually seems to be in a good mood for once, making Lou realize that she can’t be a part of his suicide. Lou leaves a letter of resignation for Camilla, but Camilla follows her home and convinces Lou to come back. Lou now has to convince Will to change his mind before the six months is up. Cracking under the pressure, Lou tells Treena about Will’s plan. Treena advises Lou to help Will see all the things he can still do from his wheelchair. Lou goes to the library and frantically starts planning excursions for Will.
The first excursion is to a horse race, a day that ends horrifically as Lou realizes how little she knows about the logistics of taking a wheelchair out in public places. Will stoically suffers through the day, telling Lou at the end that he has always hated horses anyway. Lou realizes that she has to take Will’s desires into account and remembers a time when her own power to choose was taken away. Lou was sexually assaulted by a group of university boys in a maze at a castle near her village, an experience that clipped Lou’s desire to leave her safe hometown and take risks in the real world. Lou decides to take a different approach with Will and plans a trip to the orchestra instead. This time, Lou fully researches the wheelchair accommodations and Will thoroughly enjoys himself. He is transported both by the beautiful music and the illusion of being out on a date with a girl in a pretty red dress (Lou).
Though Lou feels more secure than ever in her job, her home life is quickly changing. Patrick has started to notice the distance between him and Lou, while Treena has moved back to university with Thomas. As Will and Lou grow even closer, Lou invites Will to her parents’ house for her birthday dinner. Will fits easily into Lou’s family, charming Lou’s parents but putting Patrick on edge. The situation only worsens when Lou is indifferent to Patrick’s gift of a necklace but absolutely adores Will’s gift of striped bumblebee tights . Patrick starts to act more possessive towards Lou, but Lou remains focused on helping Will as much as possible.
As the weeks go by, the news is full of debates over the right to die while Lou’s family deals with their own bad news that Lou’s father has lost his job. In all the shuffle over beds when Treena comes home from university on weekends, Lou’s parents end up sleeping on the couch. Lou starts to consider other places to stay so that everyone can get a good night’s sleep. Will offers to let Lou stay in his spare room, and continues to tell Lou that she needs to search for more out of her life. Lou joins quadriplegia support chatrooms looking for excursions for Will and plans events for every day that Will feels well enough to leave the house. On one of these outings, Will convinces Lou to get a tattoo. She gets a small bumblebee, while he tattoos the date of his accident on his foot.
With only eight weeks to go before Will’s appointment at Dignitas, Lou is starting to despair over all the things that Will can’t do because of his wheelchair. She gets no rest at home either, as the sleeping arrangements in the cramped Clark household get no better. Patrick half-heartedly offers to let Lou move in with him and Lou reluctantly agrees. She tells Will how uncomfortable she is, and shares that her father is now unemployed. Will replies distantly that his offer of the spare room is still available, if Lou ever needs it. Will then gets Lou’s dad a job as the head of maintenance at his family’s castle. Lou’s dad is ecstatic, but Lou feels uncomfortable. She calls Will, wondering why he did something so nice when he seems angry with her over Patrick. He simply replies that now she can pursue her own interests without worrying about her family.
With seven weeks to go before Will’s deadline, Will meets with a will attorney. Camilla and Lou had started to believe that Will would change his mind, but it is clear that he is still working towards his plan to go to Dignitas. Camilla tells Lou to plan a big last trip for Will as a last attempt to change his mind. Lou continues to avoid Will as much as possible during the day, until he finally forces her to go for a walk with him to the castle maze. At Will’s prodding, Lou attempts to make it through the maze, but has a panic attack at the memory of the assault there six years ago. Will comes to lead Lou out and she comes clean about her secret, finally letting go of the guilt she has carried for years.
Unexpectedly, Will asks Lou to accompany him to Alicia and Rupert’s wedding. Will is on his best behavior while Lou accidentally gets drunk. Lou then asks Will to take her for a spin on a wheelchair on the reception dance floor and the two enjoy a beautiful night together before staying over in a hotel, where Lou convinces Will to go on one last trip with her. Camilla is furious that Will stayed out without telling her, but Will is adamant that he is still an adult and can make his own choices. Lou gets to work planning the trip of a lifetime for Will.
The book moves to the perspective of Nathan (Will’s nurse), as he explains that everyone could tell that Will and Lou had crossed some boundary at the wedding. Nathan is skeptical of the trip idea, but willing to do anything to help Will and Lou. He agrees to go along.
Lou tells Patrick that she can’t go along with him to a big triathlon in Norway because she has to go on the trip with Will. Patrick is angry and upset, so Lou goes to talk to her sister while he cools off. Treena helps Lou realize that she is much more interested in Will than she has been in Patrick for years. When Lou goes home to Patrick’s house, Patrick tries to apologize until he sees the plans that Lou has made for Will. Unable to accept that Lou is essentially going on a honeymoon with another man, Patrick asks Lou to move out.
Steven, Will’s father, takes over the narrative to tell how Lou moved into Will’s house. Steven is highly in favor of the trip that Lou has planned, even if having a quadriplegic son is making it hard for him to leave his dysfunctional marriage with Camilla for his mistress Della . Still, Steven is optimistic that this trip will change Will’s mind—until Will gets pneumonia and everything has to be cancelled.
Lou is shattered by the sight of Will weak in the hospital, and incredibly disappointed that Will’s health has made their last trip impossible. At the advice of Nathan, Lou quickly puts together a calmer resort trip to Mauritius. Lou is deeply worried during the flight and the first two days of the trip over Will’s fragile state, but Will soon begins to come back to life in the beautiful beach sun. Will, Lou, and Nathan swim and eat and generally make merry for nine days. Lou even tries scuba diving, unable to believe that she was once too scared to do any of these marvelous things. The last day, Lou spends the night in Will’s hotel room and Will confesses that he is planning to commit suicide. Lou tells him that she has known for months and that she has been attempting to change his mind. Furthermore, Lou tells Will that she loves him. Will tells Lou that he loves her too, but it is not enough to change his mind. He then asks Lou to come to Switzerland with him to say goodbye. Crushed and enraged, Lou refuses and doesn’t talk to Will for the rest of the trip home.
The novel switches to Katrina (Treena’s) perspective, telling how Lou returned to their parent’s house looking ill. Katrina lets Lou mope, but tells her to wake back up when Lou is accepted to a university to study fashion. At dinner, Lou finally tells their parents about Will’s plan to end his life. Lou’s mother is aghast and forbids Lou to have anything to do with it, but Lou realizes that she has to go be with Will one last time. Katrina helps Lou get to the airport for the last plane to Switzerland before Will’s appointment.
As Lou steps into Will’s room at Dignitas in Switzerland, she feels oddly relieved. The two share one last kiss before Will drinks the lethal solution that will end his life. Legal council is unable to find any wrong doing on the part of Will’s family or Lou in this matter, even though the newspapers spin the story as another atrocious episode in the right to die debate. Lou decides that she has to keep living—she takes the money that Will left her and travels to Paris, as Will had asked her to do. With Will’s support and financial help, Lou is on course to finally live her life to the fullest for the sake of both her and Will.