Monday, March 14, 2016

Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Publication Date: July 30th, 2013 (Paperback Edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Pages: 369

Genres: Contemporary Fiction/Romance


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?

What Did I Think About the Story?

When I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation of Me Before You I knew I had to FINALLY find the time to read this book! I've had it sitting on my shelves for a while now and knew that just about everyone I've spoken to about the book has loved it, so I cleared my reading schedule and dove right in. And, while it definitely brings up quite a lot of difficult questions and feelings about love and sacrifice, I am so happy I did.

First off, Lou might be my new favorite character. She is so funny and caring and complicated and I loved the time spent with her. The way she interacted with her family had me giggling more than once and the deep-seated love they had for each other, even while they bickered and threw verbal jabs at each other, felt very real and relatable. Beyond her family, the way that she was able to pierce through the wall of anger, disappointment and grief that Will had built up around himself and touch his heart was breathtaking, and the fact that she did it with what I think of as her trademark self-deprecating wit and unwavering kindness made me love her even more. Only someone like Lou would be able to put up with Will (in the beginning...he got nicer as the story went on) and his haughty family and come out the other side with everyone a little better for knowing her. But don't let this lead you to believe she was all bouncy sunshine. She had quite a bit of heartache in her own past and only Will was able to help her get over that hurt and realize she was worth so much more than she believed. They both brought out the best in each other, and I absolutely loved that.

Now to Will's "shocking plans of his own". While I'm pretty sure most people already know what those plans are and whether or not they come to fruition, I am going to try and step lightly just to try and make sure I don't give too much away for anyone who hasn't read it yet. What I will say is I can see how this would be absolutely devastating for anyone to experience, on both sides really, and I think the author did an exceptional job of letting the reader see into the hearts and minds of a variety of characters, giving a well rounded view of the situation. It was really easy to empathize with everyone involved and the myriad of emotions and actions they all went through. I also think it ended the only way it possibly could (or maybe that is just the talent of the author) and, while I did get a little misty, I will say that I feel such satisfaction in knowing the characters made the hard choices  needed and the ones that I hope I'd be brave enough to make if it was me.

Me Before You is so much more than the unusual romance I was anticipating. Yes, it is about two unlikely people coming together and finding love in a most unusual circumstance, but it is also about two people being able to bring out the best in each other and support each other in making their own choices and being the best versions of themselves, even if that doesn't involve a happily ever after together. It begs you to ask yourself so many hard questions, namely who has a right to decide how someone else chooses to live, or die, and how much we should be willing to sacrifice for the ones we love. I'm now really excited to see where Jojo Moyes takes some of the characters in the sequel, After You!

What Do I Think About the Cover?

I like it, and I'm not even sure why. There isn't anything overly eye catching about it, but I just really like the simplistic style and curving letters. I also like that the cover to the sequel matches!

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

*I purchased Me Before You for my home library*

The Me Before You Movie Trailer




  1. Like you, I've had this on my TBR for so long I can't even remember. I'm about 75% through and all I want to do is finish it. It is so good. I like the covers as well and will probably dive right into After You when I finish with this one.

    1. Right?! It really is just so good! Let me know what you think when you finish it!