Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

15507958I guess the first thing you need to know is that I inhaled Me Before You. Once I got started and through roughly 100 pages, I could not put the book down. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning finishing that sucker, only taking minor breaks to recover from all the crying.

I’m thinking a synopsis of this story will benefit from the less is more strategy. Will Traynor is one of those douchebags who had it all – money, amazing job, blonde leggy girlfriend, and all the adventure he could stomach. His life is changed with he suffers a spinal injury and can no longer move from the chest down. He doesn’t deal well with his new life.

Louisa Clark is 26 and newly unemployed. Her trusty six year cafe job has gone away rather unexpectedly and now she has no idea what to do next. She’s desperate to find work to support her parents, grandfather, sister, and nephew. She takes on the caregiver position for a wheelchair bound man who turns out to be our charmingly snarky Will. There might also be a castle involved.

Me Before You won’t blow you away with its amazing literariness. The writing is fine if rather uninspired, but the story – so good. Moyes impressed me with her characters and her ability to make me care so freakin’ much about what happens to them. She also knocked me silly with her moral confrontations and the questions she demands you ask of yourself.

Will and Lou make such a great pair. You’ll love everything about them, even their faults of which there are many. The side characters are just as brilliant – specifically Lou’s colorful family. You’ll root for their strange little group and wish them nothing but the best page after page.

Finally, this little romance is the one I’ve been searching for – the one that has renewed my faith in love stories. I’m tempted to read Moyes’s backlog in a feverish rush. She doesn’t write an easy book – so please be warned. So many tears – an ugly cry that I haven’t cried in a long time. Her ending is difficult, layered, and will leave at least a tiny hole in your heart, but I never really yearned for a different conclusion. I loved the moral quandaries I battled with and I’m glad Moyes poses them to her readers in such an honest way. I love that the romance of this story rises above ‘cute’ to become something much more candid, serious, and realistic. Highly, highly recommended.

Bonus Points: All the British-isms! I love that you know this book takes place in England without even being told. So many times British novels are watered down and edited to Americanize them which is dumb. I’m glad Me Before You retains its accent!

18 thoughts on “Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

  1. I loved this book so much and made my mom read it, and she loved it too. Like you, I also love that it is British. I’m so used to reading Brit books now that it didn’t even occur to me how it comes across. My mom mentioned having a hard time getting into it at first because it was so English.

    • I love all the British things so I love when a publisher doesn’t feel a need to Americanize things. But I can see how people who aren’t familiar with British culture and slang could have issues.

      • Have you read Noughties? I think it so good, but I don’t think it did well here, and the reviews I read were poor. It is super British and from the perspective of a college guy at Oxford. I just loved it.

        • I haven’t read, but just looked it up and it sounds amazing. I’m a huge Zadie Smith fan and many reviewers have compared the two authors so on the list it goes! Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. I know exactly what you’re saying about this book. It’s not a literary classic, but it’s so much better than the usual chick-lit man meets woman let’s fall in love and be together forever type book. I could say more about that, but it would be a spoiler and I would get tongue twisted about what i meant to say!! And start crying!!

  3. I believe your review has pinpointed what this beautiful, heartbreaking book is about. I have to definitely agree with you in the fact that while it is not an easy book to read, I am still trying to recover, it is so worth the emotional roller coaster. Definitely a must read and a book with a powerful message with just the perfect amount of romance.

    • Anything with romance at its center and I’m already turned off. But so, so, so good. I really want to read something else by Moyes now. I know she has a new book out soon and a huge back list.

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