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Me Before You Paperback – 5 Jan 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (5 Jan 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0718157834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718157838
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,248 of 1,273 people found the following review helpful By Denise4891 TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've read a few of Jojo Moyes' previous books - Ship of Brides (loved), The Last Letter From Your Lover (adored) and The Peacock Emporium (meh) - but I think she's moved onto a whole new level with her latest offering.

Me Before You features Lou Clark, a bright but directionless young woman who drifts between dead-end jobs until she eventually (rather reluctantly) takes a post as a carer to a young man who has been left in a quadriplegic state following a road accident two years earlier. Will Traynor had a high-profile, well paid career and a very active lifestyle, until it was all taken away from him in the blink of an eye as he crossed the road to hail a taxi. To say he's bitter and angry about the hand life has dealt him would be an understatement. His family are at the end of their tether, and shortly after Lou is hired she hatches a desperate plan to try to convince Will that his life is worth living.

Sounds a bit grim and depressing? Well think again. I've never noticed much in the way of comedy in Moyes's novels before, but this book had me alternating between laughing out loud and smiling wryly (oh and crying - more of that later), and I was reminded very much of Marian Keyes in her prime. I loved the affectionate banter between Lou and her family and the not-so-affectionate (at first) verbal sparring between Lou and Will. (Their first meeting when he plays a particularly wicked trick on her is absolutely priceless.)

And now for the serious stuff. The subjects of quadriplegia and the rights of disabled people are dealt with sensitively and compassionately. The descriptions of Will's day to day existence, which involves relying on others for almost every aspect of his personal care, really hit home.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Monkey Magic on 6 Aug 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most of what needs to be said about this book has been by other reviewers. But here's my take on it anyway.

It starts promisingly enough and Ms Moyes' style is really very good. But it drifts into a candy-coated chic-lit dreamland about halfway through. The author constructs a near-perfect scenario for her characters to inhabit: the male protagonist is handsome and extremely rich but has an arrogant edge that women seem to fall for; the main female character is attractive, slightly quirky and comes from a struggling working-class background immediately identifiable by most women. It's all a little too clichéd and avoids awkward, gritty realism with the inclusion of Nathan, the full time carer but, I think, this is exactly why it's so popular: Will is charismatic but vulnerable and helpless and Lou doesn't really get her hands too dirty. How convenient. Real life just isn't like this.

There are a couple of (well written) scenes to make the reader believe in the book's sincerity and authenticity that deal with disability issues but I imagine those messy struggles are a day-to-day occurrence for real carers most of whose clients cannot afford the luxuries the Traynors can. It strikes me as odd that, although the author has clearly spent time researching the area, she would opt to side-step the gritty struggle of real life. But then, I guess wiping bums is not that romantic. It would be interesting to know what quadriplegics make of this angle.

The central theme has been examined in the news countless times over the last few years and the same arguments are reconstituted here as each character personifies a particular point of view. Not very imaginative stuff and the character reactions are not always believable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By meplustwo on 28 Jun 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book based purely on the fantastic recommendations of so many people on this site and I must say I am SO glad I did, I am an avid reader and get through 3 or 4 books a week and have done for as long as I can remember and I have to say this book I cant remember the last time a book made me "feel" quite like this one,
The characters almost become real, I dont know quite how else to describe it, I felt so involved in the story and really cared about how they felt and what happened, I dont want to give any of the story away but I laughed and I definately cried, alot.
It is a beautiful story that gets right to the heart of the matter and makes you really think about life and what you want from it,
I'm not a loon, I am well aware it's a fictional story but it was one I can NOT recommend enough to anyone,
I can honestly say it is one of the most involving, well written, emotional, sweet and uplifting books I have ever read and after writing this am going straight to other books by Jojo Moyes and they will be in my basket before you know it.
Buy this book, you wont be dissapointed, I certainly wasnt. its a gem.
5 stars isnt enough. it deserves SO much more.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. O'Connell on 31 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was unputdownable. It's not often, that, on a dull winter's afternoon, during a dull afternoon at work, you can get a complete flash of happiness at the thought of coming home to carry on reading (and I speak as a mother-of-three with chores to do). However, I was so gripped by it that I had to get a grip myself and tell myself to eke it out and savour the whole story over three evenings. Cleverly observed social scene, realistic family, humour at the most poignant moments, all a backdrop to the growing relationship. Sounds a bit odd, but in a way the couple reminded me of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara. I lay in bed and cried my eyes out at the end. Despite the topic, it's by no means an 'issue-led' book; the characterisation is too complex and it's far too well-written. One of the best books I have read, and if they make it into a film (which it cries out for), I just hope they capture the same tender spirit.
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