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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully engaging.
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...
Published on 28 Jun. 2012 by meplustwo

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read
Reading some of the lower rating reviews I notice that one part of readers is disappointed (in particular in the ending) stating that the book is sad and depressing because they expected some light and easy uplifting chick lit - the other part is disappointed in the book because they feel that a serious subject has been used for some cheap romance...

I had no...
Published 6 months ago by Clementine


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Me Before You - brilliantly compelling, 24 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
I had a vague recollection of having read Jojo Moyle's books before, and I think I liked them but nothing could spring to mind for definite. Me before you on the other hand, is one of those books I will never forget having read.

Will was an active young man, who went on adventure holidays and who loved nothing more than pushing his body to extremes. Until one day, when a chance accident leaves him not only in a wheelchair but completely paralysed. Now living at home with his parents, he has surrounded by anything and everything that he could possibly wish for, apart from the one thing he wants - his freedom.

Lou still lives at home with her parents and works in the local café. She loves to dress up in eclectic clothes and has no idea of where she wants to go in life. After the café, which has been her job for a number of years, closes, she struggles to find a job which she would enjoy. In desperation she attends an interview for a carer for Will. Her job it seems is to act as a companion to him, which would be easy if it wasn't for the obvious fact that he seems to hate her and doesn't even want her in the same room.

A few chapters into the book and I began to feel smug - I know where this is going. Even when the characters start to drop hints that Will has attempted suicide recently and needs to be under close surveillance, I still felt confidently I knew where this book was heading. Will and Lou will gradually learn to like each other and to become friends. Then there will be a slight romance and maybe even something more. Perhaps a medical breakthrough as well? And it will all end happily ever after.

And in some ways I was right. Will gradually becomes accustomed to Lou and her crazy ways. Lou gradually begins to understand Will and together the two start to become friends. Then Lou overhears a chance conversation between Will's mum and sister and I realised how wrong I could be. Will has asked to die. After his failed suicide attempt, he started look at a specialist clinic in Switzerland, designed to help people end their lives, and has asked his parents to take him there. Initially horrified and disgusted by the idea, his parents have no choice but to consider his request, as the option is to live with the threat of him trying to kill himself again and again. As a compromise, they have given Will 6 months. After that, if he still wishes, they will take him to Switzerland. Lou is horrified and unable to understand that she has been brought in to try and offer Will hope, and to try and change his mind.

It is at that point that I realised not only had I completely mis-judged this book and the story but that ultimately, there are only a few directions that this story can take. Either he goes or he stays. He either lives or dies.

This must have been an incredibly difficult book to write and it is very very hard to read. There have been a few high profile cases in the media of assisted suicide and the clinic in Switzerland has come under focus of TV documentaries and newspapers. A reader coming to the book may already have their beliefs in place. They might believe suicide is wrong under any circumstances. They may believe it is wrong but in some circumstances it is right. They might even be able to identify with the characters and their dilemmas. But none of this can prepare you for the emotional impact of seeing life through Will's eyes and seeing it through Lou's. And nothing could have prepared me for reading the final chapter of the book. It really wasn't what I was expecting. And no one else in my family was prepared for the crying that went on for some time after having read it.

This book is sad, it's poignant, it's funny and it's real. Will himself maybe a figment of Jojo's imagination but there are countless cases of people in similar situations to him and there are sadly many families and friends in the UK who are having to make a similar decision to Will's family. There is no attempt at starting a debate on assisted suicide in the Uk. Jojo wisely makes the decision not to focus on the legal side of things, and doesn't use the book as a platform to try and change people's minds or to open up a discussion. But this book is still desperately compelling and never have I ever felt so confused at an ending before. Because by the end of the book, you don't know how you feel about it all either.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, 16 April 2012
By 
Steven (Buckinghamshire) - See all my reviews
This is a real gem of a book.
After she loses her job at the local tea shop, Lou Clark reluctantly takes a job as a `companion' to a young man left severely disabled after a road accident. Over the course of the 6 month time period of the book, both Lou and Will change each other's lives in so many ways.

I must admit that when I realised the subject matter, I was very concerned that the book may patronise and have an `happily ever after' theme that just wouldn't ring true. I'm glad to say however that Moyes handled the difficult subjects of the book brilliantly. As a disabled person myself I felt that she captured the issues Will was experiencing very accurately and gave his character real depth. In fact, all of the characters felt believable. Lou was so wonderfully endearing and the banter between them was, on many occasions laugh-out-loud funny. The day-to-day support that Will required was detailed well in the book and lent it a real sense of authenticity. Jojo Moyes has clearly done a lot of research in to this area of the story. Moyes wasn't afraid to deal with issues around ignorance of disability and, on many occasions I was cringing at the way people behaved towards Will and recognising similar scenarios in my own life. A ill-fated horse-racing trip and a trip to the theatre were particular comic highlights. All of the supporting characters played their part, from Lou's mad family and Nabors to her jealous, marathon obsessed boyfriend.

The last third of the book featured some of the most moving writing I have read in a long time and it will stay with me long after I've started reading something else. The issues around choice for disabled people were handled sensitively with both sides of the argument shown and fleshed out. Despite the sadness, the book does end on an strangely uplifting note in the epilogue.

Lastly, as I brought this as an audio book, a word on the recording. The narration was excellent, with the lead narrator (who read the chapters from Lou's point of view) Jo Hall was superb and I hope to hear more from her in the future.

An amazingly sad yet uplifting book that will stay with me for years to come, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading, 11 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
Lou is a young woman who appears to have no real ambitions in life. She seems content with her job and her boring long term boyfriend. When she is made redundent she reluctantly takes a job for 6 months as a companion to Will, a quadraplegic for the last 2 years. Prior to this Will was a ruthless, rich, successful businessman who lived life to the full. Will helps Lou to see that she has so much more potential and that there is more to life than their small town. In return, Lou gives Will the best 6 months of his current life. The author explores the psychological and physical difficulties of living as a quadraplegic as well as a persons right to die when they choose and with dignity.

Its not as grim and depressing as it may sound! The main characters were both very likeable and their blossoming relationship is very sweet. Its not too gritty and I didn't feel that it really made me want to debate the ethical issues of active euthanasia or assissted suicide. I think there has been a bit of criticism about the fact that Will is very wealthy and lives in a very luxurious house and can afford to do anything he likes. So it doesn't really explore the financial difficulties faced by many disabled people, such as affording appropriate equipment etc...
I don't normally enjoy the usual 'chick lit' books - I have read this as part of a book club I belong to. But this was very easy reading and the subject matter made it just a little bit different to the normal love story. Probably a book to take onholiday - Its worth a read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yep, I cried....alot, 4 Mar. 2012
By 
Ms. Tracy Williams "tr81cyx" (pendeen,cornwall UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
Lou's life is in a bit of a rut after losing her beloved job at the cafe at the bottom of a hill where a castle is the only attraction and she is forced to find a new one, with no qualifications and no drive. As a last resort she takes on the role of a carer to Will-who had been left severely disabled following an accident. Starting this book I am ashamed to admit that I was shallow enough to not see Will as the lead male role in a book that was obviously going to be a love story of some description due to him being quadreplegic.But I blame that on the copious amount of chick lit(which this definately is not) and YA books with model-like love interests who never even have a hair out of place. However, I can say that only lasted a few chapters when you get to see that no condition or disability stops a person from being who they truly are, and that people will either love you or hate you for the person you are on the inside. I won't tell you why this book left me in such a state as I don't want to give too much away but be warned....DO NOT READ THE LAST FEW CHAPTERS ON THE BUS. It will leave you a snivelling wreck.(And that is never a good thing) It will take me a while to be able to read this book again but I will never throw it away. It can just sit on my shelf until I build up the courage to have my heart break again. Enjoy
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult and thought provoking, 6 Mar. 2012
By 
Suze (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Me Before You (Kindle Edition)
My discernment seems to have left me as I've enjoyed so many of the books I've read recently so don't rely on my thoughts if you're deciding whether to buy this! This book is not high literature but it is an interesting and entertaining story well told. It is a love story with an undercurrent running all through which stops it from being predictable or 'soppy'. Whilst the ending wasn't what I'd hoped for it is probably the better for that - it was emotional and left me debating the issue. As a young widow, I probably have a slanted opinion about the value of life and the consequences for those left behind when life ends (whether through choice as here or unexpectedly as with my husband).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Me Before You, 15 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
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I wasn't at all sure that this was going to be my sort of book, but so many people had praised it for quite wonderful reasons, and in the end I had to see for myself.

I'm so glad I did.

Lou is settled in a quiet life. She lives at home with her family in a small town, she enjoys working in the local cafe, and she has a reliable, long-term boyfriend.

But then she loses her job, and when she finds a new one it changes everything..

Will didn't have a quiet life. He had a high-flying career, a high- maintenance girlfriend, and a love of travel, action and adventure. But an accident left his a quadriplegic and he wasn't sure he wanted to live anymore.

As a last throw of the dice Will's mother hires Lou as a carer. Neither was what the other expected, but they changed each other's lives.

Their stories held so many emotions: joy, sorrow, anger, envy, fear, regret ...

It could have been mawkish and sentimental, but it wasn't: it was honest, and clearly very well researched.

Absolutely everything rings true.

At times the story became a little predictable, but it really didn't matter. I had been pulled in, I cared, and I needed to know what would happen.

And I'm so glad I found out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the sake of personal development, everyone should read this book!, 3 April 2012
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This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
I read a lot. And when I say a lot, I can get through two or three books a week when I'm not busy. As a result, I come across a lot of trash books. And few utter gems. This book's one of those rare gems. Never have I come across such believable and consistent characters. Every decision, every action, every word is something you can actively imagine each character saying or doing.

In terms of the story, there's no mad rollercoaster of excitement or tension, but at no stage was I bored, or disinterested, or willing for it to hurry along. Instead, I remained happy to watch the characters develop and thrive in each other's company. The issue at the heart of the book, Will's quadraplegia, is explored with such sensitivity and creativity that you begin to overlook it, and instead see him for what he is. Vulnerable, trapped and lonely. You then see how Lou brings him out of this, transforms him, and in doing so, herself too.

This is a book of true beauty and is written in the highest calibre of writing there is. I laughed aloud throughout, even amidst my uncontrollable sobbing in the final few pages. It is a must read for in order to gain awareness of the things we take for granted everday.

Thank you so much JoJo Moyes for writing this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, moving read, 15 April 2012
This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
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Lou Clark works in The Buttered Bun, a cafe in the sleepy little town she has always lived in. When the cafe closes and she no longer has a job, she finds herself working as a carer for Will Traynor, a man who had been so vibrant and alive before a motorcycle accident turned him into a quadriplegic.

Of course, it's not easy for either of them, but they find that they become used to each other and look forward to spending time together. But Will has other ideas for his future and they will also change Lou's future forever.

What a beautiful book this is. I've read one or two of Jojo Moyes' books before and thought they were ok, but Me Before You is an absolute treat of a read. It's very easy to read, and takes no effort really, but I looked forward to being able to pick it up and read a bit more. The story flows very well, heading towards a conclusion that made me cry and moved me so much. The characterisations are great as well - I loved Lou and Will, both unusual and feisty people, and Lou's parents made me smile.

There are several really lovely bits in the book, moments that Lou and Will share, and which are really heart-warming. This is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it.
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247 of 278 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable., 19 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
Please buy and read this book!! It is literally amazing in so many ways! I bought this book for an 8 hour flight to New York and not only did I finish it in one sitting but I cried for the last couple of chapters.
I am really not a fan of silly chick lit and please do not think this book falls into this category. It is a true classic and even though I never reread books, I will always keep this book in a special place on my book shelf.
Me Before You is the perfect story, it's a story that you have not read before. This book will make you feel both comforted and cosy but also on edge and unsure what is going to happen next.
In short, I loved this book so much I wish I hadn't finished it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, easy read if contrived, 6 Aug. 2012
By 
Monkey Magic "Mm!" (Kent, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
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.

There are some positives: it *is* well crafted and it *will* tug at all but the most cynical heart strings. For the most part, the characters are strong with their own sense of purpose.

Reading the other reviews you'd think that this was a modern classic but it really isn't. Over all, it *is* worth reading if this is your bag but there is no escaping the fact that this is just a fairy tale that girls seem to go gooey-eyed to. And it does works well as that but please don't expect anything more.
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Me Before You
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Paperback - 5 Jan. 2012)
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