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1,291 of 1,318 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me laugh, made me cry ... loved it
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...
Published on 15 Nov 2011 by Denise4891

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't understand the fuss???
Am usually a fan of chick lit and with all the 5* reviews thought this would be a winner but was sadly far from it. Although the questions it raises around euthanasia and a persons right to die are interesting and thought provoking, the book itself is dull. Lou is a fairly likeable character as is Will but I found their relationship very unconvincing and I was unable to...
Published on 1 July 2012 by Amazon Customer


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1,291 of 1,318 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me laugh, made me cry ... loved it, 15 Nov 2011
By 
Denise4891 (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
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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.

I saved the last 50 pages to read at home rather than on the train because I knew that, whatever the outcome, it was going to be emotional, but it's also a very uplifting and life-affirming read. It's not often that I become so emotionally involved in a storyline and the memory of this thought-provoking book and the wonderfully engaging characters Jojo Moyes has created will stay with me for a long time.

PS: The 'comment' below from Brian Kennedy (30.05.12) contains a MAJOR SPOILER - don't read it if you don't want to know how the book ends. I reported it to Amazon a few weeks ago but they haven't removed it yet.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully engaging., 28 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
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
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give this book six stars!, 6 April 2014
This review is from: Me Before You (Kindle Edition)
Let me begin this review by saying that if you are a fan of women’s fiction or indeed any kind of fiction and have not read this book, you are missing out….massively! I loved this book and if I could give it six stars, I would!

This book is being adapted into a movie by MGM and I thought that it is appropriate that I review this for my blog at this time.

The subject of this book may not be your run of the mill, fluffy, chick lit material. The story is about Louisa AKA Lou, a girl who has not found her calling in life and is non-committal and matter of fact about everything, including what she wants to do in life. She finds herself out of work one day, when her boss at the cafe where she has worked for years tells her that he can’t afford her anymore. After a series of dead end jobs, she gets a job working as a carer on a six month contract for quadriplegic Will Traynor. What she does not realise is that those very six months will be the most momentous, life-affirming and life-changing months of her and Will’s life.

Jojo Moyes is a brilliant story-teller, period. Her writing style is humorous yet sensitive, empathetic yet blunt, intuitive yet straight-forward. To handle a topic such as quadrepiligia and euthanasia with such honesty and sensitivity as well as incorporating this into a fantastic story shows just how talented this author is. Added to this, the colourful individuals in Lou’s family including her mother, father and her sister Treena add the much needed light humour to the book.

This is not a fairytale romance which shows the world of a quadriplegic through rose-tinted glasses. When Louisa starts her job as Will’s carer, the reader (in this case even me!) discovers a fraction of what living life as a quadriplegic would be. The mistrustful and cynical relationship that Will and Louisa have initially also strikes one as extremely truthful. How Lou develops the maturity and the knowledge to deal with Will’s condition and the beautiful, tremulous and intricate relationship which starts to develop between them is what makes this novel so unique. The reader also witnesses the largely disillusioned and disheartened Will start to take an active interest in bettering Lou’s life and pushing her to take risks and let go of her old ‘aimless’ lifestyle. The reader also realises that things that we take for granted, a walk in the park, going to the movies, just enjoying the warm summer sun, simple things really, are impossible for a quadriplegic to enjoy without significant help and support. The supporting cast in form of Lou’s slightly critical, condescending but loving parents, her sister Treena, with whom Lou shares a love/hate relationship and her self-obsessed, personal trainer boyfriend Patrick make this novel even more appealing.

The novel poses the big question….should an individual who in the past had a full, interesting, active life, who was smart, successful and popular, who commanded people’s admiration and respect but was now wheelchair bound and dependant on his carers to fulfil even his most basic need, be allowed to take his life in his own hands? As a reader of the novel, your heart bleeds for Will as he struggles with life daily and you can understand his desperation to end his suffering, given the life he had before and the disillusionments and abandonments he has had to face ever since his accident and his current quadriplegic state. On the other hand, you can’t help but cheer Lou on as she concocts one plan after another in other to motivate Will to live, from taking him to the horse race or to various picnics or to the holiday in Mauritius.

You also feel for Will’s parents, his father needs to make his own life-changing decisions but has put them on hold due to his son’s illness and his mother, who despite being a confident and steely career woman, is broken by her son’s unfortunate fate.

Ultimately, this novel is not about being right or wrong, it is about forming your own conclusion….. It is also about a beautiful and unconventional love story, one which transcends physicality, time and circumstance.

It would be quite exciting to see this novel come alive on the screen and I would love to see who they cast as Lou and Will. My personal favourites for the two leads would be Henry Caville as Will and Carey Mulligan as Lou.

Do comment on who you think would be suitable as the lead pair for the screen adaptation.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As a quadraplegic myself..., 16 Mar 2012
This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
Although I enjoyed this book I have been a quadraplegic myself for 20 years and found that side of the book exaggerated, people with a level of 5/6 injury are able to leave productive life's. I myself had a daughter 11 yrs ago, 9 years after my accident. I also run a business from home. The reference to the very moving book The butterfly and the diving bell was about someone with locked in syndrome, who's only way of communicating was via blinking, very different to a spinal injury of c5/6. You don't normally as a young person as the character is usually keep on getting serious pressure sores especially if, as he does, has sensation. Usually pressure sores occur because the person is oblivious of pain. I have no sensation, and in my 20 years have never been hospitalised with a pressure sore. However, if this book has given you an insight onto how it is another world when your suddenly find yourself in a wheelchair then it has helped.

I just worry someone newly injured or one of their loved ones will read this book and find it very negative.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, compelling, moving, funny ... altogether superlative, 31 Jan 2012
By 
J. O'Connell (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Can't understand the fuss???, 1 July 2012
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This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
Am usually a fan of chick lit and with all the 5* reviews thought this would be a winner but was sadly far from it. Although the questions it raises around euthanasia and a persons right to die are interesting and thought provoking, the book itself is dull. Lou is a fairly likeable character as is Will but I found their relationship very unconvincing and I was unable to feel Lou's emotions with her.
Also, as various secondary characters are given their own chapters, I think the book would've benefitted from a chapter told from the perspective of Will.
However, although I would not recommend this book, clearly hundreds of others have read and been moved by the story....hopefully you will be too!!
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244 of 272 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unwilling reader admits defeat - wonderful escape into a book, 13 July 2013
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
I didn't want to like it. I've been steering clear of Moyes' books for a while and only picked this up because I was given a World Book Night copy (I'm never one to turn down a free book!).

Well, judging on its own merits, it's a wonderful read. While I may not read any others by the author, the subject matter and handling of it was beautifully done, moving and captivating.

Anyone reading this review probably already knows the basics of the plot, so only a quick recap: Smart and worldly City-slicker Will had an accident and become a quadriplegic, in pain and desperate to end his suffering. Local girl Lou loses her comfortable cafe job and needs money to support her struggling family. She is pushed into a job as Will's carer and learns of his intentions and determines to try and change his mind.

This really is more than a 'disease of the week' movie (and would actually make a lovely film). The characters are well drawn and easy to picture, hard not to like and identify with, the story draws you in, the relationship developing between Will and Lou sweet and touching. I loved the ending, I have to say, very well crafted and thought out, with a fair bit to think about.

While it does conform to certain stereotypes (crotchety employer gradually mellowing, quirky dresser and ingenue in need of direction) both of these staples have underlying reasons and stories that make them stand out from the crowd and make them more than they seem.

I sat reading this in my (sweltering!) car between work stops, keen to get to the end. It's not the kind of book I usually read but I'm very glad I did read it and glad it was a WBN read.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Most people really love this book - I'm not one of them..., 3 July 2013
By 
Ms P. E. Vernon "Verns" (Weston-Super-Mare, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Me Before You (Paperback)
People love this book. I mean, really, really love this book. As I write this, it has 2,999 reviews on Amazon, and 2,578 of those reviews give it five stars. There are eight pages - yes, eight pages - at the start of the paperback, of rave reviews. The heavyweight papers (Telegraph, Times, Indy) like it as much as the tabloids. It's 'Irresistible', 'Genuinely moving', 'Superbly crafted'. Did I mention? People love this book.

Of those 2,999 reviews on Amazon, 76 give it three stars. Okay, make that 77 out of 3,000 reviews and count me in.

I mean, don't get me wrong, it's okay. It's superior chick-lit; there are moving moments and funny moments and the characters are (mostly) likeable, but... did I care what happened to these people? No. Did I weep at the sad bits (as did most of those reviewers)? No. Will I keep the book to re-read? No. It's off to the charity shop with this one, where I'm sure somebody else will really, really love it.

The story: Louisa Clark loses her job at the café and takes a six month post as companion/carer to Will Traynor, a young man who is a quadriplegic following an accident. Will is a privileged, rich young man who had been a successful businessman and gung-ho traveller; he is devastated by his condition and wants to commit suicide: Lou comes from the other side of the tracks, lives with her parents, sister, nephew and grandfather, and has hardly ever left her small town. This is chick-lit. Fill in the gaps.

I think my main problem is with Will's character. The story is written primarily from Lou's point of view in the first person. Every now and then, the author has devoted a chapter to other characters (Will's mother, father, carer, and Lou's sister) to speak in the first person. This gives us some much-needed insight into their motivations and emotions. But where is Will's voice? He's the one disabled person in this story, which is nominally a love story but is primarily concerned with Dignitas and disabled people's right to die. So it's just a bit odd that we never get to hear what he has to say, except when filtered through able-bodied people's perceptions. The result is that I still don't know what to make of Will, or whether I care one way or another if he lives or dies. Is that a horrible thing to say? Probably. But he's only a character in a novel, so sue me.
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16 of 18 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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