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on 29 November 2017
I listened to the audiobook and I must say when I began listening I thought, Ah, I’m not going to like this whatsoever, but as soon as Louisa’s point of view came along I loved it. The woman who narrates Louisa does it perfectly... but don’t get me wrong the other narrators are great. I had to take at least a day before reviewing this book otherwise it probably wouldn’t make any sense. I really want to read it again now but in physical form.

Me before you follows Louisa Clark who gets a job as a carer for a Quadriplegic (when your paralysed from the neck down) Will who has an awful attitude and him and Louisa just do not like each other very much. Although as days and weeks past they become very close and builds a beautiful connection. This novel has such a beautiful story-line, with some amazing characters. I love Louisa’s spunky and spontaneous personality and throughout the book you can really connect to her, she has those ordinary girl next door vibes which I loved. Even though Will is paralysed from the neck down and can’t do nothing that he used too before the crash, he is so inspirational to Louisa, “You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.” (194) and shows her even though he’s stuck in a wheelchair and he thinks he can’t live his life to the fullest anymore, there’s nothing stopping Louisa to do so. Before going into this book I thought it was going to be one of those cheesy romance novels but it proved me wrong. Moyes shows in this novel that romance wasn’t actually her main aspects for it and that the novel is actually about two individuals from different worlds coming together, sharing adventures,new experiences and overall changing each others lives. It’s a heat-renching, emotional and romantic read, that I think all readers would love or should at least try.

PS: will definitely make you cry, so have some tissues ready.
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on 20 August 2017
It is definitely a book which makes one cry while reading, and it is a book on an extremely difficult topic. While studying we had hour long discussions about this topic, with the result, that every point had its counterpoint, and every good reason another one on the contrary. I have known people, who decided to die this way and I also have seen, how difficult this is for their loved ones and also for the doctors. Generally I would never want to take theoretically the right away from somebody else, to decide for himself on the other hand I feel one hundred percent PRO LIFE, and would want to find one Million reason to live for a person, who lost this will.
You really should go immense great lengths to preserve every life because life is endlessly cherishable. Here on this I very much agree with the book.
The one point, I do not understand is the title. "Me Before You" - I am not quite sure who is meant to say this in regard with the two main characters, but even when this question remains a bit uncertain, it sounds for me, as it would become some sort of ego game, at least, I do not find some other reason for this title, and if it would be like this, I would not like it, in terms of such a topic.
However, it is a topic, which leaves one helpless and confused and while thinking it deeply over, it contradicts itself at so many points. But from an idealistic point of view, you fight as long as you can with your own energy to preserve every life around you, and to do everything to make life worthwhile for everyone, and this is what the main character of the book does and this is beautiful.
A further thought to this topic is about comments on this book, which seem to reduce the book to its entertainment value, and by a topic as those, I somehow think this should not happen with topics as those, for my feeling.
It is a book which gives rise to deep thinking and thinking about the deep value of a life. Just again, the title of the book seems to me a bit controversial and I do not feel somehow comfortable with it in regard of the whole story and underlying thoughts.
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on 2 June 2016
An unconventional love story...

Actually, once you get passed the whole disabled thing, Will is the fantasy, rich, cold, handsome and sarcastic love interest lots of romance heroine falls for.

As for Lou, she's likeable enough, but she's the usual kooky character that you normally find playing the romantic lead. The one most rich, cold men in these romances end up falling for.

So really, the story is quite conventional.

But despite the two main characters fitting roles we're use to seeing, they do bring a freshness to the roles.

Once I was introduced to the characters and story, I thought there were two possible outcomes to this story, and turns out, one of my guess was correct.

There is a certain feel this story emits and it makes it predictable. It wants your emotions, and you become prepared for the story to try and take it in any way possible.

It explores the feelings of self-worth. It's approach, however, when it comes to Will, has caused much debate in the disabled community. I think the author just wanted to tell a story, from a person that has that kind of attitude and outlook. I don't think there's a big message behind it.

I like most when Lou and Will are interacting, but some scenes just fly by with the author telling us how much fun they had. I feel cheated with these scenes, it's like watching them from afar. You're being told they're connecting, instead of showing.

And maybe that's part of the reason that I don't feel like their relationship is as strong as the writer wants us to believe it is.

I would have like to have seen more scenes where they're connecting and getting through to one another.

We see from quite a few characters point of view, and I would have like to seen from Will's side.

Still, though there are flaws, I enjoyed the read.
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on 12 January 2017
Wow, wow & double wow. What's really strange is that I've read this book before, obviously years ago. Couldn't remember, but I recalled the next bit just before I got to it. It did not have the effect on me last time that it did this time, that's for sure. It's has so much insight into the emotions of humanity. It screams at us the complexity of the human spirit. The limitations & habits of relationships from all walks of life. I downloaded the film last night. Read the book within 24 hours & refused to watch the end of the film until I'd finished the book. I've sobbed & sobbed towards the end of this book. Gut wrenching sobs but feel so rewarded by the strength of character that's embedded throughout. I believe I'll read this again & maybe again. It has to enhance more in the continued reading of it. It is so generous in spirit & I feel a shallowness in my life because of the strength it offered . Such strength, such compassion, such love. I challenge anyone to step outside their comfort zone & read this book. Magical.
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on 26 June 2016
I'm not into romance generally, so I didn't think I would enjoy this, especially as I heard and listened to the furore about this story apparently being about life "not being worth living if you're disabled". For my own reasons and experiences, disability rights is something I feel very passionate about and I feel that suicide is nearly always a bad option (let's just get that out of the way first).

So, imagine my surprise when I discovered how well-balanced and nuanced this book is. . There's a lot of debate over the word "choice" in this narrative, but I've seen very little about Will's own (lack of) acceptance of his condition. When Nathan talks of Will waking screaming because he's dreamt of walking, or riding; or when he has a wonderful day with Louisa at the wedding, but then gets AD because she hasn't emptied his bags; or Will telling Louisa he's conscious of how his condition can only get worse -- there can be only one outcome for Will, personally.

This is then contrasted against Louisa's own naivety and belief "love will overcome" -- how can it? And not because disability trumps love, but because it's possible to love someone and be loved, yet still hate everything else about your life (with or without disability - anyone with MH issues may tell you their lives are wonderful, yet they still feel suicidal ... In comparison to Will's life, their condition will go into periods of remission.) Moyes also is careful to include other POVs - Ritchie, Louisa's online friend, tells her he loves his life as quad, plus there are many stories from quads on the forum of things they've done and continue to do. It's thanks to them they make it to Mauritius and have that last final holiday.

It's a transformative experience for Louise to know Will not because he has a disability, or because he kills himself, but because he sees her sleepwalking through a specific kind of life he no longer has access to and desperately wishes he did. The story depicts how we realise this, through Louisa's eyes. She was never going to change his mind - and if she had, we'd all be talking about how unrealistic, cheesy and inauthentic this story is, instead.

In my opinion, all the way through ME BEFORE YOU Moyes paints a picture of Will not as some tragic figure, but an individual who will not ACCEPT his life the way it now is. He wants to take back control, have the final say and as a fellow bossy person, I can relate to that.
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Me Before You has sat on my bookcase unread for almost 2 years and I finally decided to pick it up after the trailer popped up on facebook - because I had absolutely no idea it was being turned into a film. So, I figured it was about time I got around to reading it. Also because it was one of the books Brittany recommended me for our Reading Challenge last year which we both failed at and have carried over to this year.

Me Before You follows 27 year old Louisa Clark. Louisa works at The Buttered Bun tea shops and she enjoys her life. But when The Buttered Bun shuts down, Louisa finds herself without a job and hasn't a clue what she's going to do. Then a job comes up to be a carer for a quadriplegic man and Louisa is offered the job on the spot. She'll be there to keep him company and do some work around the house. Will Traynor feels like his life has been destroyed since the motorcycle accident. He feels like his life is wasted and he knows what he wants to do. But when Louisa enters his life, everything starts to change. The more time they spend together, the more they alter each others lives.

I haven't cried so much at a book in a while. Me Before You definitely packs an emotional punch. I completely adored every aspect of this book. I loved all of the characters - mainly Will and Lou - but Lou's family and Will's family, and also Nathan were all very important parts of the story and they each had their own role to play. Lou is eccentric and peppy. She's been with her boyfriend Patrick for years now, but it doesn't really feel like is working out - but Lou refuses to admit this out loud. She's sacrificed a lot for her family to help them stay afloat. She's got such a kind heart and she'll do whatever it takes to show Will how to live again. Will is depressed and snarky when we first meet him. He's basically given up and is just going through the motions because of a promise he made to his parents. But as soon as Lou enters his life, Will begins to change. He becomes less grumpy, and is more willing to have conversations. He becomes more light hearted and begins to come out of his shell. I loved seeing the effect that Lou had on his life, and how she gave him so many new and amazing memories.

Me Before You revolves around Will's decision about what he's wants to do with his life. He's been looking into Dignitas - a clinic in Switzerland that legally allows patients to take their own lives - and when Lou discovers what Will is planning, she sets out to show him that he can still live and to show him all of the things he's capable of. I enjoyed seeing all of the things Lou managed to get Will to do: going to listen to an orchestra; dancing at a wedding and the tattoos! I loved Lou's determination to show Will a new way to live, but ultimately, the decision that Will has isn't Lou's to make.

Me Before You is a powerful and emotional read that will leave you sobbing. I couldn't read the last few pages due to the tears streaming down my faces and I may have even chucked the book away for a bit before I could continue. It packs a very hard punch and I'd recommend having loads of tissues the closer you get to the end.
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on 15 April 2016
Me Before You was the first book I had read by Jojo Moyes and I was enthralled by it. I went into this book blindly, not sure what to expect and my my was it a journey!

It's difficult to give this book a worthy review without revealing too much and spoiling the story! For me, it was an unconventional love story with great characters. Louisa and her family draw you in straight away. Louisa has such a flamboyant personality and quirkiness that shines throughout the whole book. She is so lovable; you get that warm and fuzzy feeling while reading. I loved Will also, but he is a much more complicated character. He has so much going on with the hand he has been dealt, but has such a beautiful soul you can't help but fall for him!

This story is a VERY emotional read, I was in floods of tears and I still think about the characters and have the same feelings that I did upon finishing the book. It affected me so deeply. I'm thoroughly looking forward to this book being released as a movie in June and watching the characters come to life!

Jojo’s writing style is right up my street! She describes everything so well that you can easily picture what is happening and get sucked right in! I know immediately whether I will like an author or not, and I knew straight away that this was a winner!

I absolutely insist you read this book but you’ve been warned to have a box of tissues at the ready!!

A big 5 stars
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on 18 June 2016
Me Before You is, in some ways, a typical romantic story where a working class girl meets an upper class man. He expands her horizons by introducing her to books, theatre, classical music and generally opening her mind to the world beyond her street. She changes his life by dint of her down-to-earth humour, whacky dress sense and un-stuffy take on life.

But Jojo Moyes brings her own touches to an otherwise predictable story. Both the main characters are, in different ways, injured. His injuries are physical, hers emotional. Their relationship is not just about attraction, but about them finding some sort of peace through each other.

Added to that are several sub-plots woven around the main plot - each in its own way interesting. I particularly liked the portrait of her failing long-term relationship to fitness-freak Patrick, which is placed under huge pressure as the book progresses.

I have to admit that I didn't like the ending, though it had to end like that to er... sell more copies perhaps? Will seemingly made no effort to reach out and connect with the disabled community in any meaningful way, nor did he seek counselling or look for other support. He seemed stuck in the past, dwelling on who he had been and what he'd lost - which is exactly what he told her off for.
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on 3 April 2016
Read this review along with others on my blog @ libroliv.com

There are not many fictitious things that make me cry. That’s right, I’m the heartless one who didn’t cry at The Fault in Our Stars…Sorry.

For me, my tears are provoked by real, and raw emotion; stuff that isn’t so obviously made up, and lives that people could actually be living.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is one of the few novels that managed to make me cry. Frankly, I cried like a baby.

By the end, I was a snivelling mess, because the characters were so real, and their emotions felt like my own. For the entirety of this book, I had adopted Lou’s story into my own life – I felt a tangible connection between the characters and myself. Their emotions were my emotions.

From the beginning, I knew this book was going to be great: we’re introduced to the story via an insight into Will Traynor’s former life, before it quickly switches to the quirky perspective of Louisa Clarke. Already, I am laughing at her tone, appreciating the wit filling every sentence. Already, I feel a connection to the protagonist, something that I see as very important in a good book.

Personally, I like to be able to relate to the perspective I’m reading from, and understand their struggles; I understood Lou as if she was a hidden part of me, as if she’s a secret section of my soul.

If anything, though, it felt like Lou understood me. Obviously, that was Jojo Moyes, but I am in awe at her ability to craft such a dynamic character.

On the other hand, Will Traynor. I loved how he wasn’t as you’d expect him. He was middle-aged and bitter and resentful, and that just made the story so much better. The banter that existed between Lou and Will was admirable, and heart-warming to peruse.

These spirited characters coupled with the energetic pace of the book caught my attention, and I struggled to put this novel down, abandoning my responsibilities to just sit and read.

In terms of pace, this novel was charged with twists and turns, up and downs, and never slowed. There was always something happening, something to root for, or listen to, or learn about the characters.

I was never bored, never counting the pages until the end of the chapter, and always eager to discover the fates of these characters.

I won’t go into detail with the plot, because I felt it was an experience in its own to follow along the story without having any idea of what was going to happen. In the way that the characters reflect real people, the plot reflects a story that could actually happen – perhaps even has already.

Overall, this novel reaches from light-hearted to heart-rending, back and forth again and again. I haven’t read a book this emotional in years, and I haven’t felt this affected by a story ever. Thus, I awarded it a solidly deserved 5/5 stars, and would recommend to people who enjoy romance books with a twist.

But please, don’t be put off by the attention surrounding this book a the moment, and don’t believe it is just another sappy love story, a rehash of The Fault in Our Stars.

There is so much more to this story than a box of tissues.
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on 17 January 2016
You Before Me
I am awarding this book not just 5 stars but also 5 tears as I dripped through the final chapters.
This book was very sensitively written when came to the issues that surround many quadriplegics and terms of health both physical and mental and how difficult life can be for them.
We hear about the minor ailments that turn into major issues – even life threatening – within hours and how in reality they cannot go many places without a health professional accompanying them and thus how frustrating it can be to try and even go out for a day.
The chapters were written in different voices – although not describing the same incidents – and thus the arguments and story of his life was shown from different perspectives.
However, I was disappointed that the ending was so sad. I am not going to explain why as this would be too much of a spoiler, but ...
I understood a great many of the frustrations of such a life, as though not I am not permanently confined to a wheelchair, I do have to use one most years after yet another operation – I am probably well into the 20s what with procedures as a day patient and fully anaesthetised operations, and do use an electric scooter to go longer distances. My problems are skeleton related mostly but I do also have systemic issues and suffer from chronic fatigue and live off a large diet of multi-coloured pills!
I thought I might use this review to also mention some of my personal heroes – people who have taken on physical problems and not just survived but have triumphed – and no – not Stephen Hawking. He had an unfair advantage of a brilliant mind to begin with.
So here goes.
1. Nicholas James "Nick" Vujicic; born 4 December 1982 is an Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with Phocomelia, a rare disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs.
2. As a child, he struggled mentally and emotionally as well as physically, but eventually came to terms with his disability. He presents motivational speeches worldwide which focus on life with a disability and finding hope and meaning in life.
3. The disabled riders in the Olympics – we went to several of the Olympic horse trials for the disabled and were so impressed.
4. The riders were absolutely brilliant even when they had to be strapped onto the horses.
5. See Natasha Baker who claimed Britain’s first equestrian gold medal of the Games. Natasha has no use of her legs and thus controls her horse through voice and seat movements.
6. All disabled athletes!
I also thought I would share some of my more favourite quotes about disability as I have always tried not to permit my issues with my ability to run or climb or... not affect what I do.
I too have travelled the world and been to many places on my own as well as with a ‘carer’.
I just adapt my life according to my capabilities that day, even that moment in time, and do what I can. My brain is still functioning well I hope you would agree and that to me would be the most problematical thing – if I lost the ability to think.
In some ways I have been fortunate, in that I trained for a career (in mid life) where I could function well even in a wheelchair and had colleagues who were almost blind or deaf doing the same work as me.
And I can work from home a lot of the time as the computer has freed me up to do this. So my world is not limited.
So here are the quotes:
The thing about living with any disability is that you adapt; you do what works for you.
Stella Young
I think that everyone has something about themselves that they feel is their weakness... their 'disability.' And I'm certain we all have one, because I think of a disability as being anything which undermines our belief and confidence in our own abilities.
Aimee Mullins
The world worries about disability more than disabled people do.
Warwick Davis
We fill our lives with all sorts of things that make it easier for us to get along in the world: wheelchairs, crutches, grabber sticks, hearing aids, canes, guide dogs, modified vehicles, ramps, as well as other kinds of services and supports.
Disability does not necessarily mean dependence on other people.
Stella Young
Ah yes, I have many of these….just not the dog yet!

And finally, everyone should read the Saturday Times Magazine articles in the magazine section by Melanie Reid called 'Spinal Column'. Melanie broke her back and neck riding and is now an incurable tetraplegic. She tells it as it is but with humour.
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