I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
This is such a cute story, and I just love the premise. You just know working in an office that IT is monitoring the email and web surfing and I like the idea that this guy really hates to do it.
Lincoln is a nice guy in his late twenties who lives with his mom. He has a plan to move forward with his life but has been dragging his heels. He had a bad breakup and is gun-shy about starting another romance. Even though it’s 1999 he is kind of stuck in the ‘80s and wants a Morrissey haircut and plays Dungeons & Dragons. The whole book actually has a retro feel to it. It’s fun seeing Lincoln come into his own throughout the book.
Another thing that’s interesting is that it takes place in 1999 when the Y2K uncertainty was going on and everyone was freaking out that the computers would stop working in 2000. I remember that on New Year’s Eve CNN was covering the New Year in every country and by the time New Year arrived in California, the whole Y2K thing was a non-event. So, in addition to the email monitoring, Lincoln has the Y2K scare to worry about.
We get to know Beth and Jennifer very well through their email exchanges. Jennifer is married and thinking about starting a family, while Beth has a musician boyfriend and is at the stage where she’s thinking about marriage. I got as caught up in their lives as Lincoln did and the way the three stories intertwine is very well done. It’s so cute seeing Lincoln’s reactions to reading Beth thinks he’s cute. It’s a little stalkery, yes, but Lincoln is pretty harmless.
I listened to the Attachments audiobook, read by Laura Hamilton. Because so much of the book is about the email exchanges, I think it would probably work better in print. It was a little tiresome after awhile hearing the “From Beth to Jennifer” for every email. Hamilton captures the right tone for the story with her narration, and carries off the wittiness of the book well. The character differences are subtle and at first I had a difficult time differentiating between Beth and Jennifer, but after awhile it clicked with me. Overall I just think that due to the nature of the book I would recommend picking up a print copy.
Attachments is sweet and enjoyable like a classic rom-com. And actually, since Beth is a movie critic at the newspaper, there are frequent movie references. It’s smart and romantic and puts a smile on your face.
Every once in a while comes a great crossover book that everyone loves, and Me Before You is one of those books that transcends genre. Me Before You is listed on Goodreads under “Books that had me bawling my eyes out” (it’s number 2) so you obviously have to be in a certain mood to read a book like that, and I’ve owned this audiobook for seven months before playing it.
I’m probably one of the last people to have read Me Before You, but just in case you haven’t here are some reasons to give it a try:
The Characters – Louisa (aka Lou/Clark) and Will are two people who would not have ever met except under these circumstances. Before his accident left him a quadriplegic, Will was a successful businessman, traveled the world, loved extreme sports, and was a lady killer type. Lou lives at home, worked at a café, and has a long-term boyfriend. Lou loses her job and doesn’t know anything about being a home caregiver but gets the job of looking after Will regardless. Will now lives at home with his parents and is a terrible patient, and Lou’s biggest challenge is making Will want to live.
Class distinctions – Will and Lou live in a small town in England with a castle at the center dividing the haves and have-nots. With Lou’s new caregiver job, she’s earning a bigger salary than she ever has and is the primary breadwinner for her family. Will’s life of “privilege” exposed him to literature, music, travel and films that Louisa never had a part of. We see Louisa and Will open each other’s minds to new experiences as they get to trust each other.
Lots to discuss, debate, and ponder – Will wants to die. The indignities of his post-accident life are spelled out quite clearly, and there’s no chance he will recover. His family loves him and will do anything to make him change his mind. Louisa falls for the man he is now. Is it enough to make a difference in his life?
Heartbreak and Humor – Yes, this is a heavy subject matter- no sugar coating it. But, there are humorous moments and Lou brings lightness to Will’s existence. Lou has quite an inventive and colorful wardrobe that brightens up Will’s household. The pair brings out the best in each other and their light moments and banter keep the story from being too heavy. But yes there are still plenty of heart-wrenching moments as well that make this book unputdownable.
Smart, witty and eminently readable – I think this story is relatable to everyone. The writing is engaging and smart, and the story is heart wrenching and realistic. Moyes writes about quality of life, love, family, relationships, infidelity, education, careers, and privilege and just a powerful story overall.
The audiobook – There are six narrators listed as readers for this title, but really Susan Lyons reads about 95% of the book. There are a few chapters where we get the point of view of Lou and Will’s loved ones to provide some additional insight. I liked those small snippets into Will’s mother or Lou’s sister’s mind, and I think it’s appropriate to the story that we don’t get Will’s pov. Susan Lyons does an outstanding job with the narration and kept me riveted to story. Her character voices and pacing are spot-on. This is a good introductory audiobook to try if you aren’t sold on them yet. I was hooked.