audio book junkie
I read a review somewhere that said the cover art and title of this book were misleading. That couldn't be more right on - the cover of this book looks like it should be a tragic love story set in the seventies and the title doesn't help that. Luckily "Me Before You" while having a dose of tragedy and touch of love story has so much more. It's a topic I don't often read about or think about, the life of a quadriplegic and the caregivers around him/her. This book really delves into the details of living a life where one is totally dependent on others to do even the most simple of daily tasks... it's not often I stop in my busy life to consider situations like this. This book looks at tough questions of assisted suicide and quality of life and it makes you think. It forces you to put yourself in someone else's shoes... what an important thing to do. This is a great read, a book you can't put down, highly recommended.
I love books!
This is my second book by English author JoJo Moyes. This is her most popular and crtically accaimed book while all but one of her books are rated above 4.0 on the audible 5.0 scale, so a lot of people like her writing. This book is set outside of London and has a 26 year old gal whose job of 6 years as a waitress just ended when the cafe she worked in closed. She gets hired on to be a caregriver to a quadriplegic accident6 victim who has a death wish. Very well written, and as you might imagine this book really pulls on the heart strings. It was easy to keep reading. This book brings to mind the 1981 movie, "Whose Life is it Anyway", starrinig Richard Dreyfuss for anyone who remembers it. This one is well worth the effort.
Moyes did an amazing job of building a great story out of a very complex subject. I didn't want to stop listening! The complexity of love and loss, relationships,dysfunctional family all delivered with wonderful imagination and grace. This was a wonderful piece of entertainment!
I LOVE to listen to audiobooks - the Audible ap is by far the best thing that's ever happend to my iPhone.
I did enjoy Me Before You, but I'm sorry... I didn't like the ending.
Perhaps because it could have been real, or perhaps because it was something I didn't want to happen. I didn't like how the book ended. It was as if a balloon was being filled and you were waiting for a great surprise, but were left with a dismal pop.
It was a solid performance and story - but it's not something I would rave to friends about.
I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
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.
Listening to audiobooks is a guilty pleasure. I travel a lot so listen to about four per monthly. Biographies are a favorite.
Unique story. It's been a long time since an audio book choked me up (last time was The Fault in Our Stars)
Protagonist. I found myself rooting for her.
Yes - I finished this one quickly and found myself looking forward to the time I could plug it back in.
As much as my sentimental self was rooting for the sappy ending, this ending was perfect.
It was quickly obvious where this novel was headed. The author could hardly deal with such a serious subject cutely. There could not be a "riding off into the sunset" HEA. I've read other reviews that called it a romance, a love story. I saw it more as a life story. Any romance was really just a potential. A potential that could never develop. About the only part of the book that rang untrue to me was Clark's declaration of love. If I had been on the receiving end of that declaration, right after hearing that the person giving it knew my secret, I would have thought it just another attempt to try and get me to change my mind, a ploy and a ruse.
But life is real and rarely if ever cute. I thought the author did a good job of presenting the dilemma of this particular life in an upfront, even handed way. There was very little preachiness and even after finishing the book, while I am relatively certain where I stand on the issue, the author did a very good job of not passing judgment. I expected her personal opinion on the issue to be evident at the end. It wasn't. At least not to me.
This is one of those novels that deals with an issue that needs to be discussed. As long as we continue to place more value on the quantity of life rather than the quality of it, this issue will not go away. And sometimes it is an issue that simply can't be raised on its own - discussing the plot of a novel is a more benign way to start the conversation.
Several other reviewers I read admitted to weeping through the last hour of the book. I can cry over a sad story, as much as the next guy, but I didn't cry over this one. I think that was partially because I knew where we were headed, so I wasn't caught off guard by the inevitable conclusion. I also don't think of it as a weepy read, because the real sadness, the accident that left Will a quadriplegic, was dealt with quickly in the first 3 minutes of the book. That was the tragedy, not the inevitable after-effects of it. And the tragedy was presented fairly clinically and abruptly at the beginning, before I was emotionally invested in the characters. So it didn't have the emotional punch to start the tears.
This was a better book than I expected it to be. I lost patience with Clark several times. She started out too immaturely. So much so it was a stretch to believe she came so far in such a short amount of time. And her complete lack of relationship skills, with her boyfriend, her family, or anyone else seemed a little extreme. That might be my only character-related complaint. I appreciated that the author didn't make Will a tragic figure. He wasn't a saint before the accident, as a matter of fact, he did not sound particularly likable. Nor was his family. That made it more believable than if he was portrayed as heroic, generous,compassionate or kind.
I usually don't like multiple narrators. Instead of clarifying perspective, they tend to just confuse me. I thought they all did a very good job on this and the periodic switch was helpful.
This was not an easy book to read. I had to put it down several times. I had a lighter, easier read going at the same time. That distraction helped me get through this. But I highly recommend it. It made me pause, made me think, made me dig deeper. And for a novel, that is saying a lot.
The Fault in Our Stars Deals with loving someone who is physically challenged and about to die.
Louisa was simply an amazing person. She starts out as someone who can serve others and enjoy waitressing. When she looks for a job, (parts that are done with absolutely terrific writing and British humor) it becomes obvious that the color of her parachute is one that really just longs to selflessly serve someone else.
Her ability to love someone in a way didn’t fit the cultural romantic norms. She loved the quadriplegic, impotent Will in a way that was much more focused on little ordinary everyday things. The way that she loved him had a very important lesson as we love someone who is aging or sick or injured: physical attractiveness in the Hollywood sense falls away. What’s left? Louisa showed me that a whole lot is left!
Luisa’s character is one that doesn’t treat someone with kid gloves-- she dishes it right back! Gradually, her motives for her choices moved away from just needing a job. She allows herself to become changed powerfully by serving and gradually loving Will.
This type of literature is changing me. I know, I know: chick lit. But as a man with a wife and three daughters at home, and many hurting people around me, I need this insight and sensitivity to human emotion. I’d like to thank the author for that. For example, this book gave insight as to why my wife and daughters want my shirts to sleep with when I’m gone.
Being a Christian minister, I had to take away a star for some ethical and worldview issues. Just the other day my dad (74) and his friend Ralph, both of whom are physically struggling with disability and aging had robust joy in the consideration of the resurrection and heaven. They are laughing and confident facing death. That perspective is lacking here. At least it’s not considered.
I found the author’s writing style to be entertaining and definitely engrossing. Her description of facial expressions and gestures was exquisite.
Based on the reviews I read before buying this book, I am apparently in the minority.
And, although I've listened to books before that I didn't really care for, I have never been compelled to write a negative review, until now.
I had to make myself finish this book. I felt I had already invested so much time (and a credit), and surely it would get better. But overall, it really didn't. I felt that it was very slow, and unpleasant in every way.
This is the first book I've read by Jojo Moyes and I'll be on the look-out for more. The characters sprang vividly to life, their voices and personalities unique to themselves. And they are memorable. It will be a long time before I forget Louisa Clark and Will Trainer. The pacing was intense too. The story grabbed me on page one and never let go.
The one cautionary note I have to add is that looking at the cover design, this book looks to me like a fairy tale romance. It's not. In my opinion, it's so much more. But I think if you are looking for a formula American romance, you may be disappointed.
In these reviews, I always try to think of another writer to whom I can compare the style of the work. Moyes reminded me a little of Liane Moriarty, a little of George Elliot and a little of Kurt Vonnegut. But really, she's in a class all her own.