There is a market for tear-jerkers. Me Before You is a tear jerker. That market, for a special book, includes me, a male of the species.
Implied in the label is the success of an author making readers both treasure and worry to nail-biting about a character(s) and what will happen to him or her next. With successful transport into the tear-jerking tale, the reader disappears into the author's imaginary world, and mundane concerns recede to vanishing. Where the teenagers are, whether or not the bus will come on time, or what to fix for dinner, all become minor problems for later. Much later.
Good authors in all genres have an ability to make us care about their characters. What makes tear-jerkers special is that the author consciously makes caring about a character the goal of her writing. There are other admirable ways of hooking readers: Gasps of horror, “there but for the grace of God go I" reactions, “wow, how informative” or ‘so hot my panties melted’ panting are all reader reactions an author may legitimately seek. Moyes has sought our tears. She succeeds masterfully.
There is usually an addition fillip, an additional stimulus, that carries a book above the high water mark set by less original offerings in the genre. Here, Ms. Moyes explores the world of quadriplegia. Her exploration is not so much about how special wheelchairs operate as it is an investigation of how the injured person and those around her respond. Here, the exploration is worth the price of Me Before You even if the story was modest.
Often there is a formula, a group of tropes, associated with tear jerkers, as with any genre. We the readers can predict the outcome often just from the blurb, or surely from the first few chapters. A well done tear jerkers causes us to question our certainty as to the outcome several times before the end. Reversals happen. Crises are not avoided. Could this be the book in which only the bad guys are left standing? In which there is not "happily" before ever after? I wrote “too predictable” in a note to a friend about a third of the way into Me Before You. There followed several mental “maybe this will end up somewhere unexpected” questions as I kept reading. Whether the story does or doesn’t end up where you (or I) expect, I’ll leave for you to find. Ms. Moyes kept me engrossed to the end.
Note to Narrators: Good actresses make a stage whisper carry to the back row. Why some narrators can't simulate a whisper while avoiding the necessity of the audience having to pause, rewind and turn up the volume, is beyond me. Surely, if the narrator can't do this, why don't producers fix the problem? Grrrr.
It was sad. From beginning to end. It seemed like there wasn't one single far fetched thing about it. Just a story about people with varying backgrounds, how love can come up in the most unlikely of places. I am a sucker for a happy ending, not only was I deprived of that but it didn't even have a happy beginning or middle. Does this make it bad? No, but the climax of the story was a bit weak - and we were 90% the way through. I wanted more.
I knew how it would end, the entire story - but I sure wished I was wrong. I wasn't.
The narration was fine
It is a movie. I am going to see it this evening
This book had the makings of being something great, but it fell flat for me. None of the characters were built up enough to make you really love them. They were all quite bland,.
The author should have gave more of a perspective in Will's world. Will's story was completely ignored and instead of showing his life and his issues, JoJo made it about his family and Louisa. Me Before You was about everyone else putting their feelings and wants before Will's.
I Loved this book! The narrators were perfect. I'd recommend this book to anyone who has not been able to fall for a book in a while. This book will get you involved and invested
I live in Michigan and have been a member of auible since it's onset. Hobbies are photography and writing...I am in the process of formatting my first novel for kindle and I hope everyone will read it. I LOVE AUDIBLE and listen to at least 3 unabridged books a month. !
I have been a member of Audible for over 15 years,,,,I joined at the very beginning.
This book will go down as one of my all time favorites...Excellent storyteller skills by the author...Excellent readers!
I loved Clark, her strengths and her vulnerabilities. I loved Will and wept for what could have been.......Can't wait to begin "After You"......
JoJo Moyes is an excellent Authoress.......
I'll quote from a previous reviewer, Kelly, who described the "complete lack of any backbone or intelligence of the lead character, Louisa". I struggled through half of chapter four and gave up. I do not care what this dull and boring woman did after she finally found something she could actually get paid for doing, nor did I want to know any characters who could stand to interact with her. A complete waste of time.
I'm returning this book.
12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!
Top 5! I really fell in love with this audiobook. While the story deals with a very serious topic the writing was its opposite; it was so light, comical and warm. Because of that, there were times I forgot about Will's affliction and intention. It was such a sweet, tragic, and heart warming story about love and acceptance, even if that means accepting an outcome you don't want. This is a strong story with strong character development and it just pulls at your heartstrings and it totally and completed sucked me in.
My favorite part of this story is the honest friendship that develops between Will and Lou. It felt authentic and I loved how they slowly broke down barriers and bared their souls - for me that's the making of a real love story.
Oh the narration was great. This whole audio was 5+ stars. If I could rate it higher I would.
The love that develops between Will and Lou was.....heartwretchingly wonderful! I loved that they gave each other so much. She gave him back his identity as a man and brought him joy and he gave her friendship, support and a future.
Absolutely worth the credit, the time and the heart pulling.
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.