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.
Jojo Moyes is a gifted writer; she has a good sense of story, writes fine dialogue, and knows how to use detail.
But she doesn't have any business distorting a world that millions of brave people live in every day for the sake of an imaginary and silly "hero." Knowing just barely enough to write coherently about spinal cord injury shouldn't be license to exploit other people, and that's what she's done. For some of us, this isn't fiction. It's not dramatic potential, it's life.
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
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.
One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
I cannot recall why I purchased this audiobook last summer. I was going through a particularly difficult time and thought I needed something of a literary/love story to pep me up.
I won't say how it ends, but will say that it wasn't exactly Danny Zucco and Sandy riding off into the sky in a convertible; though I believe from the description given on amazon and audible you can tell this one jerks a few tears.
I really liked this book. Especially as an audio. The voice for the female protagonist, Lou, made her so loveable and identifiable (certainly to some of the women in my life), for a character the author had already developed quite well.
It's been over 9 months since I listened to this, but I recall that it made me more grateful for what I have and who I love and who loves me. It serves as a great reminder for how precious are our life and health.
I'll lastly say that it was particularly tough for a guy (at least for me) to listen to the parts where a male's natural urge for contact floated in only to realize how it would be if you couldn't have that human touch (as a quadriplegic). I guess that part may have been difficult for ladies as well.
I give this book as heart*y recommendation, even to guys, since it's a really good story and it's likely you could use some training on sensitivity to the emotions and feelings of the better sex.
The dialogue fells real, natural and funny - but I have to say...from the first few pages, which involve an accident that leaves the hero a quadriplegic, and his young, inexperienced female caregiver witnessing the guy's former girlfriend and best friend's announcement to him of their engagement, i could have drafted the rest of the story myself. I finished the book, but it offered no surprises and it feels like a modern Danielle Steele.
It's been a couple weeks since I listened to this book and still think about the story. It had my attention from the start. Every chance I could get I was listening...even just 5 min in the car. highly recommend!
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.
i had huge expectations for this book... But i was disappointed. I do not regret reading it, because it gave some insight into what it would be like to be a caregiver for a quadriplegic person BUT it gave v little insight into the feelings and thoughts of the person with quadriplegia.
Strangely, even though the book is told mainly from Lou's viewpoint, at some of the most emotional moments, the author turns to a third person's viewpoint. Disappointingly, we get very little of Will's viewpoint.
So while the book was engrossing and interesting and slightly educational, it fell short on the emotions, and failed to surprise me overall. There were also lots of details of secondary character's lives that could have been built into the story more engagingly, but in the end fell flat.
So i do not regret reading it, and it has made me want to read more stories involving main characters with disabilities, but i did not think it did a great job of it, was hoping for more.
The main narration was very good, though.
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.