They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose.
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life - steady boyfriend, close family - who has never been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life - big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel - and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn't have less in common - a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, what do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?
©2012 Jojo Moyes (P)2012 Penguin Audio
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.
Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!
I am normally not one for romances or love stories, however I kept getting 'Me Before You, A Novel' recommended to me. It seemed as though every time I turned around another friend was telling my how touching the novel is and how it should be on my 'must read' list. I took advantage of the holiday sale and bought the book at audible, as well as the kindle book. I am the type that likes to listen and read along.
The author, Jojo Moyes, introduces us to Louisa, who lives in a small town in England which has one main tourist area which is an old castle. Louisa has been in an fairly stagnant relationship with her long time boyfriend Patrick. He has recently become obsessed with working out and they really have nothing in common anymore. She figures she'll marry him, and have his babies all the while living in the same five mile radius in which she grew up.
Louisa lives with her mom, dad, grandfather, sister and nephew in a tiny home barely built for all of them and her parents rely on her wages at the 'Buttered Bun' to help make ends meet. When Louisa is told that the owner of the 'Buttered Bun' is closing down his restaurant, she is forced to find another job. Surprisingly, she does find a job as a caretaker for the wealthiest family in town.
Louisa is in charge of looking after Will, who was once a very successful business man and a daredevil. He traveled the world and lived life by the seat of his pants. He was miserable in his state of having to be taken care of around the clock, with little control of his movement and bodily function. When Louisa finds out that the job is a contract position for six months, her suspicions arise and she figures out that Will has given his parents six months to try and convince him to continue to live, but after the six months is over, he will go to a clinic in Switzerland where there are legal procedures for people who wish to die.
Louisa and Will develop a very guarded and intimate relationship, and soon Louisa finds that her sole purpose in life is trying to convince Will that he is indeed a person that is loved and needed in this world, despite his body's failure. Does she convince him to live forever? You'll have to have a listen to find out.
Me Before You is definitely a page turner. The characters are all very earthy and I loved them all. The narration was performed by several different voices (people) and they all added their own point of view on the situation. I enjoyed this as I delved further into the characters and what their thoughts were. My heart ached for Will's mother, who of course under no circumstances wanted her son to die. This is a very emotional book and it deserves to be listened to with full attention. There is so much humanity and ultimate love and sacrifice. It provides hope to the reader that people still do care about others, and it also presents things to people who have no physical ailments. Those of us not suffering with debilitating diseases take advantage of our health, which is something we may want to think twice about.
I am rating this novel 5 stars across the board. This is not a typical romance, but instead a gritty, character building novel with a rich story line and a lot of heart.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
As someone who has perspective, this book was quite the emotional journey for me. Readers meet Louisa "Lou" Clark, a 26-year-old café worker living at home with her parents, her disabled grandfather, her younger sister, and her younger sister's son. Her life takes a turn when the café closes, and after a series of odd jobs, she becomes the caregiver to Will Traynor. Will is a former business executive and adrenaline junkie who becomes a quadriplegic after a tragic accident. He's hard to get along with and has allowed his bitterness toward his situation to fester over a course of years. They're an unlikely duo who go from tolerating one another to forming a solid bond.
This book is largely told from Lou's view, but there were singular chapters told from the POV of Will and other people in his life, which are voiced by different narrators. They did an excellent job of bring the characters to life. However, this is an instance where these outside POVs were not needed aside from maybe Will's. I really didn't need a justification from people like Will's parents and felt the book performed fine without that filler. Also, I did become frustrated a bit with the people in Lou's life, even the ones who meant well, minimalizing her feelings and cowing her into agreeing with their assessment of what her life should be.
This book is heartwarming, funny, and touching. This book celebrates relationships that may not be seen as the standard in our society by allowing the characters an intimacy that others may perceive as lacking because of the circumstances. This also poses ethical questions in regards to the disabled and their wishes concerning their own life. Many things Louisa experienced as a caregiver, I could picture a corresponding moment in my own life. I could nod knowingly at many of the triumphs and frustrations that this book presented. Even to this day, it's hard not to get choked up about all the good and bad times. Moyes did an admirable job of highlighting the plight of caregivers and their disabled loved ones.
I see this book has a sequel and I'm torn about whether I'll read it or not since I feel this book stopped in a good place. I don't want to possibly diminish what turned out to be a touching story.
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