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Me Before You: A Novel | [Jojo Moyes]

Me Before You: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    Wendi Overland Park, KS, United States 12-30-13
    Wendi Overland Park, KS, United States 12-30-13 Member Since 2011

    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Old Fashioned Love With a Twist"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lucy asheville, NC, United States 07-19-13
    lucy asheville, NC, United States 07-19-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A difficult subject done very well"

    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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Carlinville, IL, United States 06-13-13
    Angela Carlinville, IL, United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2010

    I LOVE to listen to audiobooks - the Audible ap is by far the best thing that's ever happend to my iPhone.

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    "Bummed, but it was a good listen"

    I did enjoy Me Before You, but I'm sorry... I didn't like the ending.

    Potential spoiler????
    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Venice, FL, United States 01-24-13
    Kindle Customer Venice, FL, United States 01-24-13 Member Since 2010

    Listening to audiobooks is a guilty pleasure. I travel a lot so listen to about four per monthly. Biographies are a favorite.

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    "Great listen"
    What made the experience of listening to Me Before You the most enjoyable?

    Unique story. It's been a long time since an audio book choked me up (last time was The Fault in Our Stars)


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Protagonist. I found myself rooting for her.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes - I finished this one quickly and found myself looking forward to the time I could plug it back in.


    Any additional comments?

    As much as my sentimental self was rooting for the sappy ending, this ending was perfect.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lulu KANSAS CITY, MO, United States 09-06-13
    Lulu KANSAS CITY, MO, United States 09-06-13 Member Since 2006
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    "A Predictable, Tough but Recommended Read"

    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.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Groton, NY, United States 01-19-13
    Michael Groton, NY, United States 01-19-13 Member Since 2011

    Highpattern

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    "Thank you for a wonderful reading performance!"
    What other book might you compare Me Before You to and why?

    The Fault in Our Stars Deals with loving someone who is physically challenged and about to die.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    19 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina-Audible USA 07-10-14
    Regina-Audible USA 07-10-14 Member Since 2008

    Audible editor and data evangelist. Lover of fiction, classics, celebrity memoirs, and quirky teen novels.

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    "Gut-Wrenching"

    Don’t let the cover fool you, Me Before You is a gut-wrenching original novel that will repeatedly tug at your heart and then stomp all over it – only to leave you coming back for more. In this thought-provoking story, Jojo Moyes has painted unforgettable characters that are honest and captivating, challenged with the impossible, and brought to life by a brilliant multicast performance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 03-30-14
    Stevon Tempe, AZ, United States 03-30-14 Member Since 2005

    I love books!

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    "excellent, happy and sad all in one book"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Reading Date CA, United States 02-06-14
    The Reading Date CA, United States 02-06-14 Member Since 2011

    I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.

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    "Riveting and Emotional"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan PORTLAND, OR, United States 01-21-14
    Bryan PORTLAND, OR, United States 01-21-14 Member Since 2013

    West coast Producer/Director in TV/Film, I love new tech almost as much as love good tech!

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    "Great narration"
    What did you like best about Me Before You? What did you like least?

    The narrators were great! I really enjoyed listening to them. I didn't like a lot about the story but I did like that the author set the characters on a clear path and stuck with it till the end.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't particularly fond of the story. It was very long and drawn out. There is only so much insecurity and anxiety I can listen to before I get bored.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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