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
Say something about yourself!
I loved this book, I could not stop listening to it. The narrator was amazing and she did a great job differentiating voices of the various characters.
The story built up with perfect synchronicity along side the development of the characters.
The Story was heart warming and the subject content was interesting and controversial.
I loved the story line and the characters. Different than anything I've ever read. Hope there's a part two.
When Lu and Will were 'dancing' at the wedding.
Lu, of course. It's interesting to learn what people consider 'living'
Both. I found that I was becoming angry at Lu also for not understanding Will and what he wanted. She and others called him selfish, but I found all the characters in this book to be selfish.
Hope there's a continuation. I'd like to see what Lu makes of her new life.
I thought the character development was excellent. The topic was complex and the author did not shy away from it.
Well, she has a fabulous voice and does a great job with voices. I really liked Lou's (the protagonist's) voice.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
This book started out with 1-star, and by the time I was finished it was pushing 4-stars, so due to the slow start, it lands at 3.
Lost-in-herself Louisa lands a peculiar job as a companion to quadriplegic Will, who has given his parents six months before he goes to Switzerland for assisted suicide. "Me before you" is the tale of those six months.
Let's be honest, there is nothing surprising in the major themes of the story. There are quirks along the way...Louisa's younger single-mom sister wants to return to college, dad is out of work, mom is a busy body, grandpa is struggling after a stroke, boyfriend is running man, and what will become of the Trainer's marriage? Oh wait, you'll figure that last one out quickly.
This book is the telling of loved ones coming to grips with a person's choice of assisted suicide and the (predictable) emotions embedded in such a choice. Clearly, the author is pro-assisted suicide and is hopeful this novel helps change peoples' minds on the topic.
I almost did not purchase this book because of the awful title, but the customer reviews persuaded me, to my benefit in this case! This is a surprisingly unpredictable story of love and loss, life and death, and of the human capacity for change.
The publisher and other reviewers have provided more than sufficient plot descriptions, so rather than add to those, I'd like to comment a bit on the debates raised and the quality of the production.
The main debate presented in this audiobook concerns a person's right to die through euthanasia. It is not a straightforward debate at any rate, and the book does it's best to present the major sides, with all of their complexities. This is the first such work of fiction I've read on the topic, and so I have to say that overall, the author did a good job of really bringing out the arguments, however at times she did so abruptly.
A few other secondary debates presented in the book concern issues of unemployment and government assistance; class struggle (the most poorly handled in the book, which can be forgiven since it's not front-and-center), and; family strife and familial obligations.
By far the best (in my opinion) idea presented in this book concerned love, and the human capacity to change in the face of love - and not just romantic love, but familial love. The picture of Will's mother and her struggle to remain stoic in the face of both her son's tragedy and her husband's philandering is perhaps the best in the entire story. She served as the rock of the story, the stable anchor against which much strife and drama takes place. Many times, despite her coldness and harshness, I found myself siding with her against Luisa, who was so painfully oblivious to everything at all times.
A few critical notes on the heroine, Luisa. I found her to be the least likable character of the book. She was implausibly naive, the least insightful and one-dimensional character of the book, and as such she was the greatest weakness of the story. In fact I think it would have better served the story had it been told through the perspective of her sister or even Will's father, both of whom seemed to possess more human characteristics than Luisa.
Worst of all was the narration of Luisa, which at times made it difficult for me to distinguish whether I disliked her so much because of the narrator, or because of the writing of her character; I could not distinguish between the two. The narrator is not bad per se, but she was miscast. The voice sounds like that of a 50 or 60 year old woman, when in fact Luisa is supposed to be 26. Perhaps this sounds petty, but I was unable to adjust my perception to anything other than that a 60 year old woman telling the story of how she fell in love with a 35 year old man. Further, because I suspect the narrator is far older than the main character, her telling of many of the jokes and younger figures of speech were presented wrongly, sounding rigid, with incorrect intonation and lacking a young carefree spirit. It sounded a bit the way my grandmother sounds when mocking "young people these days."
I'm aware that these criticisms sound harsh, and yet it's a credit to the rest of the story that I still enjoyed it overall, and gladly listened to it on my daily walks. I waited a few days before writing my review in order to see if it had a lasting impact on me, if it was a story I'd remember, and indeed it is. I've thought about it since, and therefore I think it's a book worthy of a positive review, with only a few hesitations.
I loved the fact that it was a love story without being a romance... in the traditional sense. The characters were well-done, believable, flawed and realistic.
I could relate to the characters, and while I came along with Lou in her journey, I came to love Will in his cantankerous moods. We all need a friend like Will - one who will tell us the truth and - sometimes because of and sometimes in spite of themselves - push us to live life fully, love strongly, and embrace all that the world has to offer.
I have not heard her performances before, but I will definitely seek some of them out. The other narrators in this book did a good job as well, though I am not sure how this primary 1st-person style works with one character, thhen switches.
The last 90 minutes made me laugh, cry, and caused me to think... it was beautifully ended.
Great book! It caused me to think, to laugh, to cry, to take a second look at myself, my life, and my presuppositions. Good job, Jojo Moyes!
I was concerned this would be a romance novel (ick!), and I'm glad it wasn't. There eere no easy answers in this book, and the story was not predictable.
The story involves two people with limitations---one due to a SCI (spinal cord injury) that leaves him paralyzed from the neck down. The other is limited by a bad experience that has left her limited to a circumscribed life in a small town. They meet when she becomes his caregiver. Each person realizes the limitations the othrr is living with and tries to expand the other's horizons. The result is a unique love story, which examines the extent of love, and when it isn't enough.
This was a book that made me think, and made me wonder what I would do.
Ordinary life, in extraordinary circumstances.
Her narration of this book was excellent, don't know about others.
I did. I was very judgmental of all the characters. Once I got past that I was able to laugh and cry. How could this situation not be a source of humor and of tears.
I highly recommend this for all ages. Three generations read this and all of us loved it!
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