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Me Before You Audiobook

Me Before You: A Novel

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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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  •  
    Lulu 09-06-13
    Lulu 09-06-13

    I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.

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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.

    20 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy LOUISVILLE, KY, United States 01-05-13
    Nancy LOUISVILLE, KY, United States 01-05-13 Member Since 2017
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    "so formulaic, I've heard it all before"

    This book is so unbelievably predicable and formulaic, I found myself knowing what would happen or be said before each and every syllable came out. Surely it is a carbon copy of a dozen other chick flicks. After only a chapter or two in, I wanted to stop listening and it only gets worse. I have never written a review before but feel it necessary to warn others. Save your credits for something else, you've heard this all before.

    45 of 66 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gretchen SLP Sacramento, California 07-23-16
    Gretchen SLP Sacramento, California 07-23-16 Member Since 2014

    I listen to something educational on my way to work to wake myself up, and listen to a page-turner on my way home to stay alert on the road!

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    "Chick Lit With Assisted Suicide"

    Well, geez. I'm not going to lie to you: this book is a really awkward mix of boring, silly, predictable chick lit and serious, depressing would-be tearjerker. The characters are on the shallow, unbelievable side (e.g., we are to believe the heroine, Louisa, is nearly 30 years old but somehow has never even considered reading a book, attending college, or moving in with her shallow, silly boyfriend of nearly a decade). The main narrator is good, and a good fit for the material, however, and even though the additional narrators are introduced so very late in the story that they feel like an awkward distraction, the sum total is a book that mostly flows along at an acceptable pace. I never truly felt for the characters because I never really believed in them as real, three-dimensional people, but there were some interesting aspects to the story. One thing I didn't expect was the fascinating glimpse into lower middle class British society. I also learned a few things I didn't know about the life and limitations of a quadriplegic (although I couldn't help but notice a few bits of misinformation scattered in amidst the truths).

    Grade: C plus (or B minus if we are grading generously on a curve).

    Bechdel test: Pass. (Lou and her sister Katrina converse about Trina's school plans and career goals...as well as which of them deserves the larger bedroom when they're both still living at home with their economically unstable parents.)

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Egypt 01-12-13
    Kindle Customer Egypt 01-12-13 Listener Since 2009
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    "Had potential, but ultimatly disappointing"

    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.

    23 of 35 people found this review helpful
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    Jennifer minneapolis, MN, United States 06-20-13
    Jennifer minneapolis, MN, United States 06-20-13 Member Since 2017

    audio book junkie

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    "Great read"

    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.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 07-10-14
    Laura 07-10-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Unrealistic and sexist"
    Any additional comments?

    I found this book very disappointing . First and for most it was absurd to imaging that a person in this type of medical condition with such a huge amount of Financual possibilities was sitting at home like a vegetable with no support system. It was ridiculously unrealistic and and degrading to women. The main caricature has no ambitions , is totally defined by her relationship with others. The only thing that gets her to even pause and think about her life is when she falls in love with a man that is condescending and would never have even looked at her let alone listened to her if he was not confined to a wheel chair. <br/>The author should read a little more about paraplegics and therapeutic methods by fore taking on such a complicated subject.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W Perry Hall 04-09-14

    "There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

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    "Blushing Here"

    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.

    15 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Cox San Diego, CA USA 03-25-13
    Michael Cox San Diego, CA USA 03-25-13 Member Since 2012

    Audiophile

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    "Harlequinesque"

    As a clinician I found this novel trite, overly Romantic, inadiquetly researched and Harlequinesque.

    The medical aspects; of both the condition and the care, were poorly researched and grossly inaccurate, the primary caregiver; who was never identified as the professional he clearly was; no doubt a “Trained Nurse”, failed to warn our protagonist against the pitfalls of romantic involvements which; for all the wrong reasons, sometimes develop between patient and caregiver; and which almost always end in disaster; which is why medical professionals avoid them like the plague.

    But more disturbing than the romantic silliness, was the selfish, overzealous, anti “self-deliverance”, position taken by both the caregivers and the parents. That position was so out of line with current position on self-deliverance and the concept of the “Advanced Directive” as to make this story completely implausible.

    I found it very difficult to handle the intensely, selfish, attitudes toward the right of a patient to make an end of life decision without being burdened by the judgment of all those around him!

    I did stick with this story to the end. The transparent episode with the visitor from London was exactly what I expected it to be, and the end was exactly what I expected it to be.

    This story was very formulaic and delivered no surprises.

    My only objection to the reading, which was quite good in general, was the introduction of the primary caregiver, who's voice boomed onto the scene as if out of nowhere; abrupt, too loud, and generally out of sync with the gentle flow of the narrative.

    My guess is that, if you’re a woman, and a romantic, with no medically training, and you are oblivious to the current trends on end of life issues, you will probably love this book .

    10 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 2015

    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. <br/>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!<br/>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. <br/>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. <br/>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.<br/>I found the author’s writing style to be entertaining and definitely engrossing. Her description of facial expressions and gestures was exquisite. <br/>

    24 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 03-20-13
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2006

    Addicted to Audible!

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    "Not what you would expect"

    I was not sure what to expect with this book,I purchased it based on the reviews here. I was not disappointed at all. I think the subject was explored with dignity and realism. I was happy that the author did not decide to make the story unreal by writing a Hollywood Happy Ending. The character development of Lou was excellent. It was hopeful despite being sad. The reader was excellent. I would highly recommend this audio

    13 of 21 people found this review helpful

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