Book Review: Me Before You

August 21, 2013 Book Review, reviews 9

Book Review: Me Before YouMe Before You by Jojo Moyes
Published by Pamela Dorman Imprint on December 31, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction
Pages: 369
Source: purchased

You only get one life.  It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.

If you’ve spent much time around here you’ll recall I’m in a book club with both of my daughters and a few other lovely ladies.  Although we missed having a June meeting, July found our merry band of sisterhood together discussing Jojo Moyes runaway bestseller, Me Before You.  It’s difficult to visit any type of bookish site and not see the cheery red cover, although cheery and the contents do not quite mesh! Louisa Clark loses her job at a cafe precipitating her to seek employment through the local job-search office.  After a few false starts and practically being arm-wrestled into accepting the position, Louisa agrees to become caretaker to cantankerous quadriplegic, Will Traynor. As the novel unfolds, layers are peeled back on most every character from Louisa’s chosen (or more like, non-chosen) life’s path, Will’s will (and non-will) to live as a quadriplegic, Will’s wealthy parents and their motivations along with Louisa’s common-class parent’s motivations.  No one is spared including Louisa’s personal trainer boyfriend and college dropout sister.  The nucleus; however, is always Will and Louisa. Told mainly from the viewpoint of Louisa, or “Clark” as Will calls her, the novel appears more balanced ~ it’s when Moyes throws in a chapter from Will’s mother’s perspective or that of Louisa’s sister that the novel becomes a bit fragmented.  Typically, I enjoy reading a novel from differing viewpoints but as it was not done in a consistent manner throughout Me Before You I felt a bit disjointed. A story of many subtleties that comes down to the choices we make and the effect those choices have on those we love.  Although there were no real surprises in Me Before You, the novel does lend itself to much discussion in a book club.  The writing tended to be a bit predictable but the plot-line and the lessons each character learns in order to grow and move on is truly what makes the novel memorable.  Recommend, especially for book clubs and Nicholas Sparks fans. probably my favorite quote and personal motto~

I needed to tell him, silently, that things might change, grow, or fail, but that life did go on.  That we were all part of some great cycle, some pattern that it was only God’s purpose to understand. . . . .A silent promise, if you like, that there was a bigger picture, a brighter future.


9 Responses to “Book Review: Me Before You”

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy)

    It’s interesting that you compared this to Nicholas Sparks work. The first reviews I read of this were raves but here lately, I’ve seen a couple more in line with your thoughts. I still want to read it but have lowered my expectations.

    • thenovellife1

      it was a decent read, just not a *great* read….I’m in the same boat ~ I read a lot of rave reviews prior to reading the book and then found myself a bit disappointed in the actual novel…..wondered if something were wrong with me for not raving over the book! lol

  2. Mystica

    I certainly agree with the quote. People in the East sometimes call it your fate or Karma but there is a certain set pattern for one’s life and God’s Will is certainly good for me.

    • thenovellife1

      The quote is certainly something I’ve lived by long before ever reading the quote….I find it fascinating and wonderful that so many others believe in God’s perfect plan. Hope you’re doing well Mystica!

  3. Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves)

    I loved this book, but totally agree with you about the different perspectives thrown in seemingly at random. There wasn’t a “changing perspectives” structure to the entire book – it just seemed like a chapter here or there was thrown in from Will’s Dad or Mom and they kind of stuck out because they departed from the overall structure of the book. I actually did like hearing these other perspectives, but wish we’d heard them throughout the story….not just here and there.
    Great review!

  4. Hikari

    I think we all agree about those random chapters from other view points. haha. I liked that this book wasn’t one of those breathless, whirlwind romance types. (even though that really only possible because of Will’s disability) I thought it was one of those cliche plot lines that still left you wondering about the outcome, which I liked.
    Hikari recently posted…Me Before You ReviewMy Profile

  5. pratina khatri

    Great book me before you, very emotional and touching, it really makes you think and appreciate about life more, be grateful for what you have, in wills case in this book I can see and probably understand why he would want to end it all it doesn’t make him selfish he did something he wanted and didn’t want people pitying him etc, I have read this book 2 times and have recommended to a lot of friends, I love a good book but this one just touched me the most.

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