Me Before You (Me Before You Trilogy)

by Jojo Moyes

Paperback, 2013




Penguin Books (2013), Edition: Reprint, 369 pages


"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 their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle 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? "--… (more)


(2789 ratings; 4.1)

Media reviews

It’s a curious phenomenon that in this digital age — in which thoughts that once emerged quietly and gradually on paper have been overtaken by instantaneous visual and audio impressions that are swiftly taken in without really being absorbed — the rapt viewer sometimes needs to be jarred,
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slowed down and forced to look inward. In “Me Before You,” circumstances lead noncontemplative people to contemplation...Moyes’s heroine, if Lou can be so styled, may not be heroic; her male counterpart may be nobody’s idea of a leading man — and yet with Lou and Will she has created an affair to remember.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member bookczuk
Our lives can change in the blink of an eye. Will Traynor found out one rainy day when crossing the road to grab a taxi. Louisa Clark found out, two years later, when she was hired to be a care assistant for the quadriplegic Will. The story that unfolds, over the course of 6 months, brings to life
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these two personalities: one a former, high-powered player in the business world, the other a free spirited ex-waitress, who has never left the bounds of her village. It also portrays the world of those confined to wheelchairs, and their carers and loved ones. Sensitively written, it also tackles tough topics, including how decisions are made, and what supporting someone you love means, even when you disagree. Plus, it's a love story -- not a sappy romance, but a nice accounting of minds and hearts being won over, or lost, as the case may be.

There wasn't a character in this book that I didn't feel something for, even Running Man. But Will, Lou, her family are all keepers.
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LibraryThing member mishy215
This is one of the best books I have read all year. It really gives a good idea of what life is like for those who have severe spinal injuries but also how two people can alter each other's lives. Very well written and compelling. I loved all the characters. This story reminds me of the excellent
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movie , THE INTOUCHABLES. If anyone else loved this book , then you absolutely must rent this movie. It is a similar story based on a true experience, and it is French with subtitles. I highly recommend both the book and that movie.
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LibraryThing member Spymer
My Review:

i see that everyone started their reviews with crying gifs or a 5 star rating picture , guess not me too.

the reason i picked this book is because of how many people recommended it and all the hype that's been going on , besides, i did like the movie trailer so i wanted to read the book
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before watching the movie.

Here's the thing , i didn't hate it , or find it bad , it just wasn't that good .

The pacing of the story was very slow , and not enough elements to keep your interest , some of the daily details were extremely unnecessary .

The characters were good , even though i didn't like Lou very much , nor her sister and family.
I loved Will , he might be rude and hard sometimes but he seemed more real and his actions and way of thinking were understandable .

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

The romantic aspect was laughable ,her relationship with Patrick seemed silly, i didn't understand why they were with each other in the first place .
and with Will , it was impossible , but i enjoyed it a bit.

I loved the moral questions this novel addressed, i felt like this subject needed attention.
How far would you go to make the people you love happy?
and are you really making them happy, or you just want to do the right thing , even if it meant they are suffering.
Sometimes you think you are helping someone , but you're not , because you never bothered to ask what they want.

there were many mixed feeling about the ending from many of my friends, but i loved it.
Our happiness lies in our own hands , no one can truly know what we're feeling and what are we going through , even if their intentions are good.
So whatever we do about it , is our choice , our decision .
Should we live for ourselves , in this case 'die' , or try not to hurt the people who care about us , even if it means we're hurting ourselves.

I thought it was the perfect ending , i didn't cry , i almost did though, but i did feel sad .

I'm giving two stars for it , one for Will and one for the ending. Otherwise i don't think it was really worth any of the hype .
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LibraryThing member fishgirl182
Before reading Me Before You, I was warned that this was the type of book that would have me in tears by the end of it. More than one friend had confessed that boxes of tissue were laid to waste while reading this book and another confessed to weeping – actual weeping during the reading of this
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book. I am not a person who cries by nature and wasn’t sure what kind of book could elicit such intense emotions from all of my friends. So it was with a little trepidation that I began Me Before You.

Me Before You takes place in a small tourist town in England. Lou is a twenty-six year old café worker who has lived in the town all her life. She is content working at the café, where she knows her job and everyone knows her. Quirky and funny, Lou is happy playing it safe. Will isn’t afraid to take risks and lives life to the fullest. Fast cars, beautiful women and extreme sports are the norm for Will until the day a tragic accident leaves him a quadriplegic. Confined to a wheelchair, Will must rely on others for most of his daily functions. Will and Lou meet when Lou loses her job and takes a position as Will’s daytime caretaker. Will’s mother thinks that Lou might be just the right person to help Will through his depression, but Lou is unconvinced.

Even all of the previous warnings about weeping and such, I wasn’t prepared for all of the emotions that would run through me as I read this book. They ran the gamut from elation and joy to panic and grief. Will and Lou are both amazing, complex characters. I felt an immediate kinship with Lou. I related to her and found my life in many ways, parallel to hers. I loved her warmth and passion. She sacrificed a lot for her family (who were pretty awful at times) and put up with Will when he was at his worst. Will could be terse and sullen but he was also charming and intelligent. He challenges Lou and believes in her when no one else does. I felt Will’s frustration and despair and grieved for the adventurous man he once was. I raged with him as he fought for control of his body and his life. Will and Lou are different in so many ways but alike in many others. I loved that they laughed together but also shared each other’s pain. Their romance never feels forced or unrealistic. Their relationship isn't always pretty, but it's honest.

Though it deals with a controversial subject, Me Before You never feels preachy or agenda ridden. It's much more than just a love story and will make you think about love, life and how we choose to look at the world. Even if you think you already know what this book is about, give it a chance. I think it will surprise you.

This is one of the best books I have read this year. Funny, sweet, unexpected and emotionally gripping, Me Before You is a book that will stay with you long after you've put it down.
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LibraryThing member AliceaP
There are some books that actually make you angry while reading them. This might happen for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you disagree with the choices that the characters are making. Maybe there are a ton of grammatical errors and it makes you want to punch the author in the face. For me, this
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book made me angry because it was so, so good and it ended way before I was ready. The book I'm talking about is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and it emotionally wrecked me in the best way possible. I saw the trailer for the upcoming film (June!!) and felt intrigued enough to check it out from the library...and the rest is history. The book is primarily told from the perspective of Louisa Clark who is a twentysomething living in a small English town who has found herself looking for a job in an area where jobs are few and far between. That's when she meets Will, a quadriplegic, who needs a caregiver. (I've just realized that I have no idea how to continue this synopsis without giving any spoilers...) The point of view flips a few times between a few other characters but the focus is mostly on Louisa and I liked that just fine. This is a story about hopelessness, love, determination, and questionable fashion sense. Simply put, Me Before You is a love story about two vastly different people who are thrust together in circumstances neither one could have predicted. IT IS BRILLIANT AND YOU SHOULD READ IT.
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LibraryThing member JaneSteen
Where I got the book: ebook from Overdrive. A book club read. A review (that is full of parentheses) (and spoilers (so don’t read it unless you don’t want to know what happens.))

I realized I was going to have to get on and review this book before I forgot it—it’s definitely more of an
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entertainment read than a lasting masterpiece. An entertainment read that seems, to me, a bit like the time I couldn’t stop watching videos of the Japanese tsunami until I reminded myself that these were real people and that I shouldn’t be treating them as entertainment. A book that takes a highly charged, morally important situation and turns it into a slightly sappy, sad-happy story with a rather trite message, and then SKIPS OVER THE DIFFICULT BIT.

The plot: Once upon a time, Lou was in a dead-end job, but she was happy with it. And then she lost it, to the dismay of her family who all seem to be depending on her. Dad’s job is also in jeopardy, Mum has to look after Grandad, and her sister Treena got pregnant and dropped out of college (although why Treena can’t work while Mum looks after the kid as well is a puzzle to me). Anyway, Lou starts job-hunting and ends up with a well-paid gig as a replacement assistant for a quadraplegic during the daytime hours when his regular assistant’s not available. And all because Will’s mother decides, on seeing Lou, that she’s right for the job despite her lack of qualifications (how likely is that?) She and the quad, whose name is Will, loathe each other on sight so it’s pretty obvious they’re going to end up liking each other.

So far, so fairy tale. An impression reinforced by the fact that Will lives by an actual castle on the hill at the top of the town, while Lou lives in the cheap streets far below (and why, I wonder, had the entire town not been talking about his accident when it happened? How come Lou didn’t know about it? Wouldn’t there have been lawsuits and stuff, even in England? And newspaper articles? I mean, have you SEEN the British papers?) Will had it all—looks, money, power, athleticism, etc.—to a startling degree (talk about hammering the message home) and lost it all, while Lou seems to have never aspired to anything (although we learn, later, that she wasn’t always that way). Actually, Will hasn’t lost it all because he still has his looks (once his hair’s cut) and in some senses has his power (that of wealth, which makes him the boss), which he tries to use for good by encouraging Lou to live life to the full. So it IS Cinderella! Handsome prince in wheelchair, quirky heroine on whom handsome prince bestows wealth and freedom—so Disney, no wonder people like it.

Did I like it? Well, I thought Lou was a pretty good depiction of the ultimate likable character: plucky, brave, loving (in a very English sort of way, no sentimentality) and, of course, far more intelligent than she realizes, although she’s not so smart that she doesn’t need Will to reveal that intelligence to her. So I kind of liked her, but also kind of wished she’d had the sense to reveal her Big Secret and move on with her life. And that she wasn’t such a doormat with her family—I was voting for her to keep the big bedroom, and could somebody smack that little bugger for drawing on things? I couldn’t stand her family, by the way, especially her Dad with his mean little jokes against her. I mean, I’m not in favor of the self-esteem movement and I know we Brits tease those we love, but this was going a little too far.

I thought the evolution of Lou and Will’s relationship was cute, but it would have been better if it had evolved in a realistic setting instead of them having to go off to Mauritius. There’s something very chick-litty about romances that come to fruition through travel to exotic tourist destinations, and I always suspect the writer of turning her vacations into business expenses. Yes, I know that it was all about Lou seeing a bigger, broader world, but that world had to be financed by Will and his parents so it was a bit of a mixed message at the very best.

I wished, very much, that Moyes had managed to keep the POV ball firmly in Lou’s court instead of suddenly removing it into the heads of another character or two, rather late in the book. You either start a book with alternating POVs or you stick to one, in my opinion. The first time we pulled out of Lou’s POV completely threw me.

Oh, and if you’re going to kill off one of the main characters, kill him off onstage, for heaven’s sake. Because the ebook was 8% composed of an excerpt from another book, I got to 91% and thought I was heading for a nice juicy death scene, only to have the book finish at 92%. Talk about a show, don’t tell moment. I suspect that Moyes (or her publisher) either got cold feet about the reaction of the reading public to what is, after all, a topic with deep moral implications, or chickened out at trying to turn assisted suicide into a redemptive moment (how, exactly, do you write that special scene where the romantic male lead tops himself, anyway?), but the absence of the big moment the book had seemed to be leading up to robbed it of a depth it could have had.

And I didn’t shed a tear at Will’s demise, because he (and his family) never made the leap to sympathetic character for me. This was one of those books I could enjoy well enough while reading it, but which left a bit of a nasty taste in my mouth afterwards. I don’t think I’ll be picking up the sequel. Three stars for good writing, though.
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LibraryThing member Pennydart
When the coffee shop where she works as a waitress closes, Louisa Clark has to take the only job she can find, assisting Will Traynor, a former financier and playboy whose A-list life has been abruptly changed by an accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. Angry and bitter about his fate, Will
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nonetheless warms to Louisa, while she in turn discovers she prefers spending time with him than with her domineering boyfriend. But will their relationship be enough for Will to once again embrace life?

“Me Before You” is predictable and maudlin, and a prime example of why you should travel with a Kindle, so that you don’t have to end up with books like this from the airport bookstore.
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LibraryThing member dianasilva
What an amazing book! I could give this 100 stars! Books like this are why I love reading. I could not put this book down! Louisa or Lou was so interesting, kind-hearted and a real person. Wil was full of complexities and even though at times he was a real jerk you could not help but fall in love
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with him and root for him.
I loved how Lou transformed throughout the novel and how her and Wil’s lives seemed to switch places-of sorts. They were opposites but perfectly matched.
Lou’s family was also entertaining. The author really captured the little family quirks and she described the perfect family for Lou. I especially loved to see how her relationship with Treena evolved.
Lou seemed to bring out the best in everyone, she even made Ms. & Mr. Traynor more likeable, there were no bad guys vs good guys, just very different people joined by one person-Wil.
To me a fantastic book is one that you can’t put down, the pages are numberless because you are a part of the story, and the characters are real-or your convinced they are. I couldn’t wait to see how it all ended but I was sad when it did.
Moyes took a very delicate matter and gave it a name and a cast of characters to humanize the issue. Incredibly well written and as the Brits say-brilliant!!
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LibraryThing member Emma_Manolis
I woke up this morning with a desire to check in with Will and Louisa. Then I remembered that I finished the book and they are fictional characters. So depressing.
LibraryThing member lgaikwad
There was no point where I wanted to stop listening to this book. Moyes takes us into the world of the disabled, a young woman discovering herself, and the consideration of suicide and what makes a good life. She makes us feel the heartbreak and meaning of going forward without someone we love,
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painting the universal human experience where letting go is sometimes the deepest way of loving.

A couple of quotes I liked:
"The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life - or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else's life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window - is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people."

"It's just that the thing you never understand about being a mother, until you are one, is that it is not the grown man - the galumphing, unshaven, stinking, opinionated offspring - you see before you, with his parking tickets and unpolished shoes and complicated love life. You see all the people he has ever been rolled up into one.
I looked at Will and I saw the baby I held in my arms, dewily besotted, unable to believe that I had created another human being. I saw the toddler, reaching for my hand, the school boy weeping tears of fury after being bullied by some other child. I saw the vulnerabilities, the love, the history. That's what he was asking me to extinguish - the small child as well as the man - all that love, all that history."
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LibraryThing member varwenea
Reading this book is like eating theater buttered popcorn. You keep stuffing your face with it, the words taste good, you know it’s kind of silly maybe even bad, you can’t really stop; the story is fun, happy, and sad at the same time. The ending is perfect. Anything else and the rating would
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have dropped a full star.

Louisa Clark has lived a small life in a small town all twenty-seven years of her life. After six years as a café waitress, she is jobless and is then serendipitously hired as a care-provider for a C4-5 quadriplegic – the aloof, angry, distant, ex-successful, ex-athlete, ex-world-conqueror Will Traynor now bounded to his wheelchair and living at his parents’ house. About 8 weeks into this painful, time-standing-still employment, Lou overheard a conversation where she learned Will is suicidal and had negotiated with his parents for a 6 months duration before they will then take him to Switzerland for legal euthanasia. Lou secretly sets out to change his mind, refusing to believe anyone truly wants to end their lives. Pushing for outings and activities for Will to do, she unknowingly is opening her own eyes about the world and her yet-to-be-understood ambitions. She is trying to save Will, as much as Will is trying to save her from her existence, her pre-conceived notions of life. They save each other, even though the outcomes are very different.

The biggest theme is the concept of choice. Regardless of circumstances, we all have choices. Some choices are sacrificial, some needs work to achieve, some needs to be uncovered. Will wants his voice and his choice to be heard, despite a body that is no longer in his control; he needs to make his own decision with his clear and lucid mind. There is a subtle and not-so-subtle parallel to Lou and Will’s choices, both having choices thrusted upon them; both finding their means to breakthrough and to forge their paths.

Overall, I think this is a solid book. As far as I’m concerned, the story ends as it did. I am not acknowledging the follow-up of “After You”.

Before I close, some disclosures:
1. I’m a sucker for British modern lit, amused by words such as bugger, snogging, and bloke. My positive feedback could be influenced by this.
2. I watched the movie first, which I adored. The abbreviations in the screenplay are wise simplifications.
2.5 I didn’t recognize that Lou Clark was played by the GoT Mother of Dragons! Blimey!?!

One quote on Music – Lou’s first exposure to professional symphony and classical music:
“…suddenly the auditorium was filled with a single sound – the most alive, three-dimensional thing I had ever heard. It made the hairs on my skin stand up, my breath catch in my throat… The conductor stepped up, tapped twice on the rostrum, and a great hush descended. I felt the stillness, the auditorium alive, expectant. Then he brought down his baton and suddenly everything was pure sound. I felt the music like a physical thing; it didn’t just sit in my ears, it flowed through me, around me, made my sense vibrate. It made my skin prickle and my palms dampen. Will hadn’t described any of it like this. I had thought I might be bored. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard.”
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LibraryThing member joanasimao
Ok, I have a confession to make:

I was a Jojo snob, I thought she wrote same-old-same-old run-of-the-mill romances for middle aged ladies. In fact, I presented one her books (not this one) to my mom, who's middle aged and loves romances, last year. She loved it!

I owe Jojo an apology! From one Jojo
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to another, you lady are a great story teller! I wasn't put off by one single second in this book. It made me cry and smile and root for it's characters.

Not saying much for fear of spoiling people but I do think this one deserves a sequel, yes? YES?
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LibraryThing member khakimoose
total tearjerker at the end, but overall a great Cinderella type story
LibraryThing member Tess_Elizabeth
** spoiler alert ** This is really hard to rate. I enjoyed reading it; the pacing was fantastic, the plot interesting, and the characters dynamic and well-written. What I didn't like about it was the undercurrent of the idea that a disabled life isn't worth living, which by the end was the main
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theme. The standards to which Will held himself and Lou were contradictory (telling her it was her duty to live life to the fullest, etc), and it was really hard to follow the logic of his decision when the reader never really got a glimpse of how terrible his life supposedly was. It was also strange to me that Will was one of the only characters not to get his own POV chapter, which made it ironically feel like his voice was doubly lost in the story.
Another hard part of this book to swallow was how it romanticized suicide. This was not a romance novel by any stretch of the imagination, but the love story goes hand in hand with the issue of suicide, and I found it very unsettling that what happens could be construed as "romantic."
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LibraryThing member nyiper
I just plain LOVED this book---I could not wait to read it after reading The Last Letter From Your Lover. How she does it I do not know but you are right there, as a silent observer, in everything she writes. Now I need to go back and read her novels that I have missed!!!!
LibraryThing member 3wheeledlibrarian
The writing is very good and drew me in, but I found that I had to return it to the Public Library.

I have a deep and profound concern about the premise of this book. One of the main characters is described as a "master of the universe," a hard driving businessman. Heading for a high powered
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meeting in the rain he is hit by a motor bike and suffers a C4 fracture. He has lost to use of his legs and has limited use of his hands. The other main character is Lou, a local woman who desperately needs a job, so she agrees to become his paid companion. What she doesn't know is that she is to keep him from killing himself. The climax of the book is his mother helping him commit assisted suicide.

As a person with disabilities and an active disabilities scholar, I wanted to shout at the characters. He is deeply depressed and needs help finding a way forward in his new reality. There is always a way forward. A disabled person who wishes to commit suicide needs counseling, not an enabler who says "give me 6 months."
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LibraryThing member voracious
This is a lovely story about a woman approaching 30, still living at home, without a direction or vision for her life. When she loses her job at a coffee house in the quaint small tourist village surrounding an English castle, Louisa has to decide between a job as a chicken processor at a factory
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or being a "carer" for Will, a 35 year old quadraplegic man. After she reluctantly takes the job, Lou is horrified by the man's rudeness, but can hardly quit as her family relies on her paycheck.

As she gets to know Will more and discovers the full life that was ripped from him after a tragic accident, Lou makes it her mission to change WIll's mind regarding suicide and euthenasia. With a calendar full of plans and her determination to bring happiness back to Will's life, Louisa learns more about her own life and how to seize her future in the process.

This is a heartwarming story about family, love, and finding the joy that makes life worth living. It is also a challenging book as it tackles the tough topic of euthenasia and how far a family will go to support a loved one's decisions. Though it starts out reading like a typical chick lit book, this novel is much deeper and more entertaining. There was great humor mixed with romance and sadness and the ending was very emotional. I truly loved this book and plan on recommending it to all of my book loving friends. It is probably the best book I have read since "The Fault in Our Stars".
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LibraryThing member lalbro
A page turner that left me in tears. Well drawn main characters. Compelling story. And it makes you think. What's not to like?
LibraryThing member GRgenius
Honestly, it was just as enchanting, moving, and heartbreaking as the film...and that's saying something because Hollywood does not always get it right!

I had high hopes for this one after my love affair with the film. I mean, I couldn't really see it being any better than it already was, but
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feeling the magic of the story, the connection of the characters, and weight of decisions made long ago by those that would forever stand firm...why, it was like reading a play by play of the theatrical production and yet still something more. Author Jojo Moyes does a wonderful job of giving the everything such intense emotional depth. When I read this one, it was so long after the storm-that-shall-not-be-named paused by rabid reading appetite. My mood had been down, life certainly not as rosy, but I actually laughed out loud when I was reading this one...most unexpectedly. There's a scene on page 67 that's really of no big consequence, but it just struck me as immensely funny and I just started was my first since the storm, and a moment I won't forget. If you have a copy of this one, turn to that page and have yourself a giggle. Go ahead...

For fans of the author, this is definitely a book for you. For fans of the film, run out right now and grab yourself a copy. For newbies to this author's work, do yourself the favor and get acquainted because the heart that beats here is true, the feelings more complicated than you'd expect, and the outcome so much greater than the painful loss endured. Oh yes, there will be tears, but there is still the potential for love to come again.
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LibraryThing member lycomayflower
After losing the job she loved in a cafe, twenty-seven-year-old Louisa takes a job as a companion and non-medical caretaker for Will, a thirty-five-year-old man who suffered a road accident two years prior that left him a C5-6 quadriplegic. When she discovers that he is determined to go to
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Switzerland in six months to avail himself of legal assisted suicide, she nearly quits, but eventually she agrees to stay on and (unbeknownst to Will) try to convince him that life is worth living by finding him activities he can participate in and getting him out of the house. Eventually she develops feelings for him, and their friendship begins to change her life.

I liked a lot about this book. It's written well, the characters are well drawn, and Moyes's depiction of Will seems respectful, fully realized, and well researched. But I didn't like it nearly as much as I would have liked to. The narrative does that thing I can never decide whether is an editing error or a deliberate decision of dropping in minor new details in ways that read (to me, anyway) as references to things we should already know about. (I. hate. this.) But much more bothersome was my impatience with the story. Once you know that Will wants to kill himself, there's only two ways things are going to go. Either Louisa will successfully change his mind (I won't say this would be impossible to pull off well, but how? I mean, really, that would have such potential for sappy and for not regarding Will as a human being with choices, I just don't know how it would come together) or she won't. So I'm reading the whole second half of the book going, "This is either going to make me mad in the end or it's going to make me smad because it's heart wrenching but I've seen it coming for 200 pages." And I was never fully convinced of their love for one another (affection, yes; friendship; yes; deep respect, yes; desire for one another's happiness, yes; but not romantic love), and that made sitting through all that I knew was coming even less welcome. Finally, while I have no notion that Louisa was ever trying to use Will, I have this lingering sense that the book was. It's Louisa's story; we never get Will's point of view; ultimately Will's circumstances serve to make Louisa's life better (although, Will's life is better too. I don't know; maybe this assessment is unfair given the sensitive portrayal of Will and the reciprocal nature of the relationship, but in the end I had a bit of a sense of having been manipulated.

I will probably read more Moyes since I liked much about how this book was written and since so much of what I didn't like was probably plot-specific. But ultimately, Me Before You was kind of disappointing.
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LibraryThing member LaneLiterati
This book is, surprisingly, not as depressing as it sounds. It deals with a lot of tough issues, in addition to being a coming-of-age story (with regard to the female protagonist). Teens will find much to relate to in Louisa, who is in her late twenties but has hardly left her small hometown
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because of an incident in her teens that left her traumatized and afraid to go off on her own, even to university. Will, a quadraplegic, is brusque and cold-hearted when he first meets Louisa, who is hired to help keep him company. But the two bring out more good in each other than either could ever imagine.
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LibraryThing member Luli81
*might contain spoilers*

What an emotional roller coaster, it had been a long time since I was this affected by a story.
Will Traynor was hit by a motorbike two years ago, he is now 35 and has been in a wheelchair since then. He has an irreversible spine injury which leaves movement only in his head
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and minimally in his right arm.
Him having been a successful business man, a highly physical young person with an active mind who enjoyed life at its best, finds it impossible to reconcile his new situation. Finds it impossible to go on living like this and he is decided to end his own life, promising his parents only six months more. He is sulky, angry with the world and moody. Selfish and drawn into himself.

Lou Clark is a middle-class 26 years old girl with no expectations. She has to support her family with her tiny wages, having forgotten all about going to university and of leaving town in her early twenties after a traumatic experience; she is now conformed with her routinary and little demanding life. When the cafe where she has been working as a waitress closes, she is forced to take this new weird job in which she has to keep company and care for the basic needs of a young quadriplegic and wealthy man.
Interviewed by Camilla, Will's distant mother, she doesn't quite understand why she is hired when she doesn't have any experience with disabled people. Later, she'll come to realise that her "job" is to try to cheer Will up and to prevent him from committing suicide in a specialised centre in Switzerland.

Oddly enough, it has to be this young man in a wheelchair who will broaden Lou's views and inject her with a living energy she lost a long time ago, giving her the confidence and the self-esteem she has lacked all her life.
At the same time, Will finds in Lou a reason to wake up again everyday and as they grow closer, the reader can't help but start to hope for a happy ending. Will William change his mind? Will this new but frail bond be enough?

I'm well aware what you might be thinking right now, something like "pppffff...another teary story full of cliches and idealised worlds where everything comes out right in the end, not like in real life".
Well, that's exactly what I thought, and how wrong I was!
This is a heart-breaking novel, Lou and Will's normal and detailed accounts of their thoughts make it impossible not to believe it. This is no lachrymose love story, this is a brave novel that talks straight about real problems for people like Will. How their families cope or don't cope with it, and how some special people are able to see through them as they really are, ignoring their physical disabilities.
This a love story in a larger sense, about giving everything to another person, even your soul, giving that person freedom and peace and dignity.
A tribute to life, and to those who claim the right to decide their own destiny, whatever it might be, and respect their decision. Out of love and respect for them.
An oasis of introspection and deep reflection in this too fast moving world with posed pictures and shallow frames. A lesson to make us realise what and what's not important so we don't sail aimlessly in this ocean called life.
I wouldn't hesitate, go for it.
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LibraryThing member gogglemiss
After reading this, it stayed in my mind for a quite a while, that's quite an accomplishment for the author's achievement. The very funny moments were balanced with the heartbreaking passages and i dreaded the ending, wishing, like Lou, that there would be a miracle to rejoice. My only slight
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quibble that Will didn't have a chapter to himself on how he viewed, Lou, his family and Lou's lovely famiily. But that didn't change the wondeful story, for so difficult a subject, beautifully written. I can't recommend this enough.
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LibraryThing member arkgirl1
In different hands this could have been an overly sentimental, wallowing read but instead it is a beautifully written tale with great warmth, humour and emotional depth.
Lou Clark has just lost her job in the Buttered Bun, but her struggling family need her to be working, thus when she is offered a
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care role she feels she has to take it even though she is unsure if she is the right person for the role.
Will Traynor has had his life turned upside down after being hit by a motorcycle and being left quadreplegic; rich, talented and go-getting Will has to learn a different pace of life and he is struggling.
Within a few pages I found myself easily visualising the characters and situations as carer and client gradually grow to know each other but the joy of this read is that not only do the lead characters spring off the page but so do the others - Lou's parents, her sister Treena, Will's physical carer - Nathan, Will's parents - and they all add to the story with an interesting twist being you have the odd chapter written from another point of view rather than just Lou's thoughts and ideas.
This is a book that challenges your thinking and it would be a great choice for a book club as there is much to debate, whether you agree with it or not!
I think there is another story to be explored [sequel?] as I would love to hear more from the internet group that Lou goes to for advice and as I suggested many will have different views on the moral debates that are sparked by the story but that doesn't take away from a great book that I feel is much more than the 'chick-lit' some are suggesting.
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LibraryThing member jolzyn
It is an AMAZING book; good story plot and characters. It may me questioned myself; will i let go of Will if i am Louisa or is it selfish of Will to even choosed the way he wanted. I feel so sorry for Louisa at the end of the book but at the same time; i feel relieve too.. for Will no longer need
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to suffer the way he was. The author managed to play the emotion of the reader; sad and angry to see the way Will's life is, happy when Will and Louisa is at each other throat and trying hard to understand the rationale of Will in choosing the option in the end. I cried with Louisa when she got to know about Will's intention, sad when Will attended his ex' wedding to his good friend, angry when Will outright rejected Louisa's confession and understanding of Will's predicament in the end.

Overall, this is a superb book to read and one have to be ready from the emotional turmoil journey that the author will take you throughout the whole book!
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Physical description

8.4 inches


0143124544 / 9780143124542
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