Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

June 20, 2013 Book Club, Contemporary Fiction, Family, Friendship, Psychological, Romance, Tear Jerkers, Travel 42

Good Day Bookworms!

Have you ever paid attention to the stuff you do every day? I’m not talking about the chores or the errands or the work. I’m talking physical stuff. Walking. Climbing stairs. Getting dressed. Bathing. Eating. Driving. Typing. What would you do if you couldn’t do ANY of that for yourself anymore? The thought probably makes you uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me sad. It makes me feel guilty for being able bodied when others may not be, but extremely grateful for my independence.

I don’t typically give this line of thinking much attention, because it bums me out. However, several people recommended this book about a quadriplegic to me and I figured I’d give it a shot.  Somehow Jojo Moyes managed to make Me Before You devastating, uplifting, heart-wrenching, and heart-warming all at the same time. Don’t ask me how she pulled it off. The talents of authors are beyond me, but this one, THIS ONE got to me.


Louisa Clark is a 28 year old girl living in an English tourist town that features a castle. She has spent several years working in a local cafe and is caught completely off guard one day when she’s told the cafe is going to close. Suddenly, Louisa finds herself out of work in a terrible economy. She has no college education (or, uh, University, as the British would say) and is qualified to do little more than work in a chicken processing plant, which is just exactly as gross as it sounds.

Louisa’s qualifications will allow her to be a “caregiver,” and it is one of the few positions available through the unemployment agency (which is called something different in England but it sounds like roughly the same thing.) She’s sent on an interview with no real idea of what’s in store for her. To her shock (in spite of an embarrassing skirt splitting incident during the interview) she lands a job helping to care for Will Traynor. Will was hit by a motorcycle while crossing a street. A serious mover and shaker in his previous life, Will has been without the use of any of his limbs for over 2 years. As you can imagine, he’s not too happy about it.

Louisa and Will don’t start off especially well, what with his intentionally trying to make her uncomfortable and all, but over time they grow rather fond of each other. Everything seems to be going pretty smoothly (or, at least, as smoothly as possible when catheters, muscle spasms, and infection are par for the course) when Louisa is hit with some dizzying news. I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT IT IS! But. The rest of the book is about Louisa trying to get Will to get out of his grumpy funk and have some adventures. Will is from a very wealthy family and was very successful before his accident, so the fact that he is practically a sommelier and has a penchant for evenings at the symphony come as no surprise. Apparently rich people are very fancy and predictable that way. No mention of cheeses. Pity.

Read this and your next long trek through the parking lot in the rain won't seem so inconvenient.

Read this and your next long trek through the parking lot in the rain won’t seem so inconvenient. (SOURCE)

I was not expecting to like this book. I thought it was going to be a complete downer, but, while there are some seriously sad elements, there are also some uplifting bits, and occasionally, it’s downright funny. Me Before You also raises some ethical conundrums that will leave you reeling. I’ve got so many FEELINGS, you guys! I want you to feel them too.

Bookworms, have any of you read Me Before You? What did you think? We can’t really discuss the elephant in the room because of SPOILERS, but we can talk about how much it sucks when people who don’t need it steal the disabled parking spots. That is some nasty karma y’all. I have many, many faults, but I never park in a handicapped space. I also return my shopping cart to the cart corral. Perhaps this will keep me from being reincarnated as a turd. How about you?

42 Responses to “Me Before You by Jojo Moyes”

  1. Turn the Page Reviews

    I loved her The Last Letter From Your Lover, so was excited to read her newest- but it does sound like a real downer- but now I think I will definitely have to get it- Great review!

    • Words for Worms

      It sounds so much more depressing than it is. Really. I swear. Like, I cried a little, but not a ton. I felt super hopeful for Louisa at the end…

  2. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    I LOVED THIS BOOK. And I seriously considered not even reading it. It was a book club pick and I really thought they’d all lost their minds when they voted for it. I was feeling rebellious and started to not buy and participate. Glad I got over myself because it made me do the ugly cry. Hardcore.

  3. Laura

    This has been on my to read list for a while now, but unfortunately the library doesn’t have an ecopy 🙁 Might have to finally cave and borrow the hardcover – it just makes my purse so heavy!!

  4. Rory

    I already know I can’t read this. I just can’t, but I did enjoy your review (I happened upon a spoiler so I know what happens).

    • Words for Worms

      I don’t blame you, if I’d known the spoiler situation I’m not sure I’d have picked it up either. But aren’t you proud of me for not ruining it? I’m getting so much better!

  5. Megan M.

    I’ve wanted to read this since I first heard about it! It sounds so good!

    I am not one of those people who drives and drives around looking for a good parking spot. I take the first one available, whether it’s all the way at the back or the first non-handicapped spot in the row. My favorite place to park is a space right next to the cart return – I always return my carts, too.

    • Words for Worms

      I like parking next to the cart return because it’s easy to find my car again. Although, every place I frequent I park in the same general area. I always park in the same locale at the mall, the grocery store, and any place else that has a giant parking lot. Then I don’t have to waste extra brain power trying to remember and/or wandering aimlessly… Not that that happened to me all the time or anything…

  6. Books, Tea & Me

    It makes me THRILLED when another person reads this book! I had the chance to read it months ago and have literally been recommending it to everyone. Whether or not they listen to me is another story. Me Before You was just a feels sort of books. I think I bawled more in this book than any other (except, of course, maybe Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). It was THAT GOOD. Actually, if you want to check out my review for it, go for it: Curious to know what you agree and disagree with. Great review! 🙂

  7. Monika

    I haven’t read it yet because I was afraid it would be too depressing. So glad to hear it has uplifting/funny moments, too!

  8. Leah

    I’ve read so many good things about this book! I don’t know if I would read it just based on the plot description, but so many people I trust have loved this book that I just might see if the library has it!

  9. Sarah Says Read

    I really, really should read this. I keep meaning to, and somehow it doesn’t happen. I need to be forced into a room with it and just sat down with no distractions, apparently. Maybe I’ll borrow it from the library again…

    I also never park in handicapped spaces (although sometimes I’m tempted to park in the “Expectant Mother” spaces, because those are stupid). And I always bring my cart back to the cart corral thingy, cause usually I just park right near it and because it’s douche-y not to! People are weird in their laziness in parking lots.

  10. Rhian

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for recommending this book – I loved it. I would have read it in one sitting but I had to go to bed. I also felt the feelings – tears dripping off face feelings. Beautiful, wonderful book. Did I say thank you already? Thank you!

  11. The Underground Writer

    Just finished ME BEFORE YOU. Man oh man. Last time I cried that hard was with THE POISONWOOD BIBLE. I, too, was blown away by this book. I am now telling everyone and their mother they should read it. Your review is excellent, by the way!

  12. Megan M.

    I finally read it. HOW COULD YOU NOT TELL ME HOW SAD IT WAS??? I am feelings-bombing HARD over here! Gah!

    The tights thing… I did an audible gasp. And cried.

    I was thinking about re-reading The Fault in Our Stars next because seeing the movie trailer made me want to, but now I just don’t think my sanity can handle it.

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