Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Not one iota of me expected to like this book. I'm just sayin'. I've learned a lesson lately. I tend to be pleasantly surprised by books I know next  to nothing about. Trish taught me this lesson in part -- I first heard it from her. And I think I agree! This book knocked me over with pleasant surprise.


My book club picked this one, and I was almost immediately attitudey about it. I didn't really want to buy it because what I knew of the premise (quadriplegic finds love?) sounded horrible. And the cover is way too lovey-looking for my taste. It's like Valentine's Day exploded on this cover. I seriously considered not purchasing it and not going to book club that week.

And then I got over myself and my preconceived, totally-made-up notions and stinkin' loved it. Like LOVED it. And cried a lot reading it.

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
And it's so much better than that blurb.

The thing that impressed me about this book was the character development. I really fell in love with Lou and Will and all the peripheral characters (except Will's mother...ick). It was a slow build to get to know them, and I mean that in the best way. I initially thought these characters were going to be flat and they took shape in such lovely, unfolding ways. They had their highs and they certainly had their ugly, yucky lows, but that made me love them.

If you're looking for a super-fast read with heart, give this one a try, even if you think you'll hate it.





Pub. Date: December 2012 
Publisher: Penguin Group
Format: E-book
ISBN-13: 9780143124542
Source: Purchased by moi!


26 comments:

  1. For me, that's the best thing about book clubs - being "made" to read a book you'd never pick up otherwise. I've thought of skipping book club when books didn't appeal to me but figure that's defeating the whole purpose.

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    1. Kathy, you're so right! I've been pushed delightfully out of my comfort zone.

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  2. I loved Me Before You. It made me a sloppy mess, at the end, but I thought it was beautiful and oh-so-real. Is this your first book by JoJo Moyes? So far, I've loved everything I've read by her.

    Also, this cover still looks like Valentine's but I like it better:

    http://www.1year100books.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/me-before-you.jpg

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    1. I like that cover image MUCH better!!! And yes, sloppy mess is a good way to describe it. This is my first of her books, but I'm looking forward to more. :D

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  3. Ok, I am totally in your boat. Every time I see someone rave about this book, I feel so ambivalent about the plot. But then everyone loves it!
    I guess I should just get over my apprehension and read it already!

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    1. Lindsey, it's definitely a sneaky kind of book that out-shines its premise. So so so good!

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  4. Gosh, I just passed up the chance to get this yesterday, but now I have to go back and get it! Because I have had the same preconceptions!

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  5. I felt the same way- I read it as an ARC and thought it was going to be silly chic lit. It wasn't at all! Definitely pleased.

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    1. Christine, amen to that. It's rare that a book TOTALLY surprises me, but this one did in the best way.

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  6. I'd love to love this book, but I am afraid I won't. So far I haven't been able to talk myself into reading it.

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    1. Rikki, I hope you'll give it a go!

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  7. I kind of rebelled against this book since it seemed like EVERYONE was reading it. But I sucked it up and requested it from NetGalley. . . now I just have to find some time to read it!

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    1. Rebecca, yes, yes, yes. I'm a rebel that way too. Too much hype can kill a book for me, but in this case the hypermonster wasn't as bad because I knew so little about the plot. I hope you enjoy it!

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  8. I didn't even know it was a quadriplegia. I kind of thought it was about friends. Bahahahaha! Of course this can totally bite me in the ass if I'm not careful. Mostly the discovery is really enjoyable for me, though.

    So what do you think--will Orphan Train be a winner? Because I'm starting to get a bit attitudey about some of our choices lately...they're good but not blown away good, you know?

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    1. Amen sister! More discovery!

      I like Orphan Train, but I am getting bored of the dueling narrators in ALL THE BOOKS WE READ EVER.

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  9. I agree with you 100 percent -- th best part of this book is the characters and the slow build you get as you come to love them. This one left me a sobbing mess.

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    1. Kim, same here. Sobbing. So so sobby.

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  10. Such a good book! And I thought I'd hate it as well. I am drawn to this cover though - the colors are my college colors and the colors of my wedding so I'm slightly biased...haha.

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    1. I do like the colors in general, but the soft font plus the red, white, black makes me think of a very syrupy sweet type of romance novel. Ack! It's more context than the actual colors. I've always used this scheme on my blogs. :)

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  11. Yay, so glad you loved this. This was one of my favorite reads last year. I was totally crying at the end. I was lucky and got a UK edition so my cover is not so valentine-y :)

    I have another of her books waiting for me and I think I'll enjoy it but this will be a tough act to follow.

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    1. LOL, Iliana! I definitely like the UK cover better. I can't wait to find out what you think of her other work!

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  12. Ugh, Andi. WHY do you do this to me???? I wasn't the least bit interested in this book. My dad was a quadriplegic! What if it isn't portrayed right? UGH. Now I want to read it. Damn it.

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    1. It's entirely possible that this isn't portrayed right, but I'm going to venture a guess and say that it's close. I hope you like it if you decide to take the plunge, Heather!

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  13. Ack!!! I've had the ARC to this since last fall! I know nothing about it (and skimmed your review and the comments), but I've heard great things and have decided to throw it in my carry-on bag later this month when we head out of town. I already have two books that I want to read, and I know I won't get much reading time in other than during our flights, but this sounds like it will grab me from the get-go, which is always important when I'm flying! I plan to come back here after I finish, so I can give your review my full attention. I wanted to read the passages you included, but decided I wanted to go into this book completely cold.

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  14. Knowing next to nothing about a book is great - I've started doing it with dvds too; just don't even read the back blurb, and it makes for far better entertainment, not knowing what to expect. I see the audio book is up as one of the half dozen featured books on this weekend's Book Report radio show. I was actually interested in Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed (also on offer), and how she got past the whole issue with commitment, but then got side-tracked by Me Before You! Having already read and loved the book, you may not be interested in catching the show, but for those who are, the station guide and archived shows are on their site - bookreportradio. I recon this will be my next purchase! :)

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