Saturday, February 1, 2014

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Title: Me Before You
Author: JoJo Moyes
Read by: Susan Lyons, Anna Bentinck, Steven Crossey, Alex Tregear, Andrew Wincott, and Owen Lindsay
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Length: 12 CDs, approximately 14.5 hours
Source: Review Copy from Penguin Audio.  Thank-you!

Me Before You is the February pick for the FLICKS Book and Movie Club.  This worked out perfectly as I had an audiobook version awaiting review on the top of my pile from Penguin Audio.  It was a great book to listen to; it kept me fascinated during long and snowy drives home.  It also had me in tears driving home the last day; luckily it was not during a snow storm!

Me Before You looks like a standard chick lit novel, but it is anything but.  It starts off as a unique meet cute story, but turns into a story on the topic of euthanasia.  It was a very thought provoking novel, and one that I’m sure should spark some lively discussion during book club this month!
Louisa Clark (or Lou) is a twenty-six year old woman living in a small village in England.  She has never left her village, still lives at home, has a steady boyfriend (aka Running Man), and works in a small café.  After losing her job when the café closes, Louisa looks for new jobs.  Finding herself unqualified or unwilling to do most (being a poll dancer is not in her future), she takes a job as an assistant to a paraplegic thirty five year old man named Will Traynor.  

Will had a large life before his accident, women, wealth, a great job, and high flying adventures all over the world.  He is barely civil to Louisa when she first starts, but Louisa refuses to treat him any different and tells him exactly what she thinks about him.  She is the first person to ever treat Will this way and he likes it.  The two develop a close friendship and then Louisa makes a stunning discovery.  I won’t go more into it to ruin the book for someone else, but it is riveting.

The story is told from the point of view of Louisa, but there are a few random chapters told from another point of view (but never Will’s) throughout the book.  Each one had a new narrator, which I liked, but I didn’t like the change all of the time.  The one I did really like was the first new narrator, Mrs. Traynor, Will’s mother.  She seems like a cold woman to Louisa, but when you get her point of view, you realize how much she loves her son Will, but that she is not an outwardly emotional woman.

I highly recommend this novel. It was wonderfully written with unforgettable characters and an unforgettable story.  This book will keep me thinking about different issues for years to come.  I think it would make a great book club pick for other clubs as I’m sure this is going to lead to great discussions this month – especially as it seems most of the club has finished it (and not just me!). 


  1. Terrific review! I've wanted to read this book for a while now, and I like the idea that the characters and the story are memorable.

    1. (P.S. An audio version would be fine, too.)

  2. Great review. This was one of my favorite audiobooks of 2013!