Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

by Vanathi Parthasarathi on May 9, 2014

Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Year: 2012
ISBN: 9780670026609
Rating: ★★★☆☆
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Jojo Moyes offers up a story narrated in a somewhat unconventional fashion in Me Before You. We review this book, which was a nominee in the Goodreads’ choice for Fiction. Read on to discover what happens when a blithe young woman and a bitter, handicapped young man meet.

 

“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”

Jojo Moyes, Me Before You

The Plot

Louisa Clark is a happy-go-lucky, 26-year-old working class girl; until one day, she is left jobless. In dire need of a job to support her large family, she unwillingly chooses to become Will Traynor’s day care assistant. Will has been left handicapped after a motorbike accident 2 years ago and is now a sour, fate-hating, suicidal and frustrated young man with a shocking plan for his future. Louisa has 6 months in hand to change Will’s heart before Will carries on with his intended plan. How she plans and executes her plans is what the story is all about.

Jojo

The Good

I was looking for a light read and hence, was going through the Goodreads’ choice nominee list for Fiction (2013) and came across this book which had received rave reviews and a 4.35 rating (by approx. 60,000 voters) and thought why not? After all, it was on the British bestseller list for quite some time. The story is not the usual boy-meets-girl and a happily-ever-after sort of story. Midway through the book, you know what is coming and you desperately hope that your expectations are not true though you also know that the story with your expectations would make the book just another novel. This anticipation makes the story stimulating. Will’s pain and his frustration with the inability to experience things have been beautifully expressed, making the reader hope that such a thing never happens to them. Louisa’s quirkiness and tit-for-tat attitude is endearing and lends an instant likeability to her character. The author has also managed to deliver different viewpoints on euthanasia effectively. The author’s empathy-evoking narrative reminds one of Jodi Picoult’s and Nicholas Sparks’ writing at some points. The prose is easy to get, maybe a little too easy at times.

The Bad

The major part of the narrative is from Louisa’s perspective, but a few parts come from the other characters. I don’t see the significance of this as it does not add any weight to the story. It seems more impulsive than character-defining. Similarly, somewhere in the middle of the book, the story gets a little tedious and boring, leaving the reader disconnected from the book. It takes you sometime to get back to the story.

The Verdict

After finishing the book, I was left with mixed feelings about it. I liked the way the author ended the story – it is the best way one can end such a story without making the reader think ‘Oh… Just another predictable story…’ But I felt there was something missing about the way the author built her scenes and events leading to the perfect ending. It’s a very different and unconventional love story which could have been told in a better way. Yet, if you are a Nicholas Sparks fan, you will love this book.     

Looking for more scoop on this? Here‘s the NY Times’ review, and an interview with author Jojo Moyes.

Written by Vanathi Parthasarathi

Love to read and have been reading since 5. Amatuer photographer and experimental cook! One of the best things in the world, according to me, is the smell of the pages in a book!

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