Skip to main content

A Review of "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes --A Novel That Puts You on an Emotional Rollercoaster

Me Before You Plot Summary 

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl who has never explored the world beyond her own small village.  After losing her job, she realizes she isn't qualified for anything lucrative, and not much is available in the midst of an economic recession.  Since her family relies on her financial contributions, she takes the least horrible job available--a companion and helper for a quadriplegic.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Me Before You is book one of the trilogy, and it's also a movie.

Will Traynor is used to living a big life.  As a former business tycoon accustomed to participating in extreme sports, traveling the world, and dating hot women, he finds himself unable to cope in the confines of a wheelchair with no use of his legs and arms, never leaving the annex of his wealthy parents' home.  

After a rocky start together, Louisa and Will not only adapt to each other, they begin to fall in love, but will their love be strong enough to change Will's plans to end his suffering?

Me Before You Is Reminiscent of Pygmalion and My Fair Lady

When you begin to read this novel, you wonder how a 26-year-old girl could have so few skills, so little ambition, and no clue what she wants to do with her life.  Lousia Clark lives with her family, has a steady boyfriend, works in a café, and has no interests.  As you continue reading, however, you realize the author is crafting a growing-up novel because you watch Louisa progress developmentally as the story unfolds.

Will Traynor has lived a full life by his mid-thirties, and his objective is to help Louisa broaden her horizons, dream bigger, and achieve her full potential.  He knows a diamond in the rough when he sees one.  

Will introduces Louisa to literature, movies, the orchestra, and other finer things in life--he becomes the Professor Higgins to her Eliza Doolittle.  

Louisa is determined to show Will that life is worth living, and with her new-found confidence, she plans outings and trips abroad to bolster his spirits.

Me Before You-Louisa & Will at the Wedding
Louisa surprises Will when she asks him to take her for a whirl on the dance floor at his ex-girlfriend's wedding.

The Book Title Isn't About Selfishness

When you first read the title, Me Before You, it smacks of selfishness.  As you follow the journey of Louis and Will, however, you come to the realization how brilliantly titled the novel is.   

Here's how Jojo Moyes explains it, "Well, it's a deliberately vague title, but in my head it's 'who we were before we met the other.'"

FYI--Me Before You is the first book in the trilogy.  Find all the books and the DVD here:

Me Before You Makes You More Empathetic Towards Quadriplegics

Unless you are in a wheelchair or know someone who is, understanding what someone confined to one is challenged with every day isn't an easy concept to wrap your mind around.

You never think about how they take care of their personal hygiene, the bed sores and infections they are prone to, the stares they get in public, how inaccessible some areas are for wheelchairs, how uncomfortable people act when approaching them, the depression they face from such a position of helplessness, etc.  They suffer many indignities we can't imagine--we take so much for granted!

This book will open your eyes and your heart and make you count your blessings.

After their night at an orchestra concert, Will asks Louisa to just sit with him a little longer in the car before they go inside the house.  He says, "I just...want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress.  Just for a few minutes more."

Me Before You--Will & Louisa at Orchestra
Louisa and Will attend an orchestra performance.

How tragic!  Will is the same person on the inside he's always been, but his body has become a prison. 

On one hand, Moyes gives quads hope that despite their limitations, there are ways for them to enjoy a full life and experience love.  On the other hand, she offers a conflictive and controversial alternative regarding quality over quantity that completely devalues human life.  

Me Before You Is Written from Multiple Perspectives

Some authors struggle to make a novel transition smoothly when they change points of view, but Moyes does the job masterfully.

The majority of the novel is from Louisa's first-person point of view, and we are never allowed into Will's psyche, but we also get to look at the story from the eyes of others, like Will's parents, Louisa's sister, and Will's healthcare aide.

Me Before You at Castle
Louisa shares a deep, dark secret with Will, and he helps her stop allowing the experience to define her.

One particular passage told by Will's mom will bring tears to the eyes of every parent.  You'll know it when you get to it, but it's about how a mom doesn't simply see the adult male her son has become and his current struggles.  She remembers, like yesterday, when he was an infant, a toddler, a student.  A parent remembers the history, and all the love she has invested from the beginning to the present day--so bittersweet.

Me Before You Is Simultaneously Wonderful & Tragic 

This book is written masterfully, with a well-developed plot, deep character development, and unpredictable twists.  It is well-researched and emotionally charged.  

When you crack the cover, you aren't some detached reader sitting in your favorite chair.  A hand reaches out from the pages and pulls you inside.  The world around you ceases to exist, and you feel the intensity of the emotion from each character.  You can't get up.  You are pinned to your seat and rush breathlessly through each chapter, desperate to reach the end to learn how things turn out--you can't stand not knowing, so you refuse to put the book down until you read the last word.

If you're accustomed to light romantic reading, be warned this book doesn't wrap up all the details in a nice bow.  It's complicated.  You find yourself loving it and hating it at the same time.  It's raw and may leave you feeling gutted. 

Louisa & Will on vacation in "Me Before You"
Louisa manages to take Will on an unforgettable vacation in paradise.

Since the events in this novel feel like they've happened in your own life, it takes 3-7 days to fully recover and let go before you start another book.  

Me Before You is intense and riveting. 

Based on author reviews, people either love or hate Jojo Moyes's style, but Me Before You makes one thing clear--Moyes is a master storyteller.

Join Our Community of Bookworms on Social Media

If you are an avid reader, grammar nerd, book blogger, or author, join our cozy community of literary enthusiasts on these platforms:

TWITTER:  Book Banter Café


Popular posts from this blog

Keep Your Kids Reading All Summer

Do you want to give your kids an advantage next school year?  One of the best ways you can help them succeed is to develop a reading program over summer break.  You can design one that is as simple or complex as your schedule allows.  Here are some strategies to get your started. Option 1:  The Basic Summer Reading Program Set a reading goal for your kids.  Depending on their age and reading ability, do you want them to read 10 books over the summer, 50, or somewhere in between?  Keep the bar high enough to challenge them without exceeding the realm of possibility. Get your kids excited about awards for meeting incremental goals.  Receiving an incentive for every five books is a reasonable target.  We'll discuss what constitutes a desirable reward in just a bit.  Click  here  to download a free resource where your kids can track the books they read.  The download also includes an optional worksheet where your kids can write about the characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolu

Don't Let Your Kids Read Harry Potter

Have your kids been imploring you for permission to read the Harry Potter series?  It seems like everyone is hooked on these books, making your kids feel awkwardly quarantined from their peers over the divide on principles.  After all, Scholastic book orders provided by the indoctrination centers of public schools are brimming with Harry Potter selections, serving up an alarming dose of witchcraft for the youngest readers to the oldest.  Isn't everything sanctioned by the schools supposed to be in your child's best interests?  Hardly.  Not only is the book addiction rampant, but the frenzy is intensified by movies, museum exhibits, and video games.  A full line of merchandise supports the franchise, offering consumers Harry Potter board games, magic wands, apparel, cups, calendars, umbrellas, necklaces, and other fan fare products.  If Harry Potter is so evil and insidious, surely the bandwagon would be fairly empty, right?  We find the answer in I Corinthians 2:14,

'Tis the Season for a Christmas Book Giveaway: Two Copies of "The Christmas Town" by Donna VanLiere

  The Christmas Town Became a Hallmark Movie Fans of Candace Cameron Bure will remember her portrayal of Lauren Gabriel in Hallmark's 2019 movie,  Christmas Town , which is based on this book by Donna VanLiere.  However, the Hallmark version has almost nothing in common with the novel.  The book and the movie share only three things:  character names, setting, and the fact Lauren was once a foster child.     Since the storylines veer in different directions, the book will take you on a far deeper and better journey.   Lauren is a 21-year-old cashier who grew up in foster homes, always hoping the relationship with her drug addict mother might one day be restored.  She longs for family.  One day, she witnesses a car accident that thrusts her into the small town of Grandon.  She loves the town and all the people in it and finds the faith, hope, love, and family her heart has always longed for. The Christmas Town is a very uplifting story brimming with faith, generosity, servanthood,

A Review of Tucker Carlson's Eye-Opening Book, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution

The radical Left has tried to drown out Tucker Carlson's voice of reason, but he won't be intimidated or silenced.  Carlson calls his evening show on Fox News "the sworn enemy of  lying, pomposity, smugness, and group-think."  In his latest book, Ship of Fools , he offers an eye-opening account of what we have suspected all along about the radical Left agenda, but unlike liberals, he presents actual facts and logic to prove his points.  What he reveals about the far left-wingers who have hijacked the entire Democratic Party is more than unsettling. Two years after Trump's election, the socialist liberals and their fascist propaganda machine, the fake news networks, still cannot accept his presidency.  Carlson points out just why Trump was elected--he was the only one who seemed interested in what voters had to say, and electing him was our "throbbing middle finger in the face of America's ruling class."  Wouldn't you agree? Carlson conclud

Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy by Jeanine Pirro

Liars, Leakers, and Liberals:   The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy by Jeanine Pirro is a refreshing read because it reveals something to us we don’t get from the mainstream media:   the TRUTH!   This book is insightful and illuminating because the average, honest American can’t even fathom the corruption pervading the political swamp of Washington.   This eye-opening account uncovers all the political maneuvering of key players in that swamp to subvert our government for their own self-serving gain.   You will read shocking details about these swamp dwellers: ·          Hillary Clinton ·          Barack Obama ·          James Comey ·          Peter Strzok ·          Andrew McCabe ·          Rod Rosenstein ·          Robert Mueller ·          And more…… Unlike the political fiction you hear from the mainstream fascist propaganda machine, this book separates fake news from the truth, exposes Hollywood hypocrites and RINOS, uncovers the sed

The Phantom of the Opera: Comparing & Contrasting Gaston Leroux's Book to the Movie Based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's Musical

  The Phantom of the Opera Plot Summary Originally written as a serial story for the Le Gaulois newspaper, The Phantom of the Opera was released as a novel in March 1910.  It remains as captivating today as it was then thanks, in part, to the enticing score composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber that debuted in 1986.  In 2004, Joel Schumaker's film adaptation of the musical provided a chance for everyone to experience this thrilling and chilling romance.  The Phantom of the Opera is a gothic tale about a deformed musical genius who "haunts" the Paris Opera House.  He lives in a secret lair of his own creation by a lake in the deepest recesses of the opera.  The Phantom, whose real name is Erik, becomes obsessed with Christine Daaé, and under his tutelage, he prepares her to be the next prima donna of the opera in place of the current soprano, Carlotta.   Thinking the Phantom is the Angel of Music her father promised to send her when he went to heaven, Christine blindly submi

Review: "The Book of Signs" by Dr. David Jeremiah

Is the End of the World Near?  When you watch the news and read the headlines, it seems our world is hurtling towards disaster.  Christ followers are taught to be ready for His Second Coming, although no one knows the day or the hour He will return. The Bible is filled with prophetic passages to give us clues about what to expect in the end times leading up to the apocalypse; however, unless you're a Biblical scholar, many of these scriptures may seem cryptic.   In The Book of Signs , Dr. David Jeremiah shares deep insight into complicated Biblical prophecy to make it digestable and easy to understand.  Your eyes will be opened, and the meaning behind familiar scriptures will be revealed  like never before.   How The Book of Signs is Structured The Book of Signs is a comprehensive manual that breaks down end time prophecies into manageable chunks over the course of 31 chapters: PART 1:  International Signs Chapter 1:  Israel Chapter 2:  Europe Chapter 3:  Russia Chapter 4:  Babylo

2023 Reading Challenge That's Fun & Easy!

Not Your Typical 2023 Reading Challenge When you're a voracious bookworm, a new year means a fresh start on tackling your TBR list.  We somehow think this is the year we will mark every book as read and finally reach the end of our list, knowing the lofty goal will always remain a dangling carrot of vain pursuit.   With renewed vigor and time on our hands in the colder months, we also accept reading challenges to expand our literary horizons.  Like many New Year's resolutions, our enthusiasm quickly wanes when we fall further and further behind, and the challenge becomes more like a tedious chore than something to savor. Let's change that in 2023! Reading should always be a rewarding, worthwhile experience.  Life is busy, so when you can squeeze in time for reading, it should be like sitting down with your best friend--a fun and unhurried time of delightful engagement.   Challenges that include specific books, themes, or genres that don't interest you or ones that tax y

If You Love Hallmark's "Evergreen" Trilogy, You'll Love "A Lake House Holiday" By Megan Squires

Merrylark If you're a Hallmark Christmas movie fanatic, you know all about the small town of Evergreen.  Hallmark has delighted us with stories about this close-knit town.  If Evergreen really existed, many of us would move there! In A Lake House  Holiday , a similar town exists.  It's the town of Merrylark, aptly named for the goodwill friends and neighbors extend to others. Jolene Carter Jolene Carter experienced a tragedy five years prior, and the savings she had dreamed of investing in her own coffee shop venture has been needed to sustain her ever since. Jolene knows time is running out for her to find a real job before her dwindling savings disappears.  Even though her lake house neighbors pay her to maintain their home for all their renters, it's not sustainable for her long-term. It seems everyone in town relies on Jolene.  She's a kind-hearted and compassionate woman who can't say no when she's needed.  Whether she's helping her friend in her coffee

Valentine's Romance GIVEAWAY ALERT: Emma Lynden's "The Holiday Plan" (Kindle Edition)

We're Celebrating Valentine's Day with a Kindle Book GIVEAWAY!   Emma Lynden is a debut author whose stellar new romance takes place during the ultimate season of love--Valentine's Day!  The swoony novel is titled The Holiday Plan , and you can read my full review here . The plot of The Holiday Plan is magical: Valentine's Day is full of painful reminders for Verona Scott, a romance novelist who has trouble believing happily-ever-after exists.  To escape all the heart-shaped, pink and red symbols of the season, Verona holes up in Courtington Castle, a luxury hotel near the quaint town of Camelot Creek, located in the valley of the Adirondacks.  She's hoping the picturesque backdrop will lead to much-needed literary inspiration, since best-selling romance novels are hard to write when drawn from a well of personal heartbreak.  Verona is horrified upon check-in to learn a match-making retreat headed by the king of happily-ever-after himself, Troy Turner, coincides