Book Review – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

by Maryse on January 2, 2013 · 52 comments

in My Book Reviews

Me Before You: A Novel
Ohhhhh what a magnificently written, bittersweet, extraordinary story. Unforgettable, because it broke my heart… gently.

My friend Jackie (in England) was adamant that I read this ASAP. It wasn’t available in the US at the time (not even in digital format) so she MAILED me a print copy, and left me an urgent note. The way she was going on about it in chat, I knew this was going to be big. It was obviously one of “those” reads. Inspirational and deep, you know? I was excited, but you know me and physically holding an actual book. ;) And this is a BIG book. Not just in size but in emotion, too.

Maryse: Omg Jackie. I’m reading your book and I’m loving it and yet so desperately anxiously sad. *spoiler*  I have a whole new perspective. *spoiler*. I adore him.

Jackie: I told you. You can’t help but fall in love with him in the prologue – he has everything. Read on, its a great book that will live with you forever. Keep me informed. xxx

Maryse: Ah I finished it. So good…

Jackie: will you review it?

Maryse: I feel like I should but I don’t know how to say it without saying too much. You know? I cried (oh boy did I ever) … I know. I mean…. *spoiler* SO FREAKING HEARTBREAKING!!! I was going to text you at a certain point, and my husband said… “It’s like 4 am over there.” I said, “Too bad! She should know better. Time for her to wake up and comfort me.” But… I held back. ;)

Jackie: lol. It did hurt . *spoiler* I just collapsed on the bed and wailed . – just wailed. xxx That book will live with me forever. So good… And – for the record, I would have forgiven a 4am text under the circumstances. xxx

Jackie, it would seem that you’ve caused a frenzy. When this finally released yesterday in the U.S. and I added it to the latest release page, I felt the need to include a note about how much I loved it… and the fact that I hadn’t even reviewed it yet. Still, a few of you jumped in and have since let me know that it affected you just as deeply.

Ashley: Me Before You got me hugging my child at 3 in the morning when i finished it. Then i went and woke my husband and he had to hold me and rub my back until it was time for work… I will always remember … Always. Its been a few days and the book is still with me. It haunts me.

Tracey: Just finished Me Before You, I hadn’t read the reviews before hand and just ploughed straight in…..its the first book in forever that I didnt want to finish when I realised what it was about but I had to finish it. (If that makes sense) I both loved it and hated it , and yes i cried ( i dont cry whilst reading a book never ever)… Would I have read this book if I had read the reviews ..No however Im very glad I did.

Claudia: Me before You It’s a must read book ..70% and really scared!! …  It’s pricey but is very good!!

So why didn’t I review it right away if it is one of “those” books? Well, it took me a few days to… settle in, after I read it. I had no idea what to say. To you, to me… even to Jackie. How do I review a book like this? You’ll know what I mean if you go for it.

It was obvious that I LOVED it. I knew that. Deep down. I loved every single thing about it. I got it. I get it. BUT, I had an equally demanding emotion to contend with. For awhile, I was furious with Jackie for sending me this heartwrenching story. I looked up at my husband at some point in the book (I won’t tell you where) and said, “What was she thinking?!! Does she even know me at all?”

It would be safest for me to not say anything more about the actual story. To truly experience it as it was meant to be taken in, as it was meant to be fully processed and internalized, I believe it is best to go in blindly (if you’re game for it, that is).

I did. I had no idea what I was in for, even though Jackie and I had discussed it previously (she only spoke of it in terms of feelings, and I now know why). Jackie threw me into the deep end, and I had to learn how to swim, fast. And yes, at some point… (again, it’s a secret), I was scrambling. Moments of basking in joy, wanting to cuddle, smiling to myself… and moments of me shaking my head and crunching my eyebrows, restraining my tears. And I couldn’t hold ‘em. I don’t think anyone can hold back tears reading this one. At one point I thought I was too mad to cry. I get that way sometimes. A delayed reaction to moments of sadness, because my fury is in the forefront and squashing my true feelings. The feelings that I don’t want to feel. But I still couldn’t hold it.

It was a little “slow” every once in awhile, making me wonder where it was going, but this story calls for that. Needs that attention to detail. That slowly budding friendship…

“… I just needed to hear a friendly voice.”

“is he that bad?”

“Treen, he hates me. He looks at me like I’m something the cat dragged in. And he doesn’t even drink tea. I’m hiding from him.”

… allowing the readers to experience and process that tentative trust. I know you’ve heard this from me before about other stories (damaged people, learning to trust, one special connection etc…), but this is different. Unless you’ve actually read this book, well… you likely haven’t read this before.

But I’ll tell you all what. No matter what happened or didn’t happen, I’m better for having read it. Lived it. Cried through it. Okay… sobbed through it.

And yes, Jackie. I must acknowledge that you obviously know me perfectly. Even if it took me a few days to admit it. And everyday since I’ve read it, I can’t help but contemplate it. I’ve been needing to review it, to tell others, but I didn’t know how. I think though, that this is enough to get my point across. And I feel better, if not a little tight in my throat area. The lump is back and it’s taking up space.

P.S. A few have mentioned how pricey it is, when Claudia announced her love for it on our Facebook page. It IS pricey. Whoa! I know and I have no idea why that much for a digital book. *shakes head* If you decide on it anyway, I think the overall feeling that this book will leave you with, will totally be worth it, and then some. It still resonates deep in my heart. Maybe even more now than when I first finished it.

4.5  to 5 stars! (and more like 5 stars). By the way, if you read it, you’ll likely need to join us in the spoiler discussion for it: http://talk.maryse.net/threads/me-before-you-by-jojo-moyes.760/

“Everything takes time, Will.” she said, placing her hand briefly on his arm. “And that’s something that your generation find it a lot harder to adjust to. You have all grown up expecting things to go your way almost instantaneously. You all expect to live lives you chose. Especially a successful young man like yourself. But it takes time.”

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Tannler January 2, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Unfortunately, this is too pricey for me but I would LOVE to read it. Please keep us up to date if this one goes on sale ever. Thank you for the awesome review.

Minha (BrazilianGirl) January 2, 2013 at 7:39 PM

$15.00 is too pricey for me, but would love to read it if the price comes down. I will keep it on my wish list :)

Lise January 2, 2013 at 7:41 PM

I have just started this and it is pricey, but your local library has it, at least mine does! I know I am in for an emotional journey…. but I love a book that really moves me. Off I go!

Claudia January 2, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Loved Loved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Melanie welsh January 2, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Anytime you recommend anything, I always jump on it. I want to get it, totally intrigued…. But at this price…. I just can’t. Please, please, please keep us updated if price gets more reasonable. Love your reviews and recommendations!

Melanie

Chrissy January 2, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Hi Maryse, found your blog and have loved and recommended it to friends and clients. I read this book Me Before You at the start of 2012, one of my first iPad purchases it really changed me after reading this book I wanted to be a better person even!! Even if it is pricey the emotions all your readers will feel will make it totally worthwhile . Thanks for a great reading year Maryse I totally look forward to 2013 with you

lindsey January 2, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Holy-moly it costs 15 dollars! I sure hope it goes on sale:-(

Ashley January 2, 2013 at 8:28 PM

Gah. I’m in a middle of a KA book, and I’m really loving her book. I’m afraid to start this, but know I will in fact, cave and pay the price, then read it and pay the emotional price. Oh boy. Must finish other book first!

Maryse January 2, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Oh!! We’ve started discussing our reactions in the “spoiler” forum for it —> http://talk.maryse.net/threads/me-before-you-by-jojo-moyes.760/

So whoever does read it… this might help. ;)

Nicky January 2, 2013 at 8:41 PM

Awesome story I cried soooooo much!!! How unfair can life be to people!!!! I loved the characters and the money is well spent on this book I read it about 3months ago and can’t get the story out of my mind 5 stars exceptional :)

Sandy January 2, 2013 at 8:48 PM

It sounds great but waaaaaay to expensive for me. :-(

Jessica Z January 2, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Amazing review. Loved the book. Worth the price. We need to convince Jojo Moyes to give us some chapters in Will’s POV. There are just something’s I needed him to say to Lou. Ugh torture.

Maryse January 2, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Oh I’d LOVE ANYTHING from Will. He was such a rich, REAL character. I fell in love.

Kayla January 2, 2013 at 9:23 PM

If you have a blog or review books and belong to NetGalley you can request an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) I was sent a copy to my kindle a couple weeks ago and will start reading it tonight!

Brandi Wa January 2, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Wow this one must have been a very very very good book if it was difficult for you to write a review. :) At $15 for the kindle version, I think I’ll just dish out the additional $3.50 and get the hardcover. Thanks for the recommendation, Maryse.

Christina January 2, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Yikes over $18 up here I may have to wait on this one :(

Ida January 3, 2013 at 9:20 AM

I started reading it last night and absolutely love it so far. I had to force myself to put it down so I could get a few hours of sleep. Can’t wait to finish it today.

Shai Villanueva January 3, 2013 at 9:20 AM

I’m intrigued! Guess I’m gonna read this.. I need to read it before classes starts on Monday :)
Hope it will be worth it. I’m gonna slip this on top of my TBR, mehe :) )
Thanks for the recommendation!

LucyLou January 3, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Maryse, sounds like you found us another “it” book. Definately near the top of my TBR list. 2013 is already starting out great. Thanks, Maryse

Shanda January 3, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Maryse, I have tears in my eyes reading your review, just reading how you felt about it. I don’t know if I can do it……

Kayla January 3, 2013 at 12:47 PM

I started reading it last night and finished it this morning. It took me 20 minutes to read the last chapter and epilogue because I was sobbing uncontrollably. I loved it and hated it because of how I feel towards it. It’s been a while since a book has gotten to me in this way. I loved the characters and the story.

Cori January 3, 2013 at 3:51 PM

This book sounds great!! My library has it so I don’t have to pay the 15$ price! Everyone should check the library!! :) Wish more of the recommended books on here were at the library but we love indie authors don’t we?!? :) Thanks Maryse!

Maryse January 3, 2013 at 4:46 PM

My pleasure, guys!! Definitely check out the library. This one should be read.

Joanna I January 3, 2013 at 7:57 PM

I’m in, just bought it!! Hope it’s worth the $15, all the reviews point to yes… No library for me, I’m too addicted to my iPad and phone :)

Maribel January 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM

I just finished reading this book and let me just say…I’m still crying like a little b****. I absolutely loved this book! Am I a glutton for punishment..I sure am because I keep re- reading the last chapter in hopes that something different will occur…dammit to hell ( saying this holding up two fists in the air), lol.

Ida January 4, 2013 at 8:13 AM

WOW!!! I finished the book last night. I’ve never been such an emotional wreck over a book. I’ll admit that I have shed the occasional tear, but with this one I was a MESS. Will absolutely broke my heart.

Angie H. January 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Oh, God. This was good. Worth every penny. Egde of Never good!
Beautifully written. Painfully, but so touchingly (is that a even a word?)
paced, with excellent character development. Louisa/Clark
reminded me of Robin McKinley’s Sunshine (from her amazing
book of the same name), which is enough to make me cry in
and of itself. This profound love story, along with Edge of Never of course,
are permanently etched in my brain and heart. Another
incredible book that I may just have missed completely without
your rec, Maryse. Thank you! :)

Angie H. January 4, 2013 at 11:57 AM

PS- If the price is holding you back, get your name on a library
hold list, ask for it as an advance Mother’s Day present, or
split the cost with a friend. You’re going to want to have this
beautiful love story in your life :)

tracy January 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

I was going to plunge into it..but you know what? I can cry at home for free.. and i gotta say i REALLY resent the price for this book. Depressing and inspiring i think i can find less expensive books ie..Christine Zolendz that write beautifully, kill you inside and dont charge unpretentious price
Ok thats all lol. Gotta say as a book lover i am totally offended by the price.

Tracy

Kathy January 4, 2013 at 12:56 PM

I’m about to start crying and I haven’t even read yet.

Marcia January 4, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Good review Maryse. I like the way you put things. This book utterly depressed me and your review made me feel a bit better about it.

surj January 4, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Omg I cried…. and cried…. and cried. I finished reading it at 5 this afternoon but each time I think about it, I cry. I started telling my husband about it 2 hours after i’d finished reading it and started crying again!!!!! this book has really affected me… mainly because it felt so real and I connected with the characters so well. It really has made me want to be a better person. If yo get a chance to read it, do. Just amazing

Melody January 5, 2013 at 12:45 AM

Ohhhhh….just finished…..what a great book! Amazing how quickly you become attached to the characters. On to the next!

Maryse January 5, 2013 at 1:22 AM

*group hug* I love you guys!

Melody January 5, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Just noticed “Me Before You” is featured in this weeks People magazine (January 14th) issue. Great review and it’s the “People Pick” !

LucyLou January 6, 2013 at 12:56 AM

I went in blindly, not knowing what to expect. It started out all fun and sexy and then *BAM*. I went in blindly and am now blinded by tears. (May never see again) Probably one of the deepest, most controversial, and emotionally devastating books I have ever read. Like you Maryse, I could not put it down. It is so beautiful and real and tragic.

Hellokittyblanca January 6, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Thanks for the rec. it was so good, but I am an emotional wreck now! I need flowers, rainbows and sunshine after a read like that! Maybe SC Stephens can release reckless a little early?

Carissa January 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM

My hearts hurts so bad. I am holding back tears in my office full of men, who just wouldn’t get.

Margarett January 20, 2013 at 10:40 PM

This book haunted me. I can’t stop thinking about Will. I love him. I hate him. But I love him more.. I almost can’t breathe & sleep & eat. It broke my heart into million pieces. I cried all night. I went to work today feeling soo gloomy… I love & hate this book with a passion.

Tersh January 22, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Omw where to start!!i have read hundreds of books in the past few years, and have watched hundreds of movies, and i can honestly say i have never cried during a single one of them. That was before “me before you” ….i literally sobbed!my chest constricted so many times i thought i was going to pass out. I was shaking (to which i was thinking “what is going on with me??”) and crying and just being an all out mess! It has been a few days since i finished this book, and i cant stop thinking about it, thinking “what if i were in her shoes”…thanks Maryse for this recommendation, i have been following your blog for a while and you always know just what to say to get me to choose my next book :) heres to hoping i can go a few more years without these heartwrenching sobs this book brought about…i dont think i could deal with crying like i did for another while!

Claudia March 8, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I have been meaning to read this book, but I was always torn because from reading the reviews I knew I would be heartbroken. This is one book though I can honestly say was worth it. I cried tons but I also laughed alot. Crazy to say but it really does stay with you and I feel like it makes you look and love and life so differently. This book is a must read for everyone.

Ruby March 26, 2013 at 1:09 PM

An absolutely beautiful story! I’m really to have discovered your blog because you really give amazing recommendation! Thank you so much Maryse !

Patty July 30, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Omg I cried. If my husband said one more time ..”its just a book, are you serious”.. Heartwrenching…Omg I have to find a funny or HEA

Lisa Haines August 2, 2013 at 4:22 PM

What category is this book? Is it contemporary erotica or is the steam level low? Just curious. Tks!

Brazilian Girl August 24, 2013 at 7:47 AM

As promised , I kept it on my wish list and when the price dropped to almost half I got it. Just finished it today, and I am feeling like you did at first Maryse, I love most of it, and cant stop thinking about it but I don’t want to talk about, or rate it on my Goodreads…. Not yet…

Linda August 27, 2013 at 3:35 PM

I just finished it and absolutely cannot stop thinking about it. I have a huge pit in my stomach -haven’t been affected like this since I read “The Book Thief”. Yes, I know, chill out it’s fiction, but I can’t help it!

Marina November 11, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Just finally read this. LOVED IT. Definitely one of my best reads of the year. I had to scrape myself off the floor and pull my self together when it was done. So moving.

Tali Alexander September 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Wow… I don’t think I’ve ever seen you get so emotional and be at a lost for words over a story. As soon as I finish writing this comment I’m downloading this book. I need something good to wreck me. I haven’t had my heart pulled out in a while. Thanks for the recommendation. ❤️TA

Maryse September 20, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Oh YAY!! Let us know what you think when you’re done, Tali!! :D

Patty October 29, 2014 at 11:51 AM

I’ve been hearing about this book for so long, but have hesitated to read it because I know I will get too emotional! But now that’s it’s on sale, I couldn’t resist, though who knows how long it will sit in TBR list before I work up the nerve! I hate having my heart broken!!!

Tali Alexander October 30, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Okay, as promised here is my opinion about the novel that came highly recommended by Maryse; whose literary judgment I value above all. I finished reading “ME BEFORE YOU” last night and I had so many emotions going through my head that I needed a full day to come to terms with how I feel about Louisa & Will’s story. As far as writing goes author JoJo Moyes is a talented storyteller, well deserving her success and popularity. While reading her tale I let myself become Louisa Clark and I too had fallen hard for Will Traynor. I don’t remember the last time a story actually made me cry so hard that I stopped and looked at my own life and suddenly saw things clearly. I can’t fully say everything I want to say about this beautiful story without giving away too many spoilers, but I will say that I’m very thankful that I took a break from writing and listened to Maryse and read this book. When all is said and done I loved the ending! Life, we don’t know what’s waiting for us around the corner, we should therefore; enjoy every moment, smile every minute, love every second and live happy. I’m crying again, even as I’m writing this, but my tears are happy thankful tears. ❤️TA

Louise O November 29, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Many weeks later this story is still with me. I loved how she is/was throughout. I loved Will. I cried. Hard. I did not love how it ended—& definitely one of those stories I did not want to end. I loved how she became in the end– the strength….just am amazingly written story. A difficult subject matter no doubt.

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