Contemporary · Review

Book Review: Me Before You

Well, I have a confession to make… I watched the trailer for the movie before I actually started reading Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. I have probably watched that trailer over a dozen times which is a bit embarrassing to admit but it’s true. However, I think that might have colored my opinion of the book. Oops?

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.

The plot in this was really interesting. While it’s a little cliché with the quirky girl meets arrogant rich boy, I liked the uniqueness of the guy actually being the vulnerable one. It was heavy subject matter presented in a lighter tone. It actually reminded me a lot of this French film, The Intouchables (go watch it now because it’s amazing!), except Me Before You is a romance. The pace did kind of move up and down, with some slower parts here and there but it was never enough for me to think, why the hell am I reading this? I think that’s a good sign really, because I tend to hit that point with a lot of contemporaries. Sorry to all of you contemporary lovers, they’re just not my favorite!

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Oh Lou, you were an interesting character. I get why a lot of people liked her, I really do. I see the quirkiness and I can identify with that. She’s one of those people who can make a situation really awkward without even trying and can’t keep a straight face but shows exactly what she’s thinking. I’m the same way! However, I think for a 26 year old, she was a bit too naive to be believable. I didn’t connect with her that way but that’s just me. I didn’t see how she could just accept that life was never going to get any better. For me, settling is like the worst thing you can do, that’s just giving up and I don’t like to see people do that. Thank God, she met Will and he taught her that life is worth living it. I would have tossed the book out the window if she ended up never changing.

Now, Will, he was a great character. I felt he was so much more complex than Lou, which I guess makes total sense due to his disability and all of the issues he’s had to deal with. But I really connected with him and why he felt the way he did. He had experienced all life had to offer and then it was all taken from him. Watching how he reacted to Lou and the relationship that they built overtime was my favorite part. His snarkiness and her optimism/naivety were hilarious when they interacted. I also loved how much he grew to care about Lou. He truly didn’t want her to waste her life away in that small town and never any ambitions. Plus, his friendship with Nathan was a nice touch. I’d like to be mad at Will and call him selfish, but he’s actually selfless and I think that’s what makes it even harder to understand.

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Okay, here’s my issue with this book – I think it suffers from being overhyped. I really did enjoy it, it was cute and funny and bittersweet. However, was it amazing/incredible/glorious/superb? No, I don’t think so. Like I mentioned, I’ve watched the movie trailer an insane amount of times and just fell in love with it. So I was hoping that this book would live up to this expectation that I had in my head between the trailer and all of the rave reviews. And guys, it just didn’t. Something was just missing me for me and the strange part is that I don’t know what exactly it is or what I was looking for to give it that last star. If I’m honest, it’s a bit of a shock to me that I can’t give this book the 5-star rating that it seems to be getting from almost everyone else. I just knew that Me Before You was going to astound me but alas, it didn’t. So I’m sorry JoJo, but I just can’t.

Maybe someone else can tell me what it is that was missing for me? Did anyone else feel the same way? Or am I just a crazy person?

Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars

32 thoughts on “Book Review: Me Before You

  1. You’re not crazy at all. I read this book a while ago and all I’d heard was “this is the best book ever”, “you will love it”. But then I read it and thought, “Oh, well it’s good. But it’s not THAT good”. I mean, it’s fine, but it’s not life-changing. At least, it wasn’t for me 🙂

    It’s not just you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank goodness I’m not alone in feeling this way! I just knew people were gonna come at me with pitchforks for not giving it the full 5 stars haha. I totally agree though, it was good but it’s not The Nightingale good. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really liked the book – I really liked Lou and Will, and also Lou’s parents. I don’t know, it just clicked for me, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make my book club read it next month.There is a sequel, After You, that is worth reading if you like Lou, but I did have my issues with that one. The movie trailer actually got me to read the book, and I love the trailer, but they do show all of the important parts, so I was a bit disappointed after finishing the book that there wasn’t really any surprise, but I still enjoyed it. As much as I can enjoy something that makes me sob buckets at the end… I really liked Jojo Moyes writing style and I want to read more of her stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I really liked the book as well. I guess I just had trouble reconciling it with all of the hype and it just didn’t match those expectations. I may read the sequel at some point and see how Lou turns out. Though I do think this is probably one of those books that didn’t really need a sequel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I agree the sequel isn’t necessary, but it was nice to check in on Lou and see how she is doing. I went in to the book without tremendously high hopes, so maybe that is why I liked it so much. ? I dunno, but the movie looks really good! And I love the actors they cast.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I’d have to agree that this isn’t the most amazing, mind blowing book I’ve read in a while, but, when I was trying to review it I decided to compare it to other contemporary books I’ve read and found that I really enjoyed it. I still gave it a 4/5, but considering that I don’t read a lot of contemporary and that it isn’t my favourite genre, I was quite surprised at how much I ended up liking the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe that was my issue too, I’m not the biggest contemporary fan though every now and then I’ll find one that I really enjoy. And I really did like this one, I think I was just expecting to immediately want to give it 5 stars but then after reading it, I just couldn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a review about this book too! I, myself, also bought the book after watching the trailer. I also agree that it indeed overhyped. Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I read this almost one year ago. After reading it I was too devastated so I kind of hated the book. It wasn’t very long after I lost my grandmother, so I was overemotional while reading it. Now, I can objectively say that this book wasn’t as terrible as I first thought it was. It was good, but not the best in the world no.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, that’s so sweet. It was exactly the same for me. And I finished it like two AM in the morning, so I just couldn’t fall asleep after that..

        Like

  6. Great review! I really loved the trailer too 🙂 This book has been SO hyped on Twitter and Instagram lately, I was starting to wonder whether it’d live up to the hype.. I still haven’t read it though. *hides behind the ginormous TBR pile* xD
    Have you read its sequel?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I think that’s why I couldn’t give it 5 stars, it was just too overhyped and didn’t live up to those high expectations in my opinion. I haven’t read the sequel yet and I’m not sure if I want to. I think the ending was perfect and doesn’t leave a need for a sequel. It’s almost like the author only wrote it to make more money since the first one has gotten so popular.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, yeah I understand. Contemporaries usually don’t even need a sequel—one book is sufficient enough.
        I think I’ll go into it without very high expectations. The synopsis sounds pretty intriguing, so I just hope the story is as good.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My confession is even worse: I saw the movie before even buying the novel. Yikes, I know right?! I do have to say that I might have liked the movie only slightly more than the book, though I loved them both! I gave this book 4 stars too, I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

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