Thursday, December 12, 2013

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes


Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
Narrated by  Susan Lyons, Anna Bentink, Steven Crossley, Alex Tregear, Andrew Wincott, Owen Lindsay
Penguin Audio, 2012
14 hours 40 minutes
source: review copy from publisher

Penguin Books, 2013
400 pages, paperback
source: purchased

One sentence summary:
A high-powered, action-oriented executive turned quadriplegic and his new care-giver, an ordinary 26 year old woman with a dull, conventional life, end up impacting each other's existence in ways neither could have imagined.

My thoughts:
Expectations can be a tricky thing…and I do expect to like whatever I read. However, when everyone seems to love a book, expectations are raised to an often unrealistic level and, more times than not, I end up disappointed. Happily, Me Before You  lived up to my heightened expectations.

Most of the story is told from Louisa's point of view and it grabbed me from the beginning. Moyes does a wonderful job revealing Louisa (Lou) and Will's characters, but the unfolding of their relationship is what makes the book extraordinary. She also tackles the subject of quadriplegia with grace, dignity, and realism.

A word of caution - tears will flow as you near the end, so plan your reading (or listening) accordingly.

Jojo Moyes is a current favorite among book bloggers and, although I'm a little late to the party, I finally understand what all the fuss is about. Her other books are now on my wish list.

I started listening to Me Before You  on CD in the car, but knew there would be no time spent driving around alone over the Thanksgiving weekend. I needed  to keep reading and, since no library copies were available, purchased a paperback at Barnes & Noble. That made my mom happy… she'll be reading it next!

About the audio production:
I love multi-narrator productions and this novel lends itself perfectly to that format. The bulk of the story, however, is told by Louisa Clarke and narrated  by Susan Lyons. This was my first experience listening to Lyons and she captured Louisa's voice and personality perfectly. The other narrators read just a chapter or two, but the various voices certainly added to the overall effect.

My rating:

28 comments:

  1. I just loved this to death, so to speak...

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  2. This was one of my favorite books this year. I'm glad it lived up to your expectations.

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    1. Pat - My sister loved it, too. Now we'll see what Mom thinks...

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  3. I liked this one though sad about the ending, and am now reading her next, The Girl You Left Behind, which is quite good too.

    Harvee
    Book Dilettante

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    1. Harvee - The Girl You Left Behind is the one I want to read next. Glad to hear you're enjoying it.

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  4. I loved this book too! I listened to it and had to pull over to the side of the road at the end to compose myself because I was crying so hard.

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    1. Kathy - So glad I wasn't listening (or driving) when I got to the end… quite sure I would have had to pull over, too.

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  5. I still tear up when I think about this book.

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    1. Carrie - It's been a long time since a book made me cry that hard!

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  6. Whew. I thought you were going to say that it didn't live up to the hype. I am glad the high expectation thing did not cause a problem. It does for me, often.

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    1. Ti - I was almost afraid to read this because my expectations were so high… but it was SO good!!

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  7. Glad to see this one lived up to your expectations! I haven't read a book by the author yet. :-(

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    1. Vasilly - Despite the sadness, this was really a beautiful story.

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  8. I'm currently reading this one. I'm enjoying it.

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    1. Linda - Such a good book, but be ready for a good cry...

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  9. Tears flowed copiously from my eyes! Not since The Yearling, which I remember as a child, have I cried so much, and that was "just" a boy and his deer! This is a beautiful book, and it was my introduction to JoJo Moyes.

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    1. Bellezza - I can't wait to read more by Jojo Moyes in 2014!

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  10. I have yet to read any of Jojo Moyes books but I think this is the first one I will read (soon hopefully). I'm so glad this book lives up to your expectations even after all of the terrific reviews. I usually wait awhile to read a book such as this if I don't read it as soon as it's published. I am extremely interested in this story. I'm happy you liked it so much. Thank you, JoAnn

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    1. Amy - It's really an excellent book,but be prepared for a good cry!

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  11. So glad you liked it - I did too! I read The Girl You Left Behind also and it is quite a different book, but still very good. She has a new one coming out in July and I just got the eGalley from the publisher - not sure if I should start it right away or wait a few months...

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    1. Anbolyn - Glad to hear The Girl You Left Behind is good, too. I'll definitely be reading that one sometime next year. Will be curious to see what you think of her latest.

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  12. I only discovered Jojo Moyes this year and I've never read any of his books. I've read that some were good though, including this one. So I got Me Before You but I have not started reading yet. Thanks for the review :)

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    1. 5eyedbookworm - Thanks for stopping by today. It's nice to meet you! I hope you like Me Before You as much as I did… I'll definitely be reading more by this author.

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  13. I do love a good tearjerker. I haven't read her books yet, but they're at the top of my wish list.

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  14. Diana - If you love a good tear-jerker, then you really HAVE to read Me Before You… it's SO good!

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  15. I just discovered Jojo myself but haven't read this one yet. So glad that it lives up to the hype. I tend to wait til the hype has died down before I read a book so there's a better chance I won't be disappointed :)

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    1. Stacybuckeye - I tend to wait until the hype has dies down, too, but since I had a review copy decided to plunge ahead this time.

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