Something in My Eye in Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

ADD IT ON GOODREADS

5/5 STARS

Me Before You

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Author: Jojo Moyes
Published: January 2012
Publisher: Michael Joseph (UK)
Pages: 481 {paperback}

all time favourite award

Original review on Goodreads
To see a spoiler, click on the provided link and you’ll be redirect to the review on Goodreads where the spoiler will be hidden at the same point in the review.

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

Well that was the saddest thing I’ve ever read. Actually that was plain cruel and emotionally scarring. I loved it. I love Will. And now I shall go curl up in a ball for a few hours.

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What Happens

Me Before You is the story of Lou – a woman in her late 20s who’s just lost her job at the local bakery. She has no ambition to leave the sleepy English town that she lives in because she’s happy there. But she needs a new job because her family is struggling financially and desperately needs the money her and her sister bring in.

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”

Her dad is unemployed and now her sister (who also has a young boy) is heading back to university. And so, we find ourself meeting Will – a quadriplegic man in his early 30s who’s basically depressed, grumpy, and incredibly stubborn. You will fall in love with him.

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Lou has the fun task of keeping him company, feeding him, and making copious amounts of tea (because what else does one do in these situations?). She begins to learn more and more about Will’s life before the accident and about his family and finds herself putting everything she has into a mission that I won’t tell you about because that would be a spoiler.

“Some mistakes… Just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. “

And she also has a boyfriend (played by none other than Matthew Lewis in the movie, BREATHE LADIES) who’s a bit of a doofus and completely obsessed with fitness and running. You’ll like the snort-laughing moments that he brings to the book, he’s such an arse.

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Me, when Patrick does anything.

Why I Love This So Much

I have not loved a book like this for so long. This is the first book by Moyes that I’ve read and I definitely will be going back for more. I thought the story was clever, entirely believable, and had a wonderful array of characters. None of it felt over dramatised and I liked the complexity of the situation that everyone (literally) finds themselves in. It’s just a wonderful story for sucking in both the characters and you into the trials and tribulations of Will’s life.

“I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went.”

I loved how happy Lou was all the time – but I love that Moyes manages to layer her up like a character so that you discover she’s not all bubbles and sunshine, but, in fact, a normal human being with oodles of problems. I loved that Will isn’t isolated from the reader because of his condition. I think his situation was handled really well – we see all the ugly side of things, and, through Lou, we see how hard it is for everyone else to try and find someway to make him happy again. Through the online communities that she explores, as well, we get a taste of the different mindsets of other people in the same situation as Will, which I think was absolutely imperative to give a better scope. It also just adds to the need to sob your way through most of the book, let’s be honest.

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On top of that, the reader isn’t isolated from Will because of his condition. There’s never really a moment where you’re going: huh? Or, if you are, so is Lou so it’s all fine. Now, I don’t have any experience and practically zero knowledge of paraplegia or the people that suffer from it so I’m not going to claim here that was an exemplary representation of it – I have no idea about these things. But from my perspective as someone who doesn’t know about this and is learning a lot of things for the first time, I felt like I was getting a pretty good idea of it.

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My opinion of Will, summed up.

But the point is that I LOVED this book because of the ridiculously amazing complexity of the characters and the way that you fall head over heels for all of them (maybe with the exception of Patrick, Lou’s boyfriend) and you can’t wait but live 100% in the moment within these pages.

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Why Lou Will Forever Be the Best

Lou is the star of this show. She gives so much to Will and it’s beautiful. This book has been labelled as a sad book – but I actually think it’s a bittersweet happy one. There is lots to cry about within these pages – concerning both Will and Lou – but there’s so much laughter and so many moment of self exploration and growth that it’s impossible to not call this a happy book.

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I adored the moments that Lou spent with Will just chatting, learning things about each other and becoming fast friends without realising it. It was beautiful and completely touching. Lou’s capability to be so carefree and fun just shines in this book – she injects life into the story, the other characters, and you as a reader. Her happiness is contagious – and I’m sort of curious to see where things go in the second book. However, I really don’t think there was any need at all for a second book and I’m seriously considering not reading it. I’ve magnificent things about it, but the story ends beautifully just how it is.

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I hope this gif makes sense to you as it does to me. This is such a funny and perfect scene.

About That Movie

So obviously this book is all the rage at the moment because Hollywood got its hands on it and made a movie. And I have seen the movie. The movie is good, but the movie is not the book.

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This was definitely a weird experience watching it because I loved every second of the story that is told on screen. The casting was bang on (literally the most perfect casting I’ve ever seen) and my god, you should have heard the sobbing in the cinema. But, for me, this was one of the first adaptations for a while where I’ve come out going – the movie suffers from being an adaptation of this book. The book is leagues ahead of it – and I know, I know, you’re going to say that’s how it is every time. But for this one I think the book was just so much better than the movie (and the movie was still amazing) that having read it first dampened my opinion of the film. Which was a real shame. But don’t worry, you’ll still be soul destroyed and terribly upset from the movie, too.

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Because of the time constraints and the chipping and chopping that thus had to go on, I think the movie really suffered. There’s so much of Will’s condition and Lou’s character that is completely lopped out of the movie because of this and wow, it’s such a shame. The depth of this story is reduced significantly because of it. Certain scenes are watered down, Hollywooded-up, or taken out completely and that made me really sad. If you’ve watched the movie but not read the book then OH MY GOD please read the book because you’ve currently only got about half of the story. But if you’ve read the book and not watched the movie then OH MY GOD watch the movie because everything that is there is so on point it’s practically a ballerina.

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And Now, Some Spoilers

CLICK TO SEE SPOILERS


Summary

So this is definitely a must-read book. It’s magically perfect and the characters are wonderful. You’ll just be itching to know what happens next and dying to know how things will end. Books just don’t get any more enjoyable than this.

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View all my reviews

// GOODREADS // BUY //


You might also like . . .

If you love those books that kill you with feels by crushing your dreams, The Fault in Our Stars is for you.

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If you just love beautiful relationships that come from unlikely places, Fangirl is for you.

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If you like love stories with a dash of fantasy and a heap of challenges, The Game of Love and Death is for you.

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Have you read this?

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What did you think? Let me know below!


End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

6 thoughts on “Something in My Eye in Me Before You

  1. I’ve been meaning to get this book and read it but I’m not in the mood to bawl my eyes out yet. I am a huge crybaby when it comes to, well, anything emotional, really. I’m really excited to read this though because I’ve heard nothing but great things. I love your review!

    Liked by 1 person

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