Book Review: Me Before You

 Me Before You
By: Jojo Moyes
Published By: Pamela Dorman Books
Publication Date: December 31, 2012
Page Count: 369
Source: Personal Copy
Audience/Genre: Adult Fiction
Buy it at Indiebound, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble!

 First, I'll say that this book was not the sob-fest I had been warned it would be, especially for me, who cries at Hallmark and diaper commercials on a semi-regular basis. So if it's reputation as a tear-jerker is what's keeping you from picking it up, know it's not as bad as all that.

Secondly, know that this book is worth the hype surrounding it (and the movie adaptation that comes out next weekend). I'll admit that several times I've seen a movie version without/before reading the book, but I need to humbly tell you that THIS BOOK IS ONE YOU MUST READ FIRST so you can savor the story, the writing, and the characters at your own pace. I'm absolutely seeing the movie next weekend, but this story deserves more than two hours in a dark theater. ;) 

Louise Clark (Lou) is a typical 20-something everywoman, a bit lost and stagnant in her life. I both related to her immediately and found myself cheering for her in nearly every situation. Her growth throughout the six month story is one of the best parts of the novel, but nothing Moyes introduces to explain Lou's behavior or her decisions feels trite or manufactured, another example of her excellent storytelling ability. And once Lou begins her job working as a personal assistant/babysitter for Will, their relationship is 100% believable and authentic, a rarity in most relationship-centered stories. 

You can read the summary below, Goodreads gives you enough to get the general idea, but know this is a lovely, touching, life-evaluating story unlike most you've read. Moyes intersperses chapters from the other central characters throughout Lou's narrative, which gives just enough of a glimpse of a new perspective to keep the reader interested (though I always missed Lou in those chapters and sometimes found myself flipping ahead to see when I would get back to her story. ;) )

Read this one before the movie comes out. Please.

Summary via Goodreads

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.