A Review of ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes
  Katrina Khan
September 2014

London born and bred author Jojo Moyes  has enjoyed a well rounded career. In addition to being a novelist, she has undertaken a variety of employments including stints as a Braille writer and a journalist in Hong Kong. ‘Me Before You’ is her ninth publication and is an award winning addition to romantic literature. It is also a former New York Times Best Seller in the Paperback Trade Fiction category.


I must give due warning though: this story leads to heartbreak.


The book begins by captivating you from the point of view of a man who is living life to its limits. He has everything: love, adventure and lots of money. However, he is met by a terrible act of fate, resulting in his perfect life being torn away from him.


The young woman we meet next is the most ordinary of quaint English town girls, seemingly content with her small, comfortable life. She surrounds herself with family, her boyfriend and the people in the café where she works. After she loses her job, she endures the gruelling task of career hunting in a world faced with an economic recession. To her distress, her lack of qualifications provides her with two options: either to work in a chicken processing factory or as a caregiver to a quadriplegic, a person who has lost mobility and feeling in the limbs. After an unsuccessful stint at the chicken processing factory, she is forced in the other direction.


The two are brought together in a six month arrangement to mutual discomfort. Will and Lou are from different social walks of life, engrossed in their own lives and problems. When Lou stumbles upon Will’s intention to take his own life, she is overwhelmed. Setting out to change his mind, she takes her own journey towards putting someone else’s needs above her own, opening unhealed wounds and ultimately understanding that love is not always enough.


One of the main issues posed in this book is the ticklish subject of assisted suicide and in this respect the story is a portrayal of a much underexposed part of society and the real issues faced therein.


Overall, it is well written, emotionally charged and full of that realism that takes your breath away. While there are the more morose points in the story, there are also punctuations of hope and that infamous English wit.


It is a story of reality and loss, self sacrifice and willingness to live and not simply exist. It quickly engrosses you in the characters living in this English small-town setting. The language holds you, allowing you to drift off towards the UK. It immerses you in the culture of the British, so much so that by the midpoint of the book you feel familiar with the dialect and can almost hear their intonations while you read.

It is easy to become emotionally attached to the plight of the characters. The author has a true gift for storytelling, weaving an emotional tapestry that blankets the reader, a comfort through the tears. 'Me Before You' is beyond doubt a must read, that is of course if you can handle heartbreak.


As has been the case with so many bestselling novels, a movie version is being planned and it is expected to be released in 2015.


Katrina’s Rating:

    4.5/5

    Adult (18+)

    Inexplicit Sexual Themes, Some Profanity





By: Katrina Khan | COLUMNS-REVIEWS | September 2014