Book Title: Me Before You
Author: JoJo Moyes
Pages: 352 e-pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Date Published: December 31st, 2012
Date Read: January 17th, 2014
Format: ebook on my nook
Cover Love: I’m a sucker for those simple, bold covers! And this is almost as simple as it gets: just the title, on a solid color background. Some covers stand out to me as a reader because they’re bright, loud, extroverted. This one really stood out to me from the other covers on the shelf because of its sheer simplicity. I like it 🙂
Given Synopsis: “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.”
What I’d Add: Short, simple synopsis. I prefer this to the ones that give a lot away before you even crack the cover. The information it gives is pertinent and just enough to bring you in.
It’s Sorta Like: Those cute British films that can get really serious, really fast.
My Grade: C-
Did this book elicit an emotional response in me? Yes, definitely. Was it well-written, and for the most part well-constructed? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Not really. And my main problem, my main bone to pick, is with the main character, “Lou.”
Lou is annoying. She is an incredibly immature twenty six years old, having fights with her older sister that sound more like two little children squabbling. Yes, she has a very sheltered upbringing – she has lived in the same few-block radius her entire life and she only desires to live down the street when she eventually moves out of her parent’s house (with her boyfriend who is so clearly not interested in this relationship anymore). To some degree, that small town upbringing, that closed off mentality, and lack of dreaming and desire does explain away some of her cloying immaturity. But it doesn’t make me, as a reader, like her or root for her. I had to drag myself through this book because I couldn’t stand Lou. A tragedy from her past, revealed later, seems out of the blue and tacked on, as if to justify her annoying behavior even more. I’m still not buying it.
I also wasn’t a fan of the random chapters from the perspective of other characters. They were unnecessary! I didn’t feel like I learned any additional insight from these people on the periphery of the story.
I did feel for the characters when the story closed. I did shed some tears over the beauty of some of the words. But I didn’t like the characters and some of the story choices, which, overall, lessened my opinion of the novel.