Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (2012)
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Format: Audible Audiobook
Listening Time: 16 hours 37 minutes
Reading Time: 05/02/16 – 16/02/16
*THIS REVIEW DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS*
Unpopular bookish opinion time, I did not like this book. Perhaps it is because I listened to it rather than read it, or perhaps it is because of the hype surrounding this book. But maybe it was just a very typical story when you strip it down to the basics. Jojo Moyes has written a love story, girl meets boy, girl falls in love, girl suffers heartbreak. Granted this heartbreak is not usually the death of the partner (I did say spoilers!) – but still I felt this was an obvious conclusion.
Unfortunately I read this book after the sequel After You came out alongside a lot of reviews and social media posts about how much this book made them cry. For me, the ending was a given. I think the build up for this tragic moment was not enough to get me enticed into the dramatics of the situation. I was guided along a very linear narrative with characters that hadn’t really developed throughout the story.
Will is obviously meant to annoy the reader at the beginning of this book, and then presumably slowly grow on you? I have to say he was my most bearable character, adding the masculine allure to the novel. Louisa however was not given a fair introduction to me, unfortunately the woman who read the audiobook put on a rather stupid sounding voice for Louisa. I know her character is meant to be naive and a little dim, but this voice made her sound idiotic and incapable of knowing anything someone of her age should know.
I am aware this review is sounding heavily sceptical and I did choose to give this a two star, not a one. So I did enjoy the slight change we see in Louisa as she becomes more adventurous. I think we all want a bit of her uniqueness in the way she dresses, and the lack of damns she gives! And this is something I am looking forward to seeing Emilia Clarke portraying in the film adaptation this year.
Overall I would say if you are a fan of a typical chick lit romance then definitely give this a read. It offers a safe narrative that is an easy read, but would not be a challenge for a reader who prefers to have to think about the story a lot. I will not be reading the sequel anytime soon, but I won’t rule it out for good – perhaps it offers the developing narrative this book was lacking.