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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You

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A gifted, high achiever walks out of his flat one morning and gets hit by a taxi. We pick up on him a few years later when he is finding it impossible to accept and adapt to his paraplegic life. Various carers have been and gone - unable to take his anger. Then along comes our protagonist - a girl desperate for work with no idea what she is walking into. This is beautifully written and very powerful. The relationship between the two unfolds with heartfelt poignancy. To tell you more would be a sin, but certainly the ending took me by surprise. A very fine and impressive book tackling a sensitive subject - euthanasia. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

The New York Times Number 1 Bestselling Novel is due to be released as a film starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin on Friday 3 June 2016. Click below to view the trailer.

Shortlisted for the Specsavers National Book Awards 'Popular Fiction of the Year' 2012.

Click here to see a reading guide for this book.

A 'piece of passion' from the publisher...

'When I first read Me Before You I knew it was a very special book. A story that makes you fall in love, makes you sob your heart out and changes your view of the world is a powerful and beautiful story indeed, and that’s exactly why I loved this novel so much. When a book stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it, you know it is a real gem and Jojo Moyes has done it again – to our delight she has given us another precious gem in her new novel The Girl You Left Behind. I have once more fallen in love, sobbed my heart out and looked at the world in a new way. From occupied France during WWI to modern day London, this book swept me away. The Girl You Left Behind is a beautifully written, heartbreaking and utterly stunning novel and I hope you will love it as much as I do.'

If you like Jojo Moyes you might also like to read books by Adele Geras, Kate Morton and Anita Shreve.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read the all the full reviews here.

  • Clare Heanue - 'What an absolutely gorgeous book!...This book has made me laugh and cry and my heart has leaped and dropped so many times while reading it!'
  • Linda Rollins - 'Jojo Moyes has a talent for being able to take the everyday and the ordinary and turn them into something extraordinary.'
  • Sally Doel - 'Oh wow – this book really is an emotional roller-coaster.  It made me laugh, cry and think quite deeply about the situation that Will Traynor has found himself in.  I am not somebody who cries easily at books!'
  • Alison Jones - 'Oh what a lovely read this was. Sad yet uplifting, thoughtful and topical, realistic and convincing - it is one of those books that endures long after the covers close.'  
  • Lindsay Healy - 'This is a romantic, heart-rending tale, with two memorable lead characters that the reader can really engage with. It tackles a sensitive, topical subject with an open mind and manages to be both immensely sad and yet positively life affirming.'
  • Nicola Foster - 'Superb story all round, wonderfully paced plot... I'm now running out of positive adjectives to describe this book, so please just read it for yourself!'
  • Sonya Kemp - 'This is a wonderful story.  It is romantic and funny at times, but also very sad.  The author has written about a very sensitive and controversial subject and done it really well.'
  • Nicola Greenwood - 'Me Before You is an absorbing novel that made me laugh and cry but was also realistic and very sensitive.'
  • Megan Olwen Williams - 'In her novel Me Before You, Jojo Moyes manages to craft a heart-wrenching tale of love, in the most unusual and painful of circumstances.'
  • Jillian McFrederick - 'This is a story that draws you in from the start. Intrigued by the dramatic prologue and lulled by the everyday life and loves of Louisa's family, we read on to find what links the two.'  
  • Kath Thornton -'It is a very emotional romantic book, making you laugh and cry at the same time and reaching a thought provoking climax.'  
  • Chris Walshaw - 'Wow, what a fantastic roller coaster of a novel! I identified with the characters on so many different levels, as a parent, a child, a sibling and as someone's significant other. It made me smile and oh my gosh it made me cry! What I initially thought was an excellent, if predictable, story turned out to be full of surprises. A brilliant examination of love, life and the discovery of one's true self.'
  • Lindsay Whittle - 'Jojo Moyes gives the reader a horrible, creeping realisation of how the loss of any control over everything done to you or for you can be the hardest burden for an intelligent adult to bear.'
  • Kath Martin - 'I couldn’t put it down yet didn’t want it to end.  At times I couldn’t read for the tears.  It gave me a lot to think about – not least about why I hadn’t come across this author before.  I can’t wait to start on her earlier books!'  
  • Marie Fitzgerald - 'Buy the tissues in bulk and read this – the characters’ stories will stay with you long after the last word is read.'
  • Emily Wright - 'Me Before You is a poignant novel about having the strength to control your own destiny and the love, friendship and compassion which can break down all kinds of barriers to leave people stronger.'  
  • Natasha Radford - 'What I really love about this book is the family dynamics which encircle the whole; they build up a sense of reality which makes the plot-line so much more believable.'
  • Cath Humphris - 'The story unfolds briskly, with plenty of events to keep the pages turning.  If you like a read that aims to transport you from laughter to tears, then this is a good choice.'
  • Sarah Bedwell - 'Jojo Moyes has created a tale that is both emotional and relevant. I was drawn in to the characters’ lives and decisions far more than I had expected, and struggled to put the book down before I was even halfway through.'
  • Kathy Howell - 'I wouldn’t have picked this book from a shelf but I would really have missed a treat!  The story concerns Will and Louisa and the journey they take together during six months of Will’s life...I loved this book and will be looking for more by Jojo Moyes.'
  • Louise Graham - 'I got what I expected from this book, a wonderfully told story that would strike right into the centre of my heart but most of all I took from this was that it was a perfectly written love story.'
  • Jayne Burton - 'Wow!  What an amazing book.  It drew me in from the outset, I lost myself and was totally immersed in Louisa’s world.   I have to admit I read it in just one sitting, I couldn’t put it down.  Extremely well written, an unusual storyline but a real tear-jerker.'
  • Kulsuma Begum - 'Me Before You by Jojo Moyles will stay with me forever...After becoming so emotionally close to the characters, it made it everything very personal and real. Overall, Me Before You by Jojo Moyles was an amazing, unforgettable story which everyone needs to read.'
  • Elisabeth Thomas - 'The book took me on a rollercoaster of emotions from sadness to laughter. I felt that it was different to the typical “romance” novels because of the moral dilemma that the characters in the book faced.'
  • Kym Nicholls - 'Though predictable from the offset, the aim isn’t to tangle the reader into knots. It’s to take them by the hand, gently, and lead them through a well-rendered little town decorated with affection and quiet humour, while refusing to shy away from the gritty, divisive matter at its core. Deserving of a wider audience, now not only will I now take it out in public, I’ll push it onto others to read too.'  
  • Dawn Shaw - 'A book that grows on you every page, very moving, heart breaking, quite thought provoking, and romantic ....Me Before You is now on my favourite shelf, and a book that will stay with me a long time.'  
  • J. B. Johnston - 'This book is a triumph to Jojo Moyes talent. An emotionally raw book that had me sobbing like a baby. It poses a moral dilemma for the reader and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, leaving you feeling drained but glad you let this book be a part of your life.'
  • Suzanne James - 'I confess I was expecting not to like this book as the press reviews made me concerned it would be a saccharine-sweet love story with an all too predictable ending.  This is not the case - it is a love story that doesn't pull any punches, making you think hard about your own reactions to the situation Lou finds herself in without sugar-coating the issues involved. It is both uplifting and hard-hitting and I found it difficult to put down.  You can't fail to be moved by this book.  A perfect book club read.'
  • Barbara Middlemast-Neal - 'Me Before You, is very sensitively written and a real tear-jerker, necessitating a few hearty nose-blows by the end....'  
  • Linda Hill - 'Me Before You is a novel to touch your life. It is at once funny, moving and heart rending...And, when you've read your copy of Me Before You, make sure all your friends read it too. I loved it.'  
  • S&J Bookshelf - '...a book that is written in a style that you can’t help getting hooked...No one is left unaffected, including the reader who falls deep within the pages of a true love story.' 


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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.


Praise for Me Before You:

'Poignant ...heartfelt ...Me Before You, at it's heart, is about two people who properly listen to each other; it is something good' - The Independent on Sunday

'A disarmingly moving love story ...a lovely novel, both nontraditional and enthralling' - Publishers Weekly

'A compelling novel of life and death decisions and unlikely affections. It's magical and heartbreaking, but doesn't shy away from difficult emotional realities. Waterproof mascara essential' - Marie Claire

'When I finished this novel, I didn't want to review it: I wanted to reread it ...An affair to remember' - Liesl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review

'This truly beautiful story made us laugh, smile and sob like a baby - you simply have to read it ' Closer

'Heartbreaking, soul-searching and utterly compelling' - Easy Living

'Compelling, moving and absorbing. It's also a real weepie' - Daily Express

About the Author

Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes was our Guest Editor in March 2014 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.

Jojo Moyes is a novelist and a journalist. She worked at the Independent for ten years before leaving to write full time. Her previous novels have all been critically acclaimed and include Me Before You, The Girl You Left Behind, The Ship of Brides, Foreign Fruit, and The Last Letter from Your Lover. She lives in Essex with her husband and their three children.

Me Before You was 2012’s greatest love story – it was Spring 2012’s most popular Richard & Judy pick that went on to be nominated for book of the year at the Galaxy Book Awards. Excitingly, it has since been optioned by MGM and Jojo has been writing the script this summer.

Jojo has spent much of 2013 touring the US and this summer Me Before You went straight in on The New York Times bestseller Top Ten chart. In the UK, appearances this year so far include World Book Night, Hay Literary Festival, The Bookseller Industry Awards and the Orange Women’s Prize.

Her latest novel The One Plus One is in the same vein of Me Before You – an unconventional love story with a dilemma at its heart. It has a cast of wonderful characters and show that family comes in all forms and that through hard work and optimism, your happy ending might come true after all.

Author photo © Stine Heilmann

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Book Info

Publication date

28th April 2016


Jojo Moyes

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Michael Joseph Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd


512 pages


Relationship Stories
Family Drama
eBook Favourites
Books Behind TV & Film

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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