Me Before You

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.

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Top 10 books that made author Jojo Moyes cry

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Author Q & A



This book is compelling, moving and totally absorbing. It is also a true romance, a real weepie.

Louisa (known as Lou) is 26. A working-class girl, her family (mum, dad, granddad and sister Treena, who is a single parent to little Tom) depend on her meagre wage from the Buttered Bun, a cafe where Louisa has worked for six years. To her shock she is suddenly made redundant. She knows her family need her to earn and desperately starts looking for another job.

After a few false starts, she reluctantly accepts a position as carer to a young man who is paralysed as a result of a terrible accident, in which he was mowed down by a motorcyclist on a busy, wet morning in London.

Will Traynor is young, handsome, rich, upper-class, and before his accident had a high-flying career in the city. Then, in one shattering moment, his life is ruined. Resentful, convinced he has no future, he is full of anger. Will Traynor is not a very nice young man.

When Lou meets him, there is instant mutual dislike. She is an ordinary girl from a poor family, while he is an arrogant guy from a very different, moneyed world, who feels his life has been poisoned by the accident. He is forced to witness his former girlfriend's new relationship with his old friend, as they visit him to commiserate, but also to make it clear that she has moved on.

However, as Lou and Will get to know each other, their relationship becomes deep and profound. This book is very much a romance, and also terribly moving. Expect tears. Keep the tissues handy.


One of the reasons I so enjoyed this novel is that it tackles a very modern dilemma. If a disabled young man feels his life is over, then no matter how much those around him - his parents, his friends - love him and want to help, is he justified in deciding his own fate, even if that means those left behind will be desolated?

There have been a number of reports in the media lately of how seriously ill or disabled people (especially paralysed young men) feel they cannot face life, and opt to end theirs.

This is, as Judy says, a real love story. Will and Lou are star-crossed lovers. They make each other happy, but for Will, that happiness is not enough. Lou has to face and accept his ultimate decision about his future, no matter how much she loves him.

But I don't want to give the impression that Me Before You (which we both loved) is mostly sad and painful, because in parts it's extremely funny. Lou's working-class family, and Will's upper-class, snooty mother, are sharply and hilariously observed.

It's a very powerful and emotional novel, full of insight into people's lives. We think it is a perfect read - uplifting, but also tragic. Precisely the elements the best romantic stories are made of.

Reviews & Comments

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  • A very modern love story which will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Warm, funny, touching, poignant and thought provoking. Jojo is a genius at storytelling and this latest offering doesn't disappoint. Be warned though, this book is distracting, when you're not reading it you either can't wait to get back to it or you're thinking about the characters and their story. The family dialogue is sharp, incredibly witty and insightful. It's crying out to made into a movie and like all of Jojo's books it plays out like one in your head whilst you're absorbed within it. It has shot straight into my all-time top 5 novels. Simply perfect.


  • This has to be my favourite book of the year and we're only in January! This book is so good. It is one of those books that will stay with you long after you've read it. It is more than just a love story, it is a tale of courage, life and making the right (and sometimes difficult) choices in life.


  • This is such an amazing, amazing book. It sounds like a cliche to say things like 'I couldn't put it down' and 'it made me laugh and cry' but this book truly did both in spades. I urge you to pick up this book as your first read of the year - you won't be disappointed.

    Kelly Davies

  • it may only be January 4th but it's going to take some book to eclipse this as the best book of the year. Poignant, funny, heart-warming, heart-breaking, surprising and uplifting, Me Before You is 2012's great love story. This is a one sitting read so find a quiet corner with no distractions, a big bar of chocolate and a big box of tissues, you're going to need them all.


  • Who would you have play the leads??


  • I was lucky enough to read this book as a proof, last year, and I loved it. It drew me in from the very first page and I built up such a relationship with the characters that I was frequently holding back the tears. The book doesn't end in the way you might expect but I think JoJo Moyes has done a fantastic job of dealing with such a contraversial topic. I still think about this book now (2 months on) and am very jealous of people who will get to read it from the first time - you are in for a real treat! x


  • I absolutely loved this book. Got hooked from the first few pages and honestly couldn't put it down. Jojo Moyes is such a fantastic writer and the plot was heartbreaking. But uplifting too. Brilliant.


  • What a great book, couldnt put it down, You laugh and cry while reading it. Have a packet of tissues on standby. Would make a great tv drama.


  • Has to be one of the most beautiful books I have ever read and boy have I read a lot! I connected with Lou and Will on such a deep level that by the end of the book I couldn't help but fall in love with Will a bit too. I very much believe in love and sacrifice and to read a book that handles that kind of emotion with such intensity and yet such tenderness truly softens my heart. I cried at many points whilst reading and I literally sobbed my heart out at the end. This book was and IS worth it. I'm glad that it caught my attention as soon as I walked into WHSMITH, I can't imagine not reading it again- I will soon. Thank you Jojo Moyes for infiltrating my heart again (The Last Letter From You Lover was amazing too).


  • Beautiful! I loved this book and have already recommended it to friends.


  • A brilliant modern love story, great characters. I especially enjoyed that such a sensitive issue was tackled with huge empathy for both sides of the argument.

    Karen L S

  • This must be one of my favourite books of all time! I loved it soo much. At the end i was proper sobbing my heart out. I found it really emotional, and i really like that Jojo has been able write a book about such a serious issue while still keeping it interesting and fun. Amazing!


  • Loved this book and couldn't put it down. Really thought provoking, sensitive, uplifting and saddening at the same time. Again, Richard and Judy's choices have been excellent - Yesterdays Sun and Before I go to Sleep are brilliant too.

    Kate Knowles

  • I was totally into this story. Beautifully written, the characters were so alive. An usual story that kept me up a few late nights as was so wrapped up by it.

    Amazing, it brings out so many emotions.

    Kate Poyser

  • MAY CONTAIN SPOLIERS: Wow... I can see this being my book of the year and we are only in January. I literally couldn't put it down. I really wanted a love story that would conquer all the difficulties Will faced and I couldn't quite believe that Lou's love wouldn't be enough to get them through... even towards the end when they went to the clinic, I kept expecting him to change his mind. As a result, the end had me in floods of tears, and yet, somehow, I began to come to terms with the way that Will's disablility was preventing him from ever living any sort of life he wanted or hoped for with Lou and he couldn't reconcile himself with that. Fab, fab, fab...a difficult subject handled sensitively and yet with plenty of realism that prevented the characters from descending into the unbelievable. I think I fell in love with Will a bit myself and I was certainly rooting for Lou to change his mind. I couldn't put it down yet I didn't want it to end. Brilliant!


  • broke my heart....never has a book made me cry so much..fantastic read :)


  • I even sent my kids to Nannys for the night so I could finish this book. Written light hearted intitially but absolutly got me in the heart - I did fall in love with Will but SPOILER ALERT was devasted at the end. Really thought he would change his mind and was seriously dissapointed that he didn't even tell Lou that he loved her. I actually started hating him after reading as I thougth he was selfish and didn't give it a chance and totally disregarded Lou. Plenty of tissues at the ready !!!


  • CONTAINS SPOILERS - This book was a fantastic read, but the ending broke me into a million pieces. I believe in a person's right to choose when all hope is gone, but I truly believe Will made the wrong decision. He had so much to live for and the ending left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth. So much so that I wanted to put the book through the shredder when I'd finished it! And yet it was so beautifully written, with such sensitivity, that I can't help but still be a little bit in love with this book. Will and Louisa became so real to me that I was willing them to have the happy ending I so craved for them - but alas it was not meant to be. I can't agree with Will's final devastating decision, but I AM glad I read this book.


  • Loved this book despite the fact it made me cry like a baby.I feel bereft now it's finished.Loved' last letter from Your Lover' too. can't wait for her next book.


  • A beautifully written book. Highly observant. A real love story which I wish could have had a different ending. But it was the ending that made it so real.Look forward to her next book.

    Ann Allan

  • Possible spoiler! - Such an amazing book. One of the best books ive ever read. I completly fell in love with Will and Lou. made me laugh at times but also gave a brillint insight into will and his condition with out being depressing. beautifully written about quiet a difficult subject. felt sad for both charaters and longed for the happy ending that wasnt to be. you will need plenty of tissues at the end. Cant wait for her next book. very talented writer.

    hannah jeynes

  • This is an amazing book. I read it in one go today, I just couldn't put it down. It is a beautifully written book describing real, believable emotions. The book made me both laugh and cry and although I finished it a couple of hours ago, I can't stop thinking about it. It#ll stay with me for a long time.


  • Finished reading this beautifully written book this morning..and sobbed my heart out. It has stayed with me all day, even when walking the dog I started to 'fill up' again..Well done JoJo Moyes you deserve all the credit you get for this absolute gem of a book.

    Vickie Androsch

  • I read a lot but this book will stay with me for a long time. I absolutely LOVED it. I could not put it down. A fantastic emotional read. I highly recommend this book. MURTHA sastedh


  • im still crying!!!!!!!!!!! i was blown away by this book . couldnt put it down...


  • I don't usually leave reviews or comments about books, but really feel compelled to!! What a fab book!! Could not put my kindle down! What a range of emotions this book provoked.u don't usually cry at books but the one of the main characters did not know the final outcome until the last minute. A wonderful book and as usual no disappointment from any of Richard and judys recommendations!!brill


  • this was not my usual choice of book, however im so glad i gave it a go. this is a touching, thought provoking, heatwarming story that will have you both laughing outloud and sobbing uncontrollably. Ive already recommended it to anyone that will listen!


  • I think this the most beautiful and challenging love story I have read. I loved it and I loved Will and Lou as very believable characters.


  • Every time I put this book down, I couldn't wait until the next time I could pick it up again just longing to find out what was going to happen next. Moyes really builds a fantastic relationship between Will and Louisa, I felt I was a fly on a wall. It was humorous, poignant and deeply moving to read. Definitely a number one read. Fantastic.

    Gracey kate

  • I found it hard to put this book down as I felt myself so caught up in the love story that was unfolding as I read it. I brilliant and emotional tale, I found myself laughing & crying throughout. I always believe that the sign of a good book is the number of people you recommend it to...I've already lost count!

    Jo Astle

  • I am not a great book reader but plucked this one from the site. I was totally engrossed and drawn in to the relationship between Lou and Will - a really beautiful but unfufilled love story. I could not put this book down and, having downloaded it onto my Ipad, had to take the quickest of baths in the evening so I could get back to this page turner. It's February and I don't think I will stumble across such a moving book for many months to come. Well done Richard and Judy for recommending this.


  • An amazing, wonderful, love-story with a difference. I chose to read the book after reading all the wonderful reviews and I was not disappointed. I could visualise all the characters and believed in them as real people. Couldn't put the book down and even towards the very end I wasn't absolutely certain of how it would end, although JoJo Moyes, I think, remained true to Will's character by the ending she wrote any other ending PLOT SPOILER - would have been too "Hollywood" and not true to the strength & determination of Will's character and his love for Lou. So very well written, beautiful emotional book. Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. Highly recommend.


  • This book is just amazing, one of the best books I've ever read. A real, true love story and a author that remained true to the characters. In my mind, it couldn't have ended any other way. To top it all off, the author is lovely and so humble. I emailed her to say how brilliant her book was- something I've never felt inclined to do before- and she sent a personal email to thank me! Pretty unusual considering how massively this book has been followed. If you haven't done so, read this book. It really will leave you with something a little special.


  • Fantastic book - great read

    Julie Smith

  • This was an amazing book. I instantly felt an overwhelming rapport for Lou and was so desperate for a different outcome. But, the ending was the right one. It evoked so many emotions, I laughed and cried at the same time. I literally couldn't put it down. I read it over 2 days. Fantastic choice R&J!!!!


  • I could not put this book down! It was such a beautiful story, so well written, sad, yet funny in parts, cannot recommend highly enough.


  • WOW! This book is full of struggle, love and emotion. I read a lot and this is the first book i've read in a long time that i couldn't put down! I think the controversial storyline was what captured my heart in this novel, but the relationship between Louisa and Will kept me interested. PLOT SPOILER You wanted to see if she succeeded in changing Will's mind- you just wanted to see if their love was enough to keep him alive. The fact it wasn't left me straining to read the last few pages through my tears. A book that can make you question your own beliefs and move you even through your own conflict is a rare occurrence, JoJo Moyes captures all of it in this book. A fantastic read- just make sure you don't have anything to do before you start; because you won't be able to put it down!!

    Paige Jackson

  • I dont usually write book reviews but felt I had to comment on this book. Me before you has to be the best book I've rea to date, I literally could not put it down. I felt I connected with the characters and went through the highs and lows with them. Definately recommended read, I will be looking in to more of this authors work. Amazing!


  • Brilliant Amazing book, I loved it, made me laugh and cry. Once started I couldnt put it down but I didnt want to finish it, I will remember Lou and Will as if I had always known them........superb, thankyou.


  • Felt the need to find somewhere to let people know how fantastic and powerful I found this book. I found it such a gripping, emotional read and as cliche as it is, I could not put it down!


  • Simply brillant, couldn't put it down. Laughed out loud at some points. Very sad ending but did make me think about this contrversal subject in a very different way. Well done to Jojo Moyes.

    Julie Ackers

  • An untterly fab book. Very easy to read and very interesting story line. I couldn't put the book down and spen the last chapter in tears. i would absolutely recommend it.


  • Possibly one of the best book I have ever read. You cannot help but get completely caught up in this story. Jojo Moyes has the abilty to capture your imagination allowing you to feel all the emotions of the different characters. From laughing at the first stages of Will & Lou's realtionship to feeling utter desperation & heartache. Her sensitivity to the subject in hand blew my mind. I read this book in two days and spent every spare moment engorssed in the story. I could not recommend this book enough!!!

    Beth Stapleton

  • Amazing book, I laughed, I cried and cried! I loved their relationship. It's just brilliant!


  • The most emotional book i've ever read, the story is written carefully under Jojo Moyes skillful hand. And the story is heartbreaking, so be warned! Bring out the kleenex. It's a scary insight into the world and our society, but we also relate to the characters. The story is witty and charming, best book i've ever read!

    Josephine Lake

  • I can't remember when I enjoyed a book so much.I could not put it down.It is one of the most powerful yet tender love stories I have ever read.


  • I enjoyed this book so much. I loved the characters and couldn't put it down. I had to resist the urge to look at the ending it had me so hooked.It was beautifully written and the plot was so well rounded. Loved it.


  • The most beautiful, heart wrenching and touching book I have ever read. The way the writing creates the ability to relate to the characters is beyond expectations, the hardest thing to ever put down and it will keep you thinking about the characters long after reading.


  • I absolutely loved this book and the story stayed with me for days after I had finished the book. I really felt emotionally connected to both main characters and the plethora of supporting characters were all very believable.


  • Never have I come across such believable and consistent characters. Every decision, every action, every word is something you can actively imagine each character saying or doing. In terms of the story, there's no mad rollercoaster of excitement or tension, but at no stage was I bored, or disinterested, or willing for it to hurry along. Instead, I remained happy to watch the characters develop and thrive in each other's company. The issue at the heart of the book, Will's quadraplegia, is explored with such sensitivity and creativity that you begin to overlook it, and instead see him for what he is. Vulnerable, trapped and lonely. You then see how Lou brings him out of this, transforms him, and in doing so, herself too. This is a book of true beauty and is written in the highest calibre of writing there is. I laughed aloud throughout, even amidst my uncontrollable sobbing in the final few pages. It is a must read in order to gain awareness of the things we take for granted everday. I finished this book this afternoon and have spent the rest of my day researching quadriplegia and the reasons for this book. I'm also debating reading it again. I'm very jealous of those who are yet to read it, they have something beautiful to look forward to. Thank you so much JoJo Moyes for writing this book.


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