Review of JoJo Moyes' "Me Before You"

So let's talk about JoJo Moyes: Me Before You. Up until a week ago, it was filed under my “hyped up” folder, along with The Fault in our Stars and Fifty Shades of Grey. And although those other titles might have fallen short of their hype, I cannot bring myself to say the same of Moyes’ first novel in the series.

Like most, I had watched the movie, seeing Daenerys Targaryen playing a cooky carer and I fell in love. Okay, well the movie is good, but I doubt the book can live up to its hype. I thought to myself. But alas, I still found myself, in WH Smith's, picking up a copy on my way to work.

But I couldn't bring myself to read it. I thought it would go two ways: either I would be right and have wasted my time on a bad book (which I hate, who wouldn't!) or, I would fall in love and have to admit that I was wrong. My pride would not allow me to do that. So, the crisp new addition stayed tucked away in my hometown wardrobe, until I came home from my first year of uni and sorted through my stash.

I couldn't tell you what happened, but something had changed. I no longer looked at the book with disdain, but curiosity. The movie adaptation had become one of my favourites since I had watched it the first time and upon deciding which books to take on holiday, I took a risk and shoved it in my bag.

It took me a few days to get to JoJo, with the sun and cocktails taking up my time. But I have to admit, once I got to her, I couldn't leave. I read the first four chapters in one sitting, not even stopping for a cocktail break, and chuckled. I had read an article a few months back about how perfect Emilia Clarke was for the role of Louisa and reading it, I now understand exactly what they meant.

The narrator of the majority of the chapters is the main reason I love the book so much. She had me laughing, crying and gasping and I think it was because she was real. She was not some perfect, flawless character. She swore and she said it how it was and she had sex and spoke about it. She was like my friends, a real person and that made her narrative so engaging.

But let's not forget about the guest chapters. Camilla is one of my favourite characters, because she is just trying to do her best in a frankly, shit situation. She is trying to be a mother, and do what is right for her son. I sympathise with her massively and her narrative had me truly engaged.

But I have to say, Pat is definitely not as charming as Neville was in the movie (I am aware that his name is not actually Neville) I really hated him in the book. His brush off whatever kind of approach to his relationship with Louisa, his tipping off to the journos, his self centredness (if that is even a word) made me angry. But much like the other characters, I have met a Patrick, many of them, in fact, so it made it so more realistic when the relationship did crumble.

Apart from Pat, there was so much more in the book than there was in the movie, and I know that this is standard, but I found it especially prevalent in this book. Everything with Treena that was missed, the bickering that I can confirm happens in families, the maze situation, things that really flesh out the plot. One scene I wished that they had included was the tattoo scene, it would have been so funny, seeing the “little fat bumble bee” on her hip.

But one of the main differences I noticed was the relationship between Clarke and Will. In the movie, it is love, but it seems like the Hollywood kind of love that you would expect from a movie. But in the book, it is slow burning and confusing and awkward in ways that it would be in real life. It is hard, for both of them, and I think that that is accentuated more in the book.

Overall, this book is the first to make me cry in a long time. I apologise to the surrounding passengers on my flight home, that saw and heard me blubbering during the last 30 pages. My book has seen better days, having gotten wet on many occasions by the pool, having seen spills of cocktails and smudges of ice cream. But, as much as it pains me to say it: I was wrong. This book was not overhyped. I am sorry to every recommendation that I ignored, and I dare say I recommend it to you all. I have already ordered the next book After You and am hoping that it's delivered not long after I arrive home, so that I can waste no time and start reading.

Tell me, have you read the book, seen the movie? What did you think? Have you ever been wrong about something being overhyped? I want to know I am not alone!

I shall be back to review the next book in the series After You. But, until then.

Stay peachy,

Paige x

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