(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: Me Before You #2
Published by Penguin on September 29th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living? Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started. Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . . For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.
If you haven’t read Me Before You, drop everything you’re doing and read it now. Also, if you haven’t read the book that will make you feel every human emotion possible, don’t read the rest of this review.
Will Traynor’s assisted suicide shook up the entire Traynor family, but it also destroyed Lousia Clark. If you had asked me what I thought Lou’s life was like after Paris—which is where she was at the end of Me Before You—I could have given you a naïve answer. The answer would have appealed to those that love a good happy ending. After You is not a happy ending. It’s deep and thought provoking. Lou was a broken character. The woman that I met in the first book, the one that wore thrifty, colorful outfits and had a personality brighter than the sun, disappeared. I had to get used to the new Lou. She changed a lot between the months she left Paris and started working in an airport bar.
I can see why some people said that they didn’t like this book as much as its predecessor. There were barely any similarities, other than the ending that leaves room for more. Many of the characters that made Me Before You a unique and oh my word I can’t put it down book were either dead or completely different. Most characters that made this story unique I can’t talk about because of spoilers. The book jacket is ambiguous, and a major plot twist changed Lou’s life for the months that the book followed. Nevertheless, the new characters that you meet are wonderful and different. For me, it was easier to think of this book independently of the first one. Yes, the stories are connected, but if you’re looking for a happy ending, don’t read this book.
Moving on plays an integral role in the novel. Lou was confused on how to define those two simple words. Her journey is rough, and I cringed multiple times. Even though I wanted to hit her over the side of the head, yell in her face, and slap some sense into her a few (many) times, her journey was realistic. I kept on thinking, “What would I have done differently?” Come on, you guys, the guy she loved killed himself! Seriously, even though it might be near to impossible, try to put yourself in her shoes. Since the book is told through her eyes, I could sympathize with her.
Me Before You makes you think about heated topics in modern day society. After You is not without its questions. Jojo Moyes has brought another book that forces your mind to spin and form opinions. What is love? Is love enough? What do you do after love has left? Is it possible to love again? I could go on and on. It’s a great book—albeit a different book than its predecessor. It’s an achingly real book, and that’s the best and worst part of it all.