Book Review: After You (Me Before You #2) by Jojo Moyes

“Losing him was like having a hole shot straight through me, a painful, constant reminder, an absence I could never fill.” 

― Jojo Moyes, After You

The romance book After You was written by Jojo Moyes. It is Me Before You's sequel. The book was initially released in the UK on September 29, 2015. Still Me, the third book in the series, was released in January 2018.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

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.

My reaction to this novel...

When I first learned that Me Before You was having a spin-off, I was a little hesitant. It was such a terrific novel that I wasn’t sure whether a sequel would improve or detract from it. These were characters I admired, and I didn’t want my memories of them to be tarnished. Consider how readers become emotionally invested in the characters. One horrible act changes their opinion of that individual, and not in a good way. That said, I was curious about Lou’s fate following the events in Me Before You, which prompted me to read this spin-off novel.

Anyway, I wish I could claim that I viewed this book with an open mind, but I can tell you that it was difficult. The first book was exceptional to the point of setting a high benchmark for me. Unfortunately, that did not happen in any way. JoJo Moyes is a fantastic writer. Her works handle big issues in the most creative manner. Reading one of her books is like getting enthusiastic therapy. You’ll burst out laughing one minute and wail the next. They work just as well for a book discussion as they do for a movie debate. However, when a writer chooses to create a sequel to a novel like Me Before You, the expectations are quite high, and the ensuing tale must be completely exceptional. This one, however, did not. Most spin-offs don’t satisfy the first, and while I don’t like this one, I believe it didn’t deserve to be penned or developed. A few stories are so unique that they should be left alone. They are wonderful as written and satisfyingly complete, and Me Before You was one of those novels for me.

This book did not make an impression on me. After finishing it, I was confident that any subsequent volumes in the series would skip over this one. I wish I could give it a better rating because I adored Me Before You so much, but I can’t. Not a bad read, but not up to the standards set by the author in the preceding book.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐(2/5)

“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. It always does feel strange to be knocked out of your comfort zone.”

 Almost all of us experience uneasiness when we are in an unfamiliar setting with unfamiliar people, but this is typical while we are still settling into our new lives and meeting these new individuals. Additionally, it serves as a sign that we are developing and are about to start a new phase of our life.

Where to buy this book...


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