Author: Jojo Moyes
Rating: ★1/2 (Because Jojo Moyes always has nice writing)
Provided Synopsis: 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.
Review: This hurts.
Me Before You is one of the best books I have ever read; it spoke to me with its theme of living your life to its fullest, and the two main characters grew to become two people that I deeply cared about in the end. When a sequel was announced, focusing upon Louisa’s life heading forward, I was so incredibly excited. But I did not think about what a sequel would entail; or, specifically, that it would be absent of the key ingredient that made Me into such a masterpiece.
The relationship between Will and Lou, and what the two of them go on to teach one another, is the heart of the story. After You, however, cannot have Will. Without the dynamics of the relationship to immerse myself in, this sequel never managed to grab my attention. I felt as lost as Lou did as she meandered through life. Events happened one after the other, but I never felt interest in any of them. To be truthful, I felt as if this book dragged on, sometimes without a clear focus, to the point that I often (and to my complete surprise) wanted to quit. If this was Moyes’ intention, in order to convey the tide of Lou’s life, then she succeeded: I felt like Lou, as in I felt as if there was nothing ahead in this story to look forward to. I could not let go of Will when his absence was so glaringly affective to my involvement in the story.
The romance also disappointed me. Maybe it was impossible to follow after Will. Or maybe Sam did not have a personality. I know he liked the idea of building his own home and to cook. He was a nice guy. What else was there to him, though? Sam was just another component of a jumbled together story that did not work.
If you are a huge fan of Me Before You, then I cannot recommend this book to you at all. I would stick with Will and Lou, and use your imagination to fill in the after. After You did not do anything to diminish its predecessor, it is just an unnecessary addition to a story already told to its full potential.