What I’m Reading

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

I quite enjoyed this one by Jojo Moyes, and it was the perfect rebound after the last few duds that I’ve read!

Jess is a single mom to two kids who are very much unique. Ed is a tech-guru who isn’t exactly brilliant at reading between the lines. Norman is, well, Norman!

While romance is/was expected, One Plus One tells more of a tale of sticking by family no matter what. Jess is a fierce advocate for her kids and puts them first no matter what obstacles are in the way, and Ed, while slightly disconnected from his own, pulls himself together when he needs to and does the right thing.

One Plus One is an easy read that you don’t have to take too seriously. It was a little slow to start, but overall it was put together just fine. My main question is – how the heck does one lose track of $5K and not even realize it? Certainly Ed isn’t that well off, is he? I at least didn’t get that impression.

I also really thought Norman could’ve played a bigger role than he does near the end. I get that he was supposed to provide a bit of a comedic relief, but there just wasn’t enough there. Blame it on my inner dog-lover, I suppose.

My rating: ★★★/5 stars

What I’m Reading: Still Me

From the book jacket:
Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life. 

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she navigates how to stay true to herself, while pushing to live boldly in her brave new world.

My review:
I was quite happy when I learned there was a third book in the “Me Before You” series, even though the last instalment left me wanting a bit more from the storyline. I downloaded onto my Kobo and finished it in about a week.

I really enjoyed the storyline overall and thought it was well put together. I do love that Lou was “still Lou” and that she stayed true to who she was throughout the whole storyline, and that she “found” herself in the end. I thought for sure that there were going to be storylines that didn’t get wrapped up, but Moyes managed to do so in a way that wasn’t too drawn out or exasperating.

There were a few moments in the story though that I wasn’t too crazy about and thought were a bit over the top and cheesy, such as the horse carriage moment and the “fight” scene Lou witnessed when she first arrived in NYC. I don’t know if Moyes was setting things up for a movie script, but it all made me roll my eyes a little bit and I didn’t think it was necessary.

Overall, I enjoyed Still Me more than After You and thought it wrapped up the series nicely.

My rating: ★★★★/5

 

What I’m Reading: After You

25041504From Goodreads.com:
“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

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 review:
Right after I finished Me Before You I just knew I had to read the sequel. More Louisa? Yes, please! Surely the sequel has to be as good as the first book, right? Wrong …

Unfortunately, After You fell short of my expectations. I found Lily’s character incredibly irritating, (“I hate my privileged lifestyle at home but refuse to do anything for myself! Feed me! House me! Bathe me!”) and while I’m not 100% sure why Lou put up with her, I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that she’s Will’s daughter. (Funny how we keep things around out of pure sentiment, like a sweater full of holes.) Lily didn’t help Lou in moving forward from Will’s passing, other than startling her off the roof which lead to Lou’s relationship with Ambulance Sam. In fact, I’m pretty sure Lily’s character could have been removed completely and I would have been okay with that; someone else could have found Lou on the roof and disappeared from the remainder of the book and everything would’ve worked out the same.

This book just screamed, “You can’t help those who can’t help themselves.” Lily didn’t want to do anything to better herself, Lou didn’t want to more forward with her life. Hell, the only person who seemed to be screaming “Carpe Diem” was Lou’s mom, and that was just a weird tangent of a storyline.

All that being said, I didn’t not like After You. It just wasn’t written to the same level as Me Before You. I still enjoyed Lou’s humour, but I just wanted a bit more from it. I’m giving After You 3.5 stars out of 5.