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.



What I’m Reading: Me Before You

From Goodreads.com:
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

My review:

I think I’m a few years late getting on the Jojo Moyes train, but after seeing this book pop up on my “Recommended Reads” list more than once I was delighted to receive it as a birthday gift! It took me longer to read because real books don’t come with backlights like ebooks do, but I found myself picking it up and chewing through it whenever I had the chance!

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading it, to be honest. Love story? Survival story? The subject matter is a touchy one, even four years after Moyes penned this book, but I think it was “handled” very well. It wasn’t tip-toed around, but it wasn’t in-your-face either.  I’m so glad that Lou & Will’s romantic feelings towards one another didn’t overshadow the “real” story of the book. As much as I wanted Lou & Will’s romantic storyline to develop more, I’m glad it wasn’t the main focus.

Is it obvious that I loved the characters? Lou’s free spirit balanced out Will’s (understandable) stubborn arse behaviour, and I enjoyed their friendly banter.

Honesty time: I never expected Lou to change Will’s mind. Did I want her to? Absolutely. As much as I believed that Lou could make Will unbelievably happy, I understand that there would always be something missing for Will. Will’s ultimate decision just goes to show that despite how “happy” a person may seem on the outside, you cannot deny how they actually feel on the inside – especially when they go through something as traumatic and life-altering as Will did. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to help a person see the brighter side of things, a part of them will always dwell on the life that’s no longer theirs. It hurts the heart, but a person’s choice. I will not judge Will one bit for the decision he made.

I’ve already added the sequel to me “To Read” list and I’m looking forward to reading more about Lou and her life after Will. I gave Me Before You 5 stars out of 5.