- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (December 6, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143131397
- ISBN-13: 978-0143131397
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5,104 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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After You: A Novel Paperback – December 6, 2016
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The sequel to Me Before You which is now a major motion picture Look out for Jojo s new book Paris for One and Other Stories available now We all lose what we love at some point but in her poignant funny way Moyes reminds us that even if it s not always happy there is an ever after Miami Herald 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 From the Hardcover edition
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I'm not ashamed to say that Me Before You had me up reading until very late at night and then crying my eyes out until very early the next morning. It was the kind of book that sticks with you, the kind of book that is extremely hard to follow up. It ended on a very powerful note, so any book that calls itself a "sequel" has to match that kind of power. This didn't, not even close.
We follow Lou's life a year and a half after the death of Will, and we see what her life has become. Honestly, I didn't enjoy this Lou very much. Gone is any spark, any vitality, any humor, and without those aspects of her personality I had trouble staying engaged with her. I didn't like this pushover Lou, and I barely recognized her from the previous book.
Her life is wholly depressing. Lou is stuck completely in this sort of limbo, and reading about her mostly boring day to day things felt one note and tedious. Lou's family details, like her mother's newfound feminism and her sister's meddling, seemed contrived and almost silly. I didn't get what those side plots added to the story, and I didn't find them compelling.
Lou's love interest was just... there. He was sexy in a classic romance way- the patient, motorcycle-riding savior- but I simply didn't feel the chemistry between him and Lou. It felt like a relationship without weight, certainly without the intensity of Lou's relationship with Will. If you are going to present a love interest to follow the one from Me Before You, it would have to be absolutely epic... this wasn't.
And don't get me started on Lily. No spoilers from me, but Lily just irritated me to no end. She was SO selfish, and I struggled to feel much sympathy for her rich girl plight. I know the author tried to give us reasons to empathize with Lily, especially near the end with her convoluted backstory, but I was rooting for Lou to branch out and have more of the story-line to herself.
However, this book's greatest crime, IMO, was that it was boring. I kept putting this book down and starting other stories, only to force myself back to this one after a few hours. And though this book has brief moments of greatness, and it wasn't bad or offensive in any way, it also failed to grab me the way I was expecting it to. After the way Me Before You gripped me, I think this was the biggest let down of all.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
I absolutely ADORE Me Before You, it is one of my favorite books of all time. I pre-ordered this book months ago, and I ended up staying up until 3 am reading it. I don't know exactly how to express my feelings about this book. For starters, I didn't care for the character of Lily. I think understand what the author was doing, by making Lily Will's long, lost daughter; it allowed Lou to have interaction with Will's family, and allowed Moyes a follow up with them that would have otherwise been unlikely to happen in Lou's new life. I really think the book would have been better by leaving that character out completely. I wanted this to be Lou's story of how she moved on and found her "happily ever after," and this just didn't feel that way for me. I also thought the bits about Lou's mom turning into a raging feminist, while amusing, was a little off course. I wanted Lou and Sam to have the happy ending that she and Will didn't get to, and instead it ends with her leaving him behind to fly away (to NYC) to be yet another caretaker for someone. I hardly think being the nanny/companion/personal assistant to a depressed person is hardly the life Will wanted for her, even if it is in New York. I wanted more for Lou than what I felt like she (and I) got. I wanted her to have her "happily ever after."
For what it's worth, I'd really like to see a book exploring what life would have been like for Will and Lou if he had decided NOT to end his life.....but that may be too time travel/sci-fi/time lord for most of Moyes readers.
Louisa Clark returns, still so likable but struggling through the stages of grief since the passing of Will Traynor. With the help of quirky friends from her group therapy session, called The Moving on Circle, a teenage girl, named Lily, a new love interest, Sam, and her comical but loving family, Louisa begins to recover and starts experiencing life again.
JoJo Moyes is an exceptional writer. Her books tackle substantial subjects in the best of ways. Reading one of her books is an emotional catharsis. You'll laugh out loud one minute and sob the next. They are equally as successful for a book discussion as they are to read at the beach. But, when an author decides to write a sequel to a book like Me Before You, expectations are incredibly high, and the follow up story needs to pack the punch of the first. This one unfortunately did not. Most sequels don't live up to the original, and though I don't object to this one, it did not need to be written. Some stories are so special that it is best to leave them alone. They are perfect as told and satisfyingly complete. Me Before You was one of those novels. 3 1/2 stars.