After You

After You

“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 transformati...

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Title:After You
Author:Jojo Moyes
Rating:
Edition Language:English

After You Reviews

  • Kristie

    ***If you have not read Me Before You, please note that there are spoilers for the end of that book in this review. ***

    I have seen a lot of negative reviews for this book, most of which compare it to

    . I get it. Me Before You was amazing. I fell in love with the characters too. This book, however, is not Me Before You.

    So many people loved Lou from Me Before You and wanted to know what happened to her after the book ended. Then, when they are given a book that tells them what happen

    ***If you have not read Me Before You, please note that there are spoilers for the end of that book in this review. ***

    I have seen a lot of negative reviews for this book, most of which compare it to

    . I get it. Me Before You was amazing. I fell in love with the characters too. This book, however, is not Me Before You.

    So many people loved Lou from Me Before You and wanted to know what happened to her after the book ended. Then, when they are given a book that tells them what happened, they automatically compare it to the first one that they loved and realize that it falls short. These people are disappointed in the story because they expect the greatness of Me Before You to continue. Well... I think you need to enter this story knowing that a book that you fall that deeply in love with is a rare thing and it is unlikely that a follow up story will evoke the same emotions. (Please know that, yes, I realize that this does not apply to

    . Some people will simply not like the story. I am only referring to a specific group of people here...you know who you are.)

    This book is no exception. It did not evoke in me what Me Before You did. However, it was a good story on its own. If not comparing the two and only looking at After You for its own merits, it is a good story. Maybe it was more about other characters than you had hoped? I enjoyed meeting new characters and watching Lou's life expand.

    I thought this story was very well done. It showed Lou's struggle with moving on after Will's death. It showed how his death affected other characters and how people struggled to relate following such a tragedy. I still love Lou's character and there are other character's in this book that I really enjoyed - Sam, Donna, Jake... I didn't love Lily, but she grew on me later in the book. I enjoyed the characters in Lou's group and their interactions. Mostly, I enjoyed seeing Lou's struggle, how she was stuck, and how she grew.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this story and think it is worth a read. Please know if you intend to read it that this is not Lou and Will's story. This is Lou's story of growth and Lily's story of growth, as both learn how to move on from their pasts.

    Original Review:

    Part of me is very excited that this sequel is being written, because I really love Me Before You. However, part of me is really concerned that this sequel is being written, because I love Me Before You. That story had a definite beginning, middle, and end. I really hope this story doesn't spoil that one some how. Oh, how I hope I love it

  • Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more

    I really,

    didn't like ME BEFORE YOU.

    It was heartbreaking, but it was the heartbreak of an impartial observer. I liked Louisa Clark, but, for whatever reason, I never connected with her the way I do in a well-developed story, and the story itself was so . . . unlikely.

    I suppose it felt like tragedy for tragedy's sake.

    And that shit pisses me off.

    If you're going to ground my heart into the pavement, there had better be a damn good reason for it.

    But ME BEFORE YOU was like Moyes tho

    I really,

    didn't like ME BEFORE YOU.

    It was heartbreaking, but it was the heartbreak of an impartial observer. I liked Louisa Clark, but, for whatever reason, I never connected with her the way I do in a well-developed story, and the story itself was so . . . unlikely.

    I suppose it felt like tragedy for tragedy's sake.

    And that shit pisses me off.

    If you're going to ground my heart into the pavement, there had better be a damn good reason for it.

    But ME BEFORE YOU was like Moyes thought to herself:

    1. What's the most impossible falling-in-love scenario I can come up with? Excellent, let's do that.

    2. How can I make moving the relationship forward equally impossible? *is gleeful* Let's do that, too.

    3. And how can I make the whole thing pointless, from start to finish, while inflicting the most emotional damage? Wheeeeee! Best! Plan! Everrrrrrr!

    And look at the title: ME BEFORE YOU.

    It's deceptively selfish. It's meant to be a love story, right? So it

    be YOU BEFORE ME. But the eye glances over it, and the brain makes excuses, so that you don't realize until it's too late that it's a one-sided love story.

    Or maybe it's ambiguous, and my interpretation is a reflection of my overall experience.

    *kicks aluminum can*

    The point is that I didn't read AFTER YOU b/c I loved the previous book. I read it b/c I couldn't stomach abandoning Lou under the circumstances ME BEFORE YOU ended on.

    I saw the same spark Will had seen in Louisa, the unrealized potential, and I decided to give Moyes the chance to cultivate that potential.

    I. Am. SO. Glad.

    There's a subtlety to AFTER YOU that was missing in ME BEFORE YOU. It allowed Moyes to craft something entirely different, something that felt

    , even after the meticulously crafted WOE of what came before.

    Louisa Clark transformed from a cardboard placeholder into a person of flesh and blood. Treena, previously, a stock baby sister, spoiled and selfish, became a bright young woman struggling with the consequences of a teenage pregnancy. I could feel her despair and guilt wrestling with her love of the son that had complicated her life. Her parents were equally changed, as were Will's.

    Then there were the new characters, like the members of Lou's weekly group therapy meeting, who we spent little time with, but who were all clear, individual personalities.

    And Lily . . . ye gods. That girl broke my heart worse than Will Traynor ever did.

    But this time I laughed as much as I cried. At the meandering tangents poor Marc (unsuccessfully) tried to rein in during the Moving On Circle meetings. At Thom's boyish antics, the looks exchanged between sisters, Mrs. Clark's refusal to shave her legs after taking a night class of the feminist variety, and a dozen other things besides.

    And that laughter made the pain bearable, the pain of truths that were ruthless in their simplicity. A child who knew that her mother loved her, but not as much as she loved herself. A group of strangers bound together by grief the rest of the world had forgotten:

    The loneliness of a young women trying her best 'to live,' but lacking the heart to do it properly:

    These were smaller pains, but they were no less potent. They were familiar hurts, relatable, unlike the crafted pain of ME BEFORE YOU.

    I've always internally scoffed when I've heard or read about someone not realizing they were crying until their face was too wet to ignore, or some Good Samaritan gave them a tissue--how can you cry and not know it?

    But AFTER YOU taught me that there are some hurts that sneak up on you, that are subconsciously recognized, even when experiencing them vicariously, and

    times throughout the reading I found myself similarly effected as those I'd previously ridiculed.

    Then Treena would give Lou a look that I've received many times from my own sisters:

    And I'd be snorting those tears up my nose, b/c laughing.

    I've seen in several reviews that some readers were disappointed with AFTER YOU, that it didn't deliver the same emotional kidney punch. I'm not going to argue that point, b/c I agree. Instead of the manufactured grief that resulted from a series of events so horrifying that you couldn't help but react to them, regardless of how foreign that grief is to your own life experience, you get the pain from the aftermath of that loss.

    It's a real pain that few of us aren't familiar with, and that made me feel it all the more deeply.

    But it was the

    that made the real difference. The potential for something

    than unremitting pain.

    SO. My recommendation is this:

    1. If you rely on the author to create an emotional response that you're incapable of drudging up on your own, skip AFTER YOU. You'll only be disappointed.

    2. If you independently FEEL all the things, and don't mind a bit of turmoil on the path to a happy ending, read AFTER YOU immediately.

    It is lovely.

    And frustrating, and heartbreaking, and REAL.

    And in my humble opinion, that makes AFTER YOU an infinitely better story.

  • Emily May

    2 1/2 stars. It's hard to have to say this, but it's not completely unexpected either. When I finally gave in to the hype and read

    a couple years ago, I absolutely and unapologetically loved it. Like many of its fans, I've been waiting with bated breath for this sequel.

    .

    That's what it comes down to.

    was written to satisfy a craving in the minds of Lou and Will's fans. When we've loved a book, we all have those questions: what w

    2 1/2 stars. It's hard to have to say this, but it's not completely unexpected either. When I finally gave in to the hype and read

    a couple years ago, I absolutely and unapologetically loved it. Like many of its fans, I've been waiting with bated breath for this sequel.

    .

    That's what it comes down to.

    was written to satisfy a craving in the minds of Lou and Will's fans. When we've loved a book, we all have those questions: what will the characters do now? What comes next? But these are natural questions following all loved books. It does not necessarily mean a book should be written to answer those questions. (

    , anyone?)

    The result of Moyes trying to create a new episode of the story out of such questions is

    .

    This book attempts to tie up all loose ends in Lou's life. It's quite enjoyable because Lou is as comical and lovable as we remember, but a certain humourous spark has disappeared now that we don't have the wonderful Lou/Will dynamic. Despite the lingering sadness of

    , I didn't find it to be a depressing book.

    , on the other hand, is much more depressing for the most part - a fact that does not add depth to it.

    There's just not that much story to the book, except for the contrived "surprise from Will's past" showing up, and that just turned the book into

    with female characters - lonely woman in her thirties gains new purpose from helping a problem kid.

    The new love interest is a nice guy, but is forgettable and I never felt much chemistry between them. Also, I tried really hard to sympathize,

    .

    Everything in this book feels unnatural - created by the author to extend a story that had already been told to its full potential. The various subplots feel like extra padding and seem pointless. What was all that about Lou's mother discovering feminism and refusing to shave her legs? Aside from the cringy portrayal of feminism, why is that even in there?

    I understand why fans of

    will feel the need to read this book, but I just don't think it's necessary. It's mildly entertaining at times, but nothing valuable has been added here.

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  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    I hate to upset fans of

    (hell, I'm a huge fan of

    ), but this was a very underwhelming sequel.

    I'm not ashamed to say that

    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 power

    I hate to upset fans of

    (hell, I'm a huge fan of

    ), but this was a very underwhelming sequel.

    I'm not ashamed to say that

    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'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.

    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,

    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

    gripped me, I think this was the biggest let down of all.

    **Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    When I first heard that

    would have a sequel I wondered how Jojo Moyes would be able to pull it off. It either could go fairly decently or be a big old hot mess.

    How do you top a book that was perfection to me?

    The author does have a bit at the beginning asking readers to not spoil anything for other readers and I will respect that, because just because a book doesn't work for me doesn't mean that everyone will feel that same way.

    It's just that....I felt so personally invested in th

    When I first heard that

    would have a sequel I wondered how Jojo Moyes would be able to pull it off. It either could go fairly decently or be a big old hot mess.

    How do you top a book that was perfection to me?

    The author does have a bit at the beginning asking readers to not spoil anything for other readers and I will respect that, because just because a book doesn't work for me doesn't mean that everyone will feel that same way.

    It's just that....I felt so personally invested in that first book.

    When this one started out I was okay. Lou was battling her grief over Will's death. I know how hard losing someone can be. It's devastating. Hell, Will was a book character and I shed a whole lot of tears over him myself.

    I feel like JoJo Moyes should have had a best friend that just stopped her when she presented the idea of this book to her. Instead of encouraging her....

    Because, it did not work. AT ALL.

    My friend

    did enjoy this book. She writes an amazing review at the link provided. I think it's just up to the individual reader on this one.

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