After You by Jojo Moyes
We meet Lou a few months after she has lost Will Traynor. She’s come back from her trip and is floating along in life without much direction. It’s all terribly sad, and I wasn’t sure how Moyes was going to spice up the plot until I reached the end of the first chapter. Some…extraordinary circumstances bring Lou back home and we are reunited with the Clark family. These circumstances also bring a potential love interest, Sam the paramedic, into Lou’s life. Then the plot thickens further when Lou finds herself face to face with someone from Will’s past. Moyes just continues to pile the crap on Lou’s life without remorse.
Lou has a lot of emotional and physical healing to do in this novel, and it’s not always the prettiest. The figure from Will’s past forces Lou to reexamine her future, but Lou isn’t so eager to let go of the past. She has to decide if holding on to Will is worth it, or if she needs to move on to other things and other people
So how do I feel about After You? I tried to compare the two, but they are so vastly different in their mood and tone that I found it wouldn’t be fair to either novel to compare it to the other. It has to be put in a totally different category than Me Before You. It wouldn’t be fair to the “before Will Lou” and the “after Will Lou.” Not to mention it’s hardly fair to compare a book with Will to one without him. It’s a world that just isn’t right. It’s missing something it shouldn’t be.
As a stand-alone novel, it had an intriguing plot but seemed to lack dimension of the characters. The romantic aspect and the mystery of this figure from the past were really what drove me to continue and ultimately to finish the novel. I just had to find out what happened to Lou in the end. Did I enjoy the ending? Eh again. Did I enjoy the journey to get there? Sure, but this is not going to make my top 20 books of the year.
TL/DR: After You is an okay sequel to Me Before You, but if you read it you have to remember that Will and Lou together is what made the first book so wonderful. This book is about learning to live in a world without Will, and opening up to the possibility of a happy future regardless.
Rating: 3/5 stars because it answered questions, but not enough of them
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