Friday, September 25, 2015

After You by Jojo Moyes

NOTE: If you haven't read Me Before You yet, please go do that before looking up information about the sequel or reading any reviews. I tried to keep my thoughts as spoiler free as possible, but it's impossible not to give something away that will influence your perspective. 

After You 
by Jojo Moyes
Read: July 18 - 23, 2015
Published:  September 29, 2015 by Pamela Dorman Books
Source: Netgalley (Thank you, Penguin!)
Category: Adult, contemporary, England, grief 
Series: Me Before You book 2 (don't read this without reading that one!)

Dear Reader,

I wasn't going to write a sequel to Me Before You. But for years, readers kept asking and I kept wondering what Lou did with her life. In the end the idea came, as they sometimes do, at 5:30 in the morning, leaving me sitting bolt upright in my bed and scrambling for my pen.

It has been such a pleasure revisiting Lou and her family, and the Traynors, and confronting them with a whole new set of issues. As ever, they have made me laugh, and cry. I hope readers feel the same way at meeting them—especially Lou—again. And I'm hoping that those who love Will will find plenty to enjoy.

—Jojo Moyes

It was very hard to leave Lou at the end of Me Before You, and I am thankful Jojo Moyes has given us another look into her life. Below are 5 observations about After You, +2 more hidden behind spoiler code: 

After You has an overall heaviness to it, but not the sharp highs and lows I was expecting and wanting. I've read two Moyes books before this one, Me Before You and One Plus One, both of which elicited very strong emotions from me - laughter and tears. FEELS are a favorite thing about Jojo Moyes' stories and my lack of them was disappointing. The reactions I felt were much more muted, and with the story being so long, sometimes I felt like I was slogging through it. 

2) Still, I think the level of emotions in this story is actually a good reflection of Lou's state throughout the book, and a testament to Moyes' ability to convey that. And maybe that was the point after all. Although the going was rough at times, the changes in Lou between the start and end of this book were rewarding to see. 

3) I was not a great fan of the Lily storyline. It seemed an overly obvious choice to include, and mostly frustrated me
. However, after finishing the book, can see the parallels it provided to other plot threads, and the way deepened some ideas and tied story elements together. There's another situation near the end involving a different character that is another frequently used plot device that I don't care for. However, that situation did bring out some of the strongest emotions I found in this book, so I did appreciate it for that. 

4) This book does have a romance, and it surprised me. It takes quite a while to come together, but ended up being different and more rewarding than I expected. There's a lot I want to say about it, but I don't want to spoil things! This was a positive part of the book for me. 

5) Lou's family continue to amuse me, and I love that they are always there for her, even when they're causing more chaos. They offered comic relief but also a more serious storyline that plays against what is going on with Lou. And I loved that Lou and Treena develop a stronger bond through this story. We also get to see the Traynors again, and I really liked Mrs. Traynor's storyline. 

Nothing I've hidden below is an enormous spoiler if you've read Me Before You, but I've decided to put it under the tag just in case: 

After You has such a different feeling to it than Me Before You, and the emotions I felt were not nearly as intense. But then again, Lou is also in a very different place than she was at the beginning of the series. Although this sequel does not stand out as much to me as the first did, and I felt weighed down by it at times, I am so thankful that I could take this journey with Lou, and I wish her all the good things in the future. 

Love Triangle Factor: None 
Cliffhanger Scale: End of series 


  1. Man... Definitely going to have to re-read the first!

  2. I totally agree with you about strong emotions from Me Before You and One Plus One. I was afraid that After You won’t be as intense as the first book and you confirmed my concerns. I feel the same way about Will. Beautifully written review, Lauren!

  3. I'm so skeptical about this one because I didn't LOVE the first book and I don't know if I'll enjoy this, then, but I wonder if the different feel of this will perhaps allow me to appreciate it more. Your thoughts on this are so helpful and articulate and I'm definitely going to be bumping this up my TBR so I can compare notes with you on it, Lauren! Gorgeous review, dear!

  4. Gorgeous review Lauren. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed this one, despite lots of issues. It does not sound like something I would like at all o.O Ahh. But love reading your thoughts about it :D Thank you for sharing sweet girl. <3

  5. Hi Lauren, looks like a fab book! It would be great if you added your review to the Books You Loved: October collection over at Carole's Chatter. Cheers


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