This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.After You by Jojo Moyes
Published by Penguin on September 29, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Romance, Contemporary, General
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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.
After You is the continuation of Jojo Moyes bestseller Me Before You. I was unsure going into After You as Me Before You was so beloved and I thought it was fine. Not fantastically sparklingly wonderful the way I saw most reviews. And I am here to say I felt the same way about After You. It was good; the world built was real and the pacing was fine. But the characters just didn’t spark for me. I found them to be more like caricatures then real people dealing with serious topics like assisted suicide and grief. With books could have had such depth to the plot I found them edging to the comedic and that dissonance just made me not able to get into the book. Set six months after the death of Will, After You joins life in progress for Louisa. Working at an airport bar, Louisa is deep in grief and unable to move forward. Then a series of slapstick comedy and movie of the week dramedy things happen. Then the world rights itself and so on. In particular I found Louisa’s sister to be very abrasive; she was not supportive of any other people but expected support no questions asked for herself. These things did not make After You a bad book instead they held After You down from being a great book. It did have plenty of emotion and I wish more attention had been paid to the members of the grief support group, they were fantastic characters. While I did enjoy After You, I wish I saw what others see. For me Jojo Moyes’ books are a step above average but not spectacular.
Favorite lines – “There was a peculiar scent to grief. It smelt of damp, imperfectly ventilated church halls and poor-quality teabags. It smelt of meals for one and stale cigarettes, smoked hunched against the cold. It smelt of spritzed hair and armpits, little practical victories against a morass of despair. That smell alone told me I did not belong there, whatever I had promised Dad. I felt like a fraud. Plus they all looked so … sad.”
Biggest cliche – “My grief is not the same as yours. You cannot possibly know how I feel.”
Have you read After You, or added it to your TBR?