- Title: After You
- Author: Jojo Moyes
- Publisher: Penguin
- Release Date: June 30th 2016
- Pages: 409
- Prequel: Me Before You
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.
*Warning: Contains major spoilers from Me Before You and minor spoilers from After You.*
Me Before You is — hands-down one of my favourite contemporary reads of 2016. So when I knew there was going to be a sequel, GAHHHHH I was extremely excited.
With the death of one of the main characters from the first book, I didn’t really know what to expect from this one. But I felt that it has to be really good — cause why would we have a sequel for a book which had an incredibly good closure already?
Unfortunately, After You did not meet my expectations.
After You is largely about Lou – the story of her life after Will. The challenges she went through, her many discoveries, and her relationships with new people. Don’t get me wrong; I love the purpose of the book – sharing her story and showing how she has grown after the incident. However, I do feel that there should have been so much more depth in the plot. It feels rather unreal.
“I failed you, Will. I failed you in every way possible.”
The plot was clunky and patchy. There was an introduction of an entirely new character which had zero connection with all the existing characters – Will’s daughter (like whaaaaaaaa–t?). It was not well-thought and the lack of continuity from Me Before You was distasteful. There was no solid direction throughout the book. There were many times when I felt – where is this story going?
You may feel connected to Lou in ways where you can relate to her, and that’s okay. But this story should be so much more than her having to deal with an annoying, immature teenager and a terrible boss. It should more about Lou, rather than putting her character through “other people’s problems”. Didn’t Will give her enough difficult time already?
I felt her character needed more strength, vision, and empowerment. Where is that scene where she breaks free from all things pulling her back and make a real stand for herself? Where is the build up to something so amazingly surprising it would just keep you on your toes?
Even if I managed to wipe the whole thing from my memory, I would never be allowed to disassociate myself from Will’s death.
I am disappointed with this sequel. I wish an epilogue was written at the end of Me Before You instead, rather than this long-winded book which did not do the prequel justice.
This is the part where I tell you that if you really want to know what happened to Lou, you should read this. I don’t have the heart to though. Me Before You is good enough as a very strong standalone. I believe Will would agree with me on this.
Pieces of him in pieces of me. Pieces of him where they shouldn’t be.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I would like to thank Penguin Books Malaysia for this review copy in exchange for my honest review!