Most people are either big fans of Me Before You or they just couldn't get behind it at all. Trust me, my book club had a huge debate about this novel, so it's definitely worthy of hours of discussion. (Lots of gray area....) In any case, I am in the first group, so I was excited to get my hands on a copy of After You and put all other books aside to devour it right away.
Please keep in mind that I can not review this book without giving spoilers for Me Before You, so if you haven't read that one yet, pick it up and then come back here. Or just bypass the review to go to the giveaway for a chance to win this fabulous follow-up!
SPOILERS ahead for Me Before You in the synopsis and review.
LAST CHANCE to turn back!!!
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. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)
Now that I've shared some spoilers for Me Before You, I will not do the same for After You, which makes it hard to discuss one aspect of the story. However, it's worth the chance to be surprised. I can tell you this...I really enjoyed it. I found myself laughing out loud a bunch of times and cheering Lou on throughout the story (even when her own family wouldn't). She reminded me of myself in some ways. While I had never been through a tragedy like hers, I came close to it at one point in my life and that did a number on me and how I view life. While we get to see a different side of some characters from Me Before You, we also get to meet some new and interesting ones. The members of the Moving On group, for starters. They're quite an interesting bunch, especially Fred and Daphne. There were some interesting stories and group dynamics and Jojo gives us the chance to get to know everyone better and feel sympathy toward them.
While it feels like most of the synopsis unfolds in the first few chapters, there's still a lot in store for Lou. I love the relationship she develops with the person from Will's past and we learn more about that person from their side, as well. Overall, it's a strong sequel and I definitely recommend it to fans of Me Before You. (And even to those who weren't fans, as you might have a different perspective this time around.)
Since Me Before You is already being made into a movie, it's hard not to think of other casting ideas in my head, at least for Lou. Everyone else was not really imagined as a celebrity in my head, but maybe there will be a movie for After You, as well.
Thanks to Viking for the book in exchange for an honest review. They have one copy for a lucky US reader!
How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
US only. Giveaway ends October 6th at midnight EST.
More by Jojo Moyes: