(Spoilers below for both Me Before You and After You)
After the death of Will Traynor, Louisa Clark is left reeling and empty. Eighteen months after the worst day of her life, Louisa herself has an accident which sets off a string of events that changes her life even more from what it was before she met Will. New people and new realities challenge Louisa to feel again and possibly move on with her life.
When I first saw the announcement that Jojo Moyes was publishing a sequel to Me Before You my heart soared! MBY left me broken and sad (I have never cried so much while reading a book) and a new chance to delve into Lou’s world made those feelings come back big time. I was looking for a chance to heal my somewhat-broken heart and see Lou heal along with it. But after reading After You, I’m not sure it was a good idea to publish this sequel.
It was wonderful to see Lou again and experience her healing process, but it almost seemed to cheapen the poignancy that MBY’s ending provided. Will cast a long shadow over the book and while it was nice to see Lou move on eventually, it made me miss Will even more and I would have preferred not to see it. I know it isn’t right to expect a person (or character) to never fall in love again after tragedy, but Will was so wonderful that I don’t think any man could live up to him (in Lou’s eyes).
It felt like this novel was a stretch, and while the writing was good, some of the plot choices were repetitive and one character in particular (which I will not name/describe to keep this review somewhat spoiler free) grated on my nerves so badly that it lessened my enjoyment of the book.
All-in-all I’d say that if a reader just stuck with MBY and skipped the sequel, they would not be missing too much.
Recommended for those who…
Are dealing with grief or have dealt with it in the past
love Contemporary fiction set in Britain
“I walked back across the road straight past him, fumbling in my bag for my keys. Why did fingers always turn into cocktail sausages at moments of stress?”
What did you think of After You?