Series: Me Before You #2
Published by Pamela Dorman Books on September 29, 2015
Source: the publisher
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“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”
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.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It took me three tries to make it through this book.
It wasn’t that this was a bad book, because it is not. Let’s get that out of the way. Jojo Moyes is probably not capable of writing a bad book. For me, I had a hard time with the things that happened in this story, and twice I put the book down and literally pushed it away so that it would be further from where I was sitting.
Because it was too hard.
Listen, like many of you, I fell so hard for Me Before You and for the two charismatic, lovable main characters in that book. I was so emotionally invested in that story and it broke me over and over. And then I reread it, GOSH I REREAD IT. So I was sort of doubly-invested – almost as if by rereading, I could make the outcome and ending different by sheer force of my will.
It wasn’t as much my curiosity for After You as much as my anxiety over the characters that forced me to keep going with this sequel. What had they been up to since the end of the previous book? I needed to know. And three times is what it took me to push through and get to the end. Ultimately, I’m glad I made it so I can finally shelve it.
But I’m left with feelings, and they include big spoilers. If you’re interested in seeing what they are, I’ve clearly marked them in list form on my Goodreads review. I’d love to hear if anyone else felt the same way about any of these things.
Non-spoilery summary of the above spoiler: I was overwhelmed by the enormity of some of the feelings that surfaced while I was reading, specifically with regard to Lou. I was underwhelmed with some of the new characters and plot lines.
Perhaps even after waiting all of this time to read this book – perhaps it was too soon for me? I mean, I get so, so emotionally attached to characters and situations anyway. It’s almost ridiculous but I can’t help it and really, that’s what I love about reading. I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t know that it would be this hard. And I cried a little but not as much as with the first book. Part of my tears were upset-with-Lou tears (which seems to be an unpopular opinion, and I’m fine with that). Part of my tears were just re-living the first book. Part of my tears were because I made it through the book in one piece.
AT ANY RATE, any book that causes me to FEEL THINGS is a book that I want to read. Jojo Moyes has always, 100% of the time caused me to feel things, and all of them different! I adore her work. I adore her work. I adore her work.
This one: I wanted this story, but after I got it, it was one of those “be careful what you wish for” scenarios. It isn’t necessary to complete the story of Me Before You, first of all. And it isn’t necessary to further the series. It can be left off, if you’re on the fence about reading it. If I ever reread, I will probably have just the same type of emotional response. I cannot help it.