After You by Jojo Moyes ; Book Review

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Hello lovelies,

I did it! I read the sequel to ‘Me Before You’ AND I did it in one evening! (Admittedly I started at 6pm and stayed up until 2am but y’know. Sometimes you just can’t sleep until you know how something ends).

I want you all to read ‘Me Before You’. I think most people would enjoy it, despite their tastes. It is funny, it is beautiful, it is tragic, I laughed and I cried and you know what? I found acceptance in it. ‘Some mistakes have bigger consequences than others but that night doesn’t have to be the thing that defines you‘- Will Traynor on a very sensitive matter. Truly and utterly beautiful and I wept for a good ten minutes with a strange sense of relief. It is so strange what you can learn from books.

It feels weird to write this just now as my review of ‘Me Before You was only published this morning so, yeah, you could say that I moved quickly through this book and I immediately want to say that there are probably two reasons why I read this in one sitting, firstly, it took me about two months to get the time to read the first book and I didn’t want the same thing to happen with this one, and, secondly, it was just a really good book with lots of page turners. There was simply no good time to put this book down. So I didn’t.

So my boyfriend bought me this even after I lay in bed sobbing my heart out after the first one…maybe he thought my ridiculous attachment to fictional characters was endearing?

Anyway, I have the hardback book but the kittens ruined the dust cover so that’s why it’s not on this book- don’t say I’m not real with you. The white and gold is still so beautiful though that I much prefer the book without its cover.

I shall start with my expectations of this book. As you may have read, I was kind of unhappy with how the first book was resolved because I was just very attached to a character and, frankly, I am sick of my favourite characters dying. That being said, I had high hopes for this sequel. I know that, for a lot of cases, a sequel, be it a book or a film, has the sole purpose of making the same amount of money that the first popular film or novel made and so I did see a lot of scepticism online but I am proud to say that Moyes did not fail us! I would even go as far as to say that I preferred this book and it is, in my opinion, better than the first book.

I expected, from the ending of ‘Me Before You’, that one of the people Lou spoke to on the paraplegic online forums would visit her. It was just something that I thought was hinted at. The blurb on the dust cover of the book also mentioned someone from the past, yet a stranger that would kind of cause Louisa to question everything and so I thought that made sense. I really wanted this book to be about Louisa, not Will, and whilst he would have had a huge impact on her life, I wanted it to be a demonstration of that. I hoped that she was having fun, chasing happiness, seeing the world, doing daring things, most of all I wanted her to live, to be as alive and as thrilled as anyone could be. I wanted character development and to learn how a person deals with grief and losing a love of their life and then using that tragedy to live a more enriched life.

I totally did not get that in this book. But what I did get was even better.

SEMI SPOILER * I don’t really think it is a spoiler because it happens literally in the first chapter or maybe the second but yes if you want to know nothing then look away…

Gone?

Basically Lou is in a crappy job, she’s miserable, she lives in an empty apartment that she can’t make home, she mourns for Will every day and one of those drunken evenings, she is caught with surprise at someone being on her fire escape and falls off of a roof. (Joking!) Or am I?

Basically a really important person related to Will (how related you ask?) finds Lou and turns her life upside down again and this storyline, this plot, has so many elements to it: how is Lou mentally? How is she physically? What is her relationship with her family now? What is her relationship with the Traynor family? What do the media do to her? How is she treated in her home town? Did she follow Will’s instructions? Most importantly, and I say this because it is the central plot line, we discover what this stranger is to Lou, how she accepts this and deals with it and learn about love after loss.

I just loved it. I felt like this book had so many more elements than the first book which was, pretty much anyway, a will he or won’t he be okay and will he or won’t he get sick before anything can happen. This sequel had so many beautiful, and still at some times teary, moments and I just got lost in it and it didn’t disappoint me and for that reason, I recommend this book to anyone who has read ‘Me Before You’, whether the ending was what you wanted or otherwise, read this and love it as much as I did.

Bravo Jojo Moyes, you got me, you brilliant brilliant woman.

Hannah x

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