**Warning: This book summary and review will spoil the book Me Before You. If you have not read Me Before You, first read our review, then go read the book because it's amazing. After you've done all that, you can proceed to this review.**
“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 loved Me Before You so much. So much. But when I heard there was a sequel, I was immediately hesitant. I read an interview with the author. In it, she explained how she wrote After You because the readers wanted to know what happened to Lou. In other words, the sequel was never planned. Sometimes this ends up well, but sometimes it does not. (I will give no examples, but I am sure you can think of one or a few.) But the publisher was kind enough to offer me a copy in exchange for my review, so I decided to give it a chance...
...and I couldn't do it. It is a DNF for me at 139 pages; I am just not compelled to read any more. Part of it is me as a reader. I know that I personally do not do well with stories where the whole story is the MC Being Sad. The MC remembers and is Sad. Or hates his/her life and is Sad. Or misses someone and is Sad. I definitely understand sadness, and recognize it as a very human and very important emotion. But...I just can't do so much of it.
But also, there was nothing that really hooked me to the new characters. They all elicited a solid, "Ehhh" type feeling from me. And the old characters that were quirky and fun and that I loved in Me Before You sadly did the same thing.
Maybe if I had read further, I would have been cheering Lou on instead of wallowing in sadness with her. Maybe the old characters would be fun and familiar again. Maybe I would have learned to like and even love the new characters. But I don't think I'll ever know.
This is one of those stories that got an interesting range of reviews on Goodreads -- people either really seemed to enjoy or really were not feeling it. So I am curious to know what side you fall on? Or do you fall in the middle?