Review: Jojo Moyes: after You (Me before You #2)."
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1QrHOrm
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.
After You is quintessential Jojo Moyes—a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and rejoice at being back in the world she creates. Here she does what few novelists can do—revisits beloved characters and takes them to places neither they nor we ever expected.
Sometimes you read a standalone, get to the end and feel like you need more. Like the final few pages of the book you've just read didn't quite tie off all the loose ends. And so you pray that the author will eventually hear you and give you a sequel, a novella or something just so you get the closure you desperately crave. "Me before You" was that book. Will and Louisa's journey was one that played on my mind for a long time after I turned the last page. It was one that affected me deeply.... that made my heart hurt and brought tears to my eyes. This couple's journey was one I will never forget and even now when I think about what each of them went through alone and together, my emotions are so conflicted. In one breath I feel happy and comforted but in the other, an overwhelming sense of sadness consumed me.
You are going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit.
It always does feel strange to be knocked out of your comfort zone…
There is hunger in you, Clark. You just buried it, like most people do. (Will)
"After You" was the sequel I desperately needed. As much as Will's story had come to an end in the first instalment of this series.. a heart breaking, soul shattering end but an end all the same, it was Louisa's character that I just couldn't get out of my mind. For days, weeks and even months afterwards, I wondered what had come of this girl who had selflessly given so much. I needed to know that she had found some sort of peace, that she had lived out Will's wishes to embrace life and all it had to offer. That she had found her own HEA. And so when Jojo Moyes announced that a sequel was on it's way, I was beyond excited. The girl that had found herself a permanent place in my heart would finally get her story. I'd get to see her happy, fulfilled, even in love maybe... the possibilities were endless and I couldn't wait to follow her in this next step of her journey. Did I read the synopsis? Of course not. This book was going to be a bed of roses. It was going to show Louisa having the time of her life. It was going to be light hearted and fun.. of course it was... until I turned the first page.
"Eighteen months. Eighteen whole months. So when is it going to be enough?
Because this doesn't feel like living. This doesn't feel like anything.
Well how wrong was I. This book was devastatingly raw and realistic. I didn't think my heart could hurt any more than it had after I'd read "Me before You" but it did with the pain growing more and more intense the further I got in the story. "After You" was about loss, grief and guilt. It was about letting go of the past and looking to the future. It was about experiencing new things, taking risks and grabbing the bull by the horns. It was about overcoming fears and it was about living!!! Louisa's journey took a turn I really hadn't expected but one that felt true and honest for the character she was. There was no way she was going to let Will go so easily. I should have known that. I've never experienced loss like Louisa and Will's family had but after reading this book, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. It was brutal and souls shattering and all I wanted was for there to be a glimmer of hope ... a turning point that would give my nerves a break. But each time my heart started to feel a little lighter, something would happen to make it plummet again. I don't want to go into the story... I don't want to tell you what happened or give you the why's, the who's and the whatever's but know that yet again, Jojo Moyes will have you captivated from the first page to the last. She was have you reading desperately, searching for that silver lining and she will give you characters (both new and old) that will work their way into your heart.
"Fuck you, Will." I whisper. "Fuck you for leaving me."
"After You" wasn't a love story if that's what you're hoping for. Yes romance features but it is definitely a sub plot and a small one at that. Like I said, this was more about the grieving process for both Louisa and many other characters. I loved meeting the characters from the "Moving On" group and some of the conversations had me in stitches. I loved seeing Louisa's family and the changes that occurred within that family dynamic. Plus of course I was reacquainted with Will's parents and it was interesting to see how the loss had affected them and where it had taken their lives as a result.
"After You" was an emotional story. It was addictive and heart renderingly painful to read at times but if you loved "Me before You" you will love this second instalment. I really hope there is a final book because yet again, Louisa's story is kind of complete but definitely left open for more.
I rated "After You" ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️