After You // A Sequel You Will Enjoy, But It’s Not Required Reading

14 June 2016

Published: 24th September 2015
Source: Bought
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Chick-Lit
My Rating:
Lou Clark has lots of questions.

Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she's owned for a year still doesn't feel like home.

Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for - or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.

Open it and she risks everything.

But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in . . .
I know I was nervous about reading this book. Me Before You emotionally wrecked me. I was a weeping, sobbing mess by the end. I couldn’t believe a book could destroy me quite so much in the space of an afternoon, but it did. Then I learnt there was another book written about the lovely Lou and the time after Me Before You and I couldn’t not want to read it.

Should You Read This Book? Was I Glad I Did?

When you finish Me Before You there are a lot of lingering questions. The book itself is a wonderful read and ends perfectly, it works perfectly well as a standalone book. The thing is, though, you can’t help but wonder what happened with Lou. Everything was so wonderful and she gets given this chance in life from all this misfortune and you want to know what happens next. That is this book.

Anyone who has heard me rave on about Me Before You will know I love it. I love it beyond words and beyond any reason. I can’t believe I wasted so much time avoiding reading it when it’s such a wonderful book. I adore it. That adoration means that After You had a lot to live up to. My expectations were ridiculously high and no matter how I tried to bring them down I simply couldn’t. As such, After You had a lot to live up to, and I am just so glad JoJo Moyes is the skilled author that she is because she manages to write a very successful sequel.

Does It Do The Characters Justice?

I could never claim to like this book as much as Me Before You because it’s just too much to ask of any book really. I love enough for what it is, though. It’s a really fantastic book that gets you experiencing the same things as Lou. You experiences her highs and happiness as she moves forward in life, but you also experience a lot of lows (seriously, I was a chapter in and already getting teary eyed). The emotional rollercoaster that is this book just demonstrates how successfully Moyes got you attached to the characters in the first book. I was genuinely in love with Will. He was a dickhead in a lot of ways, but I adored him. He was hilarious. I completely understand why Lou is having such trouble moving forward in life when her past held so much joy for her. This book makes the excellent point that we can too easily idealise those who have left us because they aren’t there to remind us of their flaws. I liked that we were constantly reminded of that fact.

The other thing I liked about this book was the introduction of all these new characters. I didn’t necessarily like them all, but enjoyed reading about them. They were fun, they added drama and excitement within the pages. Also, it was hilarious reading about the old. I just really liked the people in this book. I just really liked this book.

Do I Recommend This To Others? (The Answer is Yes)

This is a solid read for those who just aren’t ready to let go of Me Before You. It heals old wounds for you and helps you move on. It’s a really good book and I recommend for anyone who wants to continue their journey with Lou Clarke.

What do you think when authors write a sequel for a book which was originally a standalone? And have you read either this or Me Before You because I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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