Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review: After You

After You
By Jojo Moyes
Published: September 29, 2015

Note: If you haven't read Me Before You, you may want to skip this review due to spoilers for the first book. You've been warned...



When one story ends, another begins. The sequel to the beloved New York Times million-copy bestseller, Me Before You.
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.

My review:

Six months after losing Will, Lou is just getting by day to day. She works at a pub in the airport and goes home to her empty flat each night. She is sort of estranged from her parents after their blowup in the last book. Things change one night when she has an accident, falling from the roof of her apartment building. She wakes in the hospital to find her parents there and she goes home with them after she is released, gradually mending fences. Her sister tries to encourage her to go back to school and her dad exacts a promise that when she returns she will attend a grief support group. Lou reluctantly goes but soon finds her life turned upside down when she meets someone with connections to Will's past and she starts to fall for Sam, the paramedic on the scene of her accident. 

Me Before You is my favorite book by Jojo Moyes. I have to admit that I was initially surprised that there would be a sequel and I wasn't sure what to expect. Once I got into the story I realized that I did want to know what happened to Lou. Before she met Will, she was living this quiet and small life, hampered by her parents and her own past. Will is the one that really helped her to soar. Unfortunately his death set her back a lot. It also impacted her relationship with her parents and the way their family is viewed in the village where many judge her for her involvement in Will's death. 

Thankfully as the book goes along, Lou begins to heal and find a way to move forward in her life. It isn't without its stops and starts especially regarding the complication of Will's past. It takes a lot to let down her guard with people and start planning her future. Lou has to make some brave choices of her own. I also liked the character development for the secondary characters like Lou's mom who after decades of marriage has discovered the feminist movement and hilariously takes a stand.  Jojo Moyes nicely balances the humor with the sorrow so that the book is never too maudlin. I thought this was a decent sequel though it doesn't quite have the same emotional punch as the first book. Lou is a likable protagonist and I was happy to see her start to thrive again and it was nice to catch up with the other characters. 

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley


  1. Wonderful review Christina. I didn't have quite the emotional connection I was expecting with Me Before You as I have with similar books but I'm still keen to see how Lou is getting on.

  2. I really liked Me Before You and liked After You as well. While they are all experiencing sorrow and guilt, this book kind of took a life of its own. Loved Lou's mother getting all women's lib!


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