Monday, 24 October 2016

Book Review - After you by Jojo Moyes (Sequel to Me Before You)

It is not everyday that you read a sequel to a book, which you never expected to happen nor wanted to happen.
'After you' by Jojo Moyes is a sequel to one of her previous books 'Me before you'.
Me before you was one of a kind. In the end it made the reader both laugh and cry. But, the story of Lou Clark continues beyond 'me before you', in this 'after you'.
Losing a loved one is not so easy to deal with. It takes time to heal, and though it is difficult to forget, it might take years just to make you smile at those memories, rather than shed a tear whenever you hear the name.
Now, let us go into the review of it.

Book title: After you
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 407
Price: 399 INR

From the back cover:
Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, watching other people jet off to new places. Or why the flat she' owned for a year still doesn't feel like home. Whether her family can ever 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 and 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..

My review:
When i started reading this book, what i expected was another story similar to P.S I love you by Cecilia Ahern. But, it was not going to be.

Lou Clark still hasn't recovered from what she has witnessed and what she has been a part of. She made a promise to live, but she is yet to start living. And she looks like she still hasn't started working on the promise.

After Will, she is on her own. It had been 18 months, but she is still not over to it. And she still has plans to start over, but she herself doesn't know when. All she does is sleep, eat and her job at the airport bar. She slips and falls from her building. But, she lives with just a few fractures.
Her parents are worried and during her stay at her parents home, she feels that she is slowly being sucked back into her former world, which was very small until Will came.
She goes back to London and woes to start over.

We also see her sister, Treena who is at college and gives Lou advices. Their mother has started to change from her previous self, and their father is not too happy with it.
All these goes on, and suddenly you are introduced to Lily, Will Traynor's daughter. Half or more than half of this novel has been dedicated to it. Which is why i liked this novel a bit less than i expected to.

Lily is supposed to be the character who will bring the change to Lou Clark. But the character feels like an added burden to the novel. Author might have done it to weave the plot, but what i felt was, it should have been Lou herself who lead the story. She must have been the one who dictated her own life. Lou Clark was such a strong character in the previous book, and it was difficult not to like her. But, in this sequel, Lou lacks the strength. One might say that she is still getting over it. Yes. She is getting over the tragedy. So, this novel should have been about her. About how she kept up her promise that she made. But, this is not about that.

Though the novel totally does become an antidote for that sore disappointment, it might have done better without Lily. The character of Lily looked like an unwelcome addition.
Apart from that, the book was a breeze. It took me one night to complete it. All the new characters and new budding romantic plots takes the story to the heart of the readers. 

Also, it will be better to read the prequel and then read this one. If you are someone who didn't even hear about 'Me before you', my advice would be to read that first, and then read this. Because to know about Lou and Will is important before staring this one.

My rating: 7/10

The book was purchased by me. The opinion expressed in this review is my own.

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