If you’ve been a long time follower of this site, then you might be wondering why I’m not posting a photo challenge response being that it’s Friday. The Daily Post didn’t post a photo challenge for this past week so it was a little break for me. They said a new challenge will be up today though so I will be back with a new response next Friday!
A few weeks ago I posted a book review (and movie comparison) for Me Before You. Today, I’m talking about the sequel, After You. If you haven’t read Me Before You and still plan to then – warning – there will be spoilers!!
Before I read Me Before You I already knew there was a sequel titled After You, which made me think that Will would definitely die in the novel and After You would be about Lou’s life afterwards. As I read Me Before You, and watched/read Lou and Will bonding and falling in love I thought maybe the title could be about Lou’s life after meeting and falling in love with Will. Well, if you read and/or watched the movie then you know Will did pass away so After You is really about how Lou is coping after Will’s death.
Despite the bittersweet ending, I really loved Me Before You, but I can’t say the same for After You. I just did not like it as much. I felt Lou was so different from the previous book and granted her life was turned upside down after Will, but it just didn’t sound like her. Me Before You ended with so much hope. Lou was traveling in Paris and going to all the places that Will wanted her to go to and experience. He left her enough money to go to school and study her real passion, fashion. But, After You begins with her as a bartender in an airport bar and seriously struggling. Not exactly following the plan there.
Sure it’s realistic that things don’t go as planned or that sometimes we don’t handle things as well as we would like, but if there was going to be a sequel at all I would’ve liked it to be about Lou finally taking the opportunity to get out of her hometown and do what she wanted to do. Not worry about providing enough money for her family. Not live in a closet sized room at her parents’ house. But finally living her life and pursuing her dreams with what she learned about life from Will. I certainly wasn’t expecting to read about her being an airport bartender and drunkenly falling off her roof which lands her in the hospital and then a weekly support group.
With that being said, I didn’t hate the book, but it definitely wasn’t as good as Me Before You. The ending of Me Before You, while sad because of the loss of Will, still had a sense of hope. Lou was going to start a new adventure. But the ending of After You felt so unsettled. It was one of those endings where you turn the page and realize it’s over – there’s nothing more – and you go “That’s it??!!” Yeah, one of those.
There were a few lines that I bookmarked though because I found they rang true or I just liked them.
“‘But that’s just a fairy tale ending, isn’t it? Man dies, everyone learns something, moves on, creates something wonderful out of his death.’ I was speaking without thinking now. ‘I’ve done none of those things. I’ve basically just failed at all of it.'”
Well at least Lou feels just as I did that she didn’t live up to her plan!
“‘You really believe she thinks that little of you?’ Lily’s head swivelled round, and the look she gave me was far too wise for her age and utterly heartbreaking. ‘I think she loves me. But she loves herself more. Or how could she do what she does?'”
New character, Lily, was probably one of the highlights of the whole novel. Her situation is so heartbreaking and despite my meh feelings about the novel, I still love that Moyes writes with such wonderful description.
“Life is short, right? We both know that. Well, what if you’re my chance? What if you are the thing that’s actually going to make me happiest?”
I love this quote just because I think we’ve all felt this way at some point or another. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be about love or a person but that feeling of uncertainty. Like should I be looking for something better or something else? What if this is it and I leave it behind?
The novel wasn’t all doom and gloom; there were a few parts that had me literally laughing out loud and all in all it was an alright book. Would I recommend it? If you want to see what happens for Lou after Me Before You then really it’s up to you. You could just stop with the first novel and be completely satisfied. But if you’re curious, it certainly isn’t a bad choice.