After You
After You by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

All the while I was reading this book I kept thinking “I shouldn’t be doing this.”
I just could not stop feeling like this was a mistake. Not only because I don’t read romance/ chick-lit books but also because even by those standards this book fell flat on its face.

This is another one of those I will list among sequels I really wish I had not read because they have tainted the first book they came from. I tried to like it I really did, mostly because the heart crushing novel that was Me Before You left me yearning for some kind of closure but after reading the sequel all I understood was that I wanted to have Will Traynor somehow magically resurrected.

It took the entirety of the book for the main character to get somewhere that supposedly was exactly where we left her at the end of the first book too. The protagonist was at times so frustrating that it actually dampered the experience of the first book and made me wish it hadn’t happened at all although there were little attempts to make you understand why:
It was like being in a little cocoon, one that, admittedly, had a whacking great elephant squatting in its corner.

There was a serious lack of character development on all fronts and the sub plots and side stories were uninteresting and non existent.
There were two main subjects in the book, Louisa’s love life and her relationship with the newly introduced character, Lily.
What I felt was that the writer tried to recreate the success of the first novel by introducing an equally difficult character in the next. Although I am not sure falling back on the tiring cliche of introducing a long lost child, especially one whom the deceased parent had absolutely no idea even existed and therefore had not one iota of feelings for, did anything to help. Where Will Traynor was likable or even lovable, Lily was just annoying and spoiled despite the many attempts at highlighting the ‘similarities’ between her and her father. And planting a garden in no way at all made up for the fact that she seemed more suited to be in juvenile detention.
As for the romance between Louisa and Sam, it seemed forced, as it was, from both the writer’s and the character’s point of view. If such an amazing love story like that which happened in the first novel was going to be followed by another, it should have been somewhat if not equally, heart warming. The only things holding these characters together were near fatal accidents followed by short emotional periods and stretches of contemplation and uncertainty. All the makings of a fine long lasting relationship. The only part of the book that was interesting which increased the rating from one star to two, was the beginning that was slightly haunted by Will Traynor who was clearly the only interesting character of this entire saga holding the story even in his death.
In short it was all just boring and I constantly felt the need to reach for any other book instead.

Favorite Lines:
1. The city, compelling as it was, felt like a glamorous couture dress I had bought in haste but didn’t quite fit me after all. (pg. 25)
2. I could hear his memories thudding down on him along with the simple fact of my name and felt oddly guilty. (pg. 108)
3. The rain ceased off, slowing and ceasing almost apologetically, as if the weather were admitting it hadn’t really known what had got into it. (pg.213)

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