After You by Jojo Moyes | Not a bad book, but I wish it had been left at a standalone instead

after-you

I’ve been reluctant about this book ever since I knew it was a thing. I couldn’t even decide whether to buy it or not. I only ended up getting it because it was half price. And I know they’re pretty biased terms to start on, but I couldn’t really help it.

And how did it work out? Well, that’s what we’re here to see, right?

Let’s talk about After You!

after-you

Title: After You

Author: Jojo Moyes

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Series Status: The 2nd book in the Me Before You duology

Genre: Contemporary

Number of Pages:  407

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(Found on back cover & Goodreads)

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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 . . .

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There is such a huge love/hate relationship with this book in the bookish community, it seems. And I, for one, completely understand why.

Which side am I on?

Well, if you’ve heard me ever mention this book, there’s no doubt you’ll know. And if you haven’t…you’ll figure it out soon enough.

So, bit of backstory. I read Me Before You at the beginning of the year. I decided to give it a chance after seeing the movie trailer, despite it not being anything like what I usually read. And I fell in love with it. I sped through it, I felt all the emotions, and I swiftly added it to my “favourites” shelf on Goodreads. It was the perfect not-so-perfect book.

And then I discovered this one existed. And quite frankly, I was beyond confused because Me Before You would have been so incredibly beautiful as a standalone. So I resolved not to read it, I didn’t want an “after you”…and yet here we are. Because as Alice said when lost in Wonderland; “I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”

This should have been left as a standalone. I know it sounds harsh for me to want to erase an entire book, but really. Me Before You left me with such a bittersweet feeling. After You stomped all over that. Again, I don’t mean to sound harsh but it’s so hard when a favourite book is tinted with this image you didn’t want to see.

The thing is, this wasn’t a bad book. I’m actually glad of the way it deals with important issues – relationships, sex and manipulation, loss and grief, feminism. All these things I feel were handled quite well. And there was a huge pull on the fact that everyone has their own problems, even (or sometimes especially) when it doesn’t seem so.

And I feel like a lot of people will be able to relate to this book in some way. I mean, it covers that many topics, it should be impossible not to relate somewhere.

But still. I didn’t want it.

Honestly, I feel like a spoilt child. To read a book and think “no, this isn’t what I wanted to happen”well guess what Ashleigh, it’s not up to you. This is the story and this is how it is. But every “event” that happened seemed to chip away at the story I previously loved, changing my opinion of every character. I no longer loved Louisa. Instead, I found her so frustrating and pessimistic about everything. Of course, she had reasons to be sad. Trust me, I know. But when there’s an entire book written about a character’s problems, and the character’s family’s problems, and the character’s friend’s problems…well, it can get tiring. It goes from being a book about getting over problems, to a book 92% dedicated to them.

This isn’t a bad book. Really, it isn’t. There’s character growth, it’s somewhat realistic (though Louisa’s life seems way too dramatic with bad events), and the relationships – family, friends, colleagues – all felt lifelike.

I just can’t help feeling resentful. Because where I once saw a bittersweet, not so perfect story that stole my heart…I now see this story, the one I didn’t want.

Rated 1.5/5 stars

1-5-stars

 Amazon

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Share your thoughts!

Have you read this book? What did you think?

If you haven’t, have you read the first? Do you plan on reading this one?

Have you seen the movie?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

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30 thoughts on “After You by Jojo Moyes | Not a bad book, but I wish it had been left at a standalone instead

  1. I’ve never read Me Before You and I’m not exactly sure on planning to read it, I’m not a big fan of romance books, but it’s really interesting to see that not all books are good with sequels. You did a fantastic job writing the review, even though the book wasn’t as good 😀

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  2. I was kinda confused when I heard there was another book after Me Before You. I really like that book. But I don’t think I’m gonna read this one. Because, like you, I feel like Me Before You should have stayed a standalone… and I think I just wanna leave the story where it’s at (at the end of the first book) lol! Wonderful review, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve read both MBY and AY, and seen the film. Like you, I absolutely adored MBY, and I was also very confused when I found out AY was being released. I personally did enjoy AY but things happened that I didn’t want to happen!! I did enjoy the read overall but I did feel that it took away some of the magic of MBY and it would have been stronger as a standalone! I do think it’s worth reading AY, but I’m yet to find a person that absolutely loved AY. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it! I’ve avoided it, because many people have said what you’ve said as well, that it should have been a standalone. I think that Me Before You ended up perfectly, so I’ll definitely avoid After You. Thanks for reviewing – and I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy it more! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So I’m going to be that weird person and say that I loved this book haha I read both and watched the film and to be honest I love Louisa so much I was actually glad that I could read more about her ! I also loved all the other characters and I wish I could just get more and more from them 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s not weird! I’m glad to hear you loved it!
      I adored Louisa in the first book but she just changed for me, and I think that’s what made me not like it that much.
      But again, I’m glad to hear you liked it! It’s definitely a love/hate book judging from everyone else’s reviews – I’d prefer for you to be on the love side rather than hate 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah I do understand your point and everyone else’s of course but for me I think it’s because I relate with Louisa so much like I just see little pieces of me in her character and makes me want to know more and more about her haha

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  6. I actually really enjoyed After You, but I think that it was mostly because I love Lou as a character and also really enjoyed her interactions with Will’s daughter. However, I also think that it didn’t really act as a sequel but could have almost been a standalone book in itself, with the events of the previous book given as a kind of backstory. Honestly I’m not really sure how I feel but I definitely enjoyed it 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it! I get what you mean about being able to see it as a standalone. If Me Before You *was* just the backstory, I’d have probably liked it too. But with how much I loved the first, his daughter even being a thing threw it all out of perspective for me. But oh well!

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  7. I wasn’t hugely into Me Before You, so when I saw this existed I just read the Wiki and all the spoilers I could find. Sounds like the daughter thing completely ruined the first novel if Will didn’t know she existed. It could have given him a new sense of purpose in life? Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

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