After You – A review

After You by Jojo Moyes

after you

Over the last few years I have quite settled down to the idea of sequels. The moment I fall in love with a book I begin to hope a sequel will come along and that I’ll never have to say good-bye to the characters I’d grown to care for.

And so it was that I picked up After You quite eagerly, given that I’d completely loved Me Before You. I reviewed it here. I was eager to know what Lou makes of her life after Will, specially since we’d left her at in such an unhappy place.

The Story

After You begins 18 months after Me Before You. Louisa, Lou, Clark is drifting through life. She has left home to escape the bad press after Will’s death and has bought a flat in London from his bequest. However, she hasn’t quite moved on. She is stuck in a job in a pub at the airport.

Then one night she falls off her terrace.

Her family rallies around her as she recovers and at the insistence of her father she joins a support group for people dealing with loss. Around this time, two new people enter her life – a young delinquent, Lily who is Will’s illegitimate daughter and a handsome paramedic, Ambulance Sam. The duo make up the centre of Lou’s new story.

The Review

First, the good bits: I loved that I could rebond with all my favourite characters from the first book. Lou’s warm and crazy parents and the sensible Treena as also Will’s parents, reserved yet affectionate. The new characters are also likeable – Lily and Sam.

The way Mr and Mrs Traynor handle Will’s death in very believable, very different, yet that’s so much within their respective characters.

There’s also a track where Lou’s mom takes to feminism – that made for a fun read.

What I didn’t like:

This new Lou has lost her mojo. I kept looking for the funny audacious Lou but couldn’t find her at all. Perhaps that does happen in real life when someone loses someone close to them, but I wish she’d picked up the pieces. I wish she’d made something of her life as she’d promised Will instead of simply hanging around for Lily. This one ends up being more Lily’s story that Lou’s.

I missed Will. I missed the Will-Louisa chemistry. Louisa holds imaginary conversation with him but they’re too few and without much character.

I found the support group meetings boring: Louisa joins the Moving On Circle and we are introduced to a group of new characters. Each of them has a story but none are engaging enough. In fact I skipped bits of their conversations, quite like how Lou tunes them out during the meetings.

The romantic angle didn’t quite grab me. Her connection with Sam is tenuous at best and just as they are warming up the book comes to an end with Louisa flying away for an assignment.

The book is slow. A slow start was expected considering that Lou was recovering from her loss but I was hoping the story would pick up as it progressed however that didn’t happen. In fact, there isn’t much of a story at all. It seems to meander between Lilly and Sam and go nowhere.

There’s one positive thing though – After You could serve as a decent beginning for a third book. Wonder if that’s what the author had in mind.

17 Replies to “After You – A review”

  1. I haven’t read the first book, though some of my bibliophile friends do discuss both that and this one often. 🙂 I’ll look for a copy of the first one at the library. This review has piqued my curiosity!


  2. Your review just seconded what I felt and voiced my thoughts, Tulika!
    Very well written and I would think it would nudge people into reading both the books.
    I think the ending was ripe for another book to follow too, hope JoJo obliges:)))

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read After You immediately after finishing Me Before You. I totally missed Will Traynor, so I stopped reading the book 🙈
    I should go back to reading the book, shouldn’t I? Yes I will! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ok so I will put me before you at the end of the last… Mostly because I cannot deal with heartbreaking endings any more 😉 Doesn’t look like After you impressed you much. It must be very difficult to write similar chemistry between main leads.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The way you describe it, it sure does sound like an awful way to end a duology, but a great middle book of a trilogy.

    Btw when you mentioned Lou wasting her life, I just couldn’t help think about Clare from The Time Traveler’s Wife. I am not sure if you have read the Book Discussion of that book I had put up on the blog, but I felt awful about how she chose to live (if you can call it that) her life. The rest of her life, after Henry I mean.

    I liked the movie ending better. That is exactly what I had hoped for in the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a difference between the two love stories Shantala. Claire had known Henry since when she was 6. So he was almost a part of her and life without him would be inconceivable. Even so I quite agree with you. But Lou here knew Will only for about 6 months (not sure, but it definitely was a very short period). I’m not undermining their love but she did promise him she would make something of her life.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, I loved the first part, Me Before You, especially Will. And, because Will is not there, I didn’t want to read the sequel. After your review, I think it was a good decision.

    Maybe, I’d read the third part. Of course Lou must do something substantial as Will had always inspired her to. I don’t know how it has been presented but I don’t like this idea of Lily as it presents Will as a irresponsible person.

    Nice review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Will was certainly irresponsible in his younger years. It was only after his accident and meeting Lou that he changed as a person. So to that extent it makes sense for an illegitimate daughter to exist.


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