Tag Archives: Romance

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.

Me Before You – A Review

Heloooo everyone. This place has been quiet, too quiet too long. I’ve been away and I’ve been reading. Remember I told you I was gifted a kindle? Let me just say that I’ve been putting it to very very good use.

I have a bunch of books to review and I begin today with my personal favourite:

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes


Me before You is the story of Louisa Clark and Will Traynor.

The story

Lou Clark is an ‘ordinary girl leading an ordinary life’ with the only distinction of having a weird dress sense and of putting her crazily clad foot right into her mouth. She has worked most of her adult life at the tiny Buttered Bun Cafe buttering bread and serving tea but she isn’t bored or tired. She loves being there. She finds her ordinary life comfortable and happy. But then the cafe closes down and she is hired by the very wealthy Camilla Traynor to take care of her quadriplegic son.

She’s definitely not looking forward to the ‘bum wiping’.

As it turns out bum wiping might have been the easy bit. Will Traynor was an active, successful businessman till a road accident confines him to a wheelchair. Now, he is unkempt, angry and very daunting.

What follows is a story of these two people.

The Review

Everything about this book is a cliche. The rich-boy-poor-girl story, a dysfunctional family, the crabby quadriplegic, the cheerful carer and a romance… well almost.

But my God the way it is told – that’s where the magic lies – in the telling. And the telling is flawless. I fell in love with the snarky Will and the quirky Loiusa. I felt his helplessness, his desperation, her hope and her loss.

It’s funny and sweet and heartbreaking. It might make you cry but not in the way of run-of-the-mill weepies. You know those ones, don’t you? The ones that are written with the specific intent of making the reader cry? A bit like Nicholas Sparks. This is nowhere like that.

Unlike what the cover might lead you to believe it is not all about romance, which is  incidental rather than central. The story is more about  finding oneself, stepping out of one’s comfort zone and making the most of one’s life. It is about evaluating and examining choices, of doing with your life, what you want. I might not agree with all of it but I loved it, all of it.

The film is due to be out soon and I do hope they don’t spoil it. This one is a tale beautifully told. Read it I say. Read it if you have a bit of a romantic in you.