If you were living under a rock this past February you may not have heard of the book to movie adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You. Following the lives of Will Traynor (Sam Clafin) and his caregiver Lou Clark (Emilia Clarke), Me Before You as a book explores how one person can have such a profound effect on another’s life and what can transpire in the darkest of times. The sequel, After You, was published in September 2015, and was just recently released in a paperback edition. As I had Me Before You in paperback it was a no brainer for me to wait until the paperback release of After You. Well, I have purchased After You and finally ready to talk about all the feels. Did Moyes’ sequel live up to Me Before You? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
18 months after her whirlwind relationship with Will Traynor, Lou Clark is just trying to move unnoticed through life. Working at an airport’s Irish-themed pub, purchasing a flat away from the memories she is so desperate to leave behind, Lou’s life is changed forever when an accident threatens to change Will’s last request, ‘just live well.’
Grief was the foundation of this novel. Lou is grieving the loss of Will, Ambulance Sam is grieving the loss of someone, and Lily is grieving the loss of her innocence. Though I felt that some characters were written better than other in relation to their grief, each character in the novel was able to go through the motions of grief and come out, not fixed, but better off for it.
Ambulance Sam was quite possibly my favourite part of this book. He was such a well-rounded character and I believed the relationship between him and Lou to be genuine. I also really liked seeing Sam both in a casual way and in a professional way. You could tell that he enjoyed his job, regardless of the opinion of others. The house seen, though very reminiscent of Derek and Meredith in Grey’s Anatomy, made me swoon, and I hope that if Moyes writes one last Lou novel Ambulance Sam gets the girl.
I would also like to talk about the character of Lily but she is one big spoiler so instead I’ll just tell you how much she annoyed me throughout the book and leave it at that.
For whatever reason the last 50 pages or show that focused on whether or not Lou was going to leave England to travel to New York really bothered me. I felt that the Lou we met in Me Before You was her own person who did whatever made her happy. In After You, Lou was perfectly happy working as management at the airport bar, and yet, she let everyone bully her into doing something that she wasn’t quite sure would make her happy. Also, by accepting the job in New York I feel that Lou is ‘type casting’ herself, if that makes sense.
Hopefully Moyes will follow through and create at least one more book so that I can feel that Lou’s story has a beginning, middle, and an end.
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars