If you are still reading this month’s book -‘After You’, maybe don’t read this review yet as it may contain some spoilers.
I literally just read the last sentence of this book and had to write up my review while my thoughts are all still fresh in my head.
Where do I even start?
I guess this sequel wasn’t really what I was expecting at all. But then where did I think the story would go after Will died? I certainly didn’t expect his unknown daughter to appear out of nowhere and hijack the story, which is what happened. I think I would rather have had her pop up in the first book and give him a reason to stay, but if that had happened he would only have stuck around out of obligation to her and still wouldn’t have been happy. So I guess it’s better she came about after wards.
I suppose by Jo Jo Moyes introducing Lily (Will’s daughter) into the story, it gave the Treynor’s and Louisa a reason to reconnect and mourn for Will together (even though it’s been 18 months since Will ended his life). What I am a little unsure of is why did Lily look Lou up instead of Will’s actual family if she wanted to find out about him? Surely they would have come up in her search as well? So wouldn’t she have gone directly to her grandparents, who knew him his entire life, to find out more about her father, instead of his carer who only knew him for the last 6 months of his life? A bit odd but I guess the story needed to give Lou a project and a reason to be in this book at all.
I think what I didn’t enjoy from this book is the fact that Will was no longer in it. I loved Will’s character in Me before You, so I’m glad that Lou was finding it hard to get over his death for that reason and kept speaking to him, because it made it feel like he was still around and in this story too.
I was unsure how I felt about Sam the Ambulance man at first because like I said, I liked Will. But he was good for Lou and helped her to move on and get passed her underlying grief.
There was a lot in this book which I thought wasn’t necessary to be in there, like Lou’s parents arguing over her not shaving her legs and wanting to expand her knowledge etc…but I guess the pages needed to be filled with something, I would have just preferred the story to have stuck around Will and Lou a bit more.
There were a lot of reasons why I enjoyed reading this book but it wasn’t what I thought it would be at all. To be honest, the sequel wasn’t even all that necessary; it could have ended after the first book.
This book was more like a self help book for grieving that helped you through it as it touches on the stages of grief a lot at each session of the ‘Moving On Circle’ Lou attends. I liked the way this group talked through their grief and it all made a lot of sense (to a person who has also grieved for the loss of a loved one). This is one snippet the group leader says which I loved:
“And what we learn through sharing our memories and our sadness and our little victories with each other is it’s ok to feel sad. Or lost. Or angry. It’s ok to feel a whole host of things that other people might not understand, and often for a long time. Everyone has his or her own journey. We don’t judge.
And that, impossible as it may feel at first, we will each get to a point where we can rejoice in the fact that every person we have discussed and mourned and grieved over was here, walking among us-and whether they were taken after 6 months or 60 years, we were lucky to have them.”
So the question now remains: will there be a third book to this epic story? Do Lou and Sam last the long distance relationship? Does Lou love living and working in New York or does she feel like she doesn’t belong like everywhere she tried to live in? I think it’s fair to assume all’s well that end’s well and there’s no need to drag it on any longer for no reason.
What did you think of this sequel? Did it meet your expectations?
You can read my review to ‘Me before you’ here.