After You – Jojo Moyes

Following the events of “Me Before You’, the story continues Louisa’s journey, where she is trying to find happiness again after losing Will. Despite Will’s words, Louisa is still living a life of safety, afraid to try new things. How can she move on?

I was quite interested to hear there was a sequel to “Me Before You”, which I thought the ending tied things neatly, with Louisa resolving to travel and make the most of her life. Yet as I start to read the story, I was a little disappointed to read that nothing had really changed for her. The story did feel a little slow, with not much happening and too much reflecting on the past events. It is only with the arrival of Sam and Lily that things start to get interesting.

Whilst the first book seemed like Louisa’s story, “After You’ seems to focus on more of the other characters and their feelings. We read the effect Will’s death has on his parents, we read about the effects grief has on Louisa’s friends at Moving On Circle, and how time can affect relationships. Moyes writes this with great emotion, and at times, humour. As always, the story is well written and the characters are engaging.

I enjoyed the book overall, and I was happy with the ending – to let go of grief is not to forget someone you have lost. It is a resolve to find happiness that they would want you to, and that person will be in your memory forever. Again, the book ends with Louisa finally being able to move on and start to take opportunities in life that come her way.

There is a third book in the series, “Still Me”, which was released this year. It will be interesting to see what happens, and I hope that Louisa’s character development is continued well.

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Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

For Lou Clark, life is passing her by. Still living at home with her parents, having a boyfriend who is more interested in exercise than her and losing her waitressing job, life has to change – doesn’t it? More problems arise when her father is made redundant from his job, forcing her to seek employment as the carer of Will, once a handsome and adventurous man, changed forever after his accident.

The premise of the story is quite bleak – in the first half of the story, we told that Will intends to end his life. However, Moyes does manage to bring some humour and happiness to the story. Lou Clark is a well written character – as a reader, you find her optimism endearing; she is a witty, clever and compassionate character. I was really interested in her story and her relationship with Will.

The story is very emotional – I was in tears towards the last stages of the book. It doesn’t end like a typical chick-lit book, but then again, this isn’t your typical chick-lit book in the first place. The ending of the book sees Lou explore her freedom and embrace life to the full, and this is an effect Will has had on her. Whilst the book doesn’t have the happiest endings it does end of some sort of positive note.

I would recommend this story – it is thoroughly engaging and well written. This has been made into a movie starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin, and there is also a book sequel called After You. For some, the subject matter is too controversial, but read the story before you make up your mind.