Tuesday, 13 October 2015
After You by Jojo Moyes
Published September 24th 2015 by Penguin (first published September 23rd 2015)
Blurb: "Lou Clark has lots of questions.
Like how it is she's ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.
Or why the flat she's owned for a year still doesn't feel like home.
Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.
And will she ever get over the love of her life.
What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.
Then, one night, it does.
But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for - or just more questions?
Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.
Open it and she risks everything.
But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she's going to keep it, she has to invite them in..."
It was quite a surprise for me when I found out that Jojo Moyes was writing a sequel to Me Before You. Like so many other people I absolutely loved Me Before You and I wasn't sure if a sequel was a good idea when the original book was so brilliant. Now that I have read After You I'm really glad that Jojo Moyes wrote it. It was really good to find out how Lou was getting on after losing Will. It is set 18 months after the end of the first book and Lou is still grieving and her grand plans to live her life to the full have fallen by the wayside. She has fallen into another menial job with an awful boss and a ridiculous uniform. She has also lost part of herself as she no longer wears her fun outfits but is blending in by wearing jeans and t-shirts. It takes falling from a great height to start bringing Lou and her family back together. It was interesting to see how Lou's actions had affected their lives too. They also encourage Lou to go to meetings to deal with her grief. Lou meets a lot of interesting characters through these meetings, including Ambulance Sam who is dealing with his own grief.
This is definitely a book about coming to terms with loss and rediscovering who you are without that person in your life. Lou imagines what Will would say in different situations and knows she isn't doing as he asked but can't see how to change things. Then Lily turns up out of the blue and changes Lou's world in an entirely new way. Lily is the most annoying kind of teenager - completely self-obsessed, moody and selfish. However, there is more to her than meets the eye and her relationship with her mother is awful which explains why she is a bit messed up so I definitely felt sorry for her.
This book definitely has a lot of funny moments and some moments that were very sad, although it didn't have quite the same emotional effect as Me Before You. I wouldn't say you have to read it if you enjoyed Me Before You but if you want to find out what happens next it's a really good read. I would give this 8 out of 10.