A quiet Friday night in, I decided it was finally time to face After You. I absolutely loved both the book and the movie Me Before You so I was curious to see how Lou was coping in life post-Will. After You follows Louisa eighteen months after Will died. She is working in an airport bar and pretty angry with life. Until one night someone comes along and changes it all. The books follows on watching Louisa heal and start to rebuild her life.
This book was an extremely easy read, in fact I read it in one sitting. Personally I wasn’t overly impressed with it. I didn’t really feel that the book had a distinct plot. Yes, I was curious to see how Lou was faring and anxious to see her end up in a good place but upon completing the book I didn’t really feels as though I gained much in the end. In fact, I would prefer the book Me After You having just been a stand alone as I feel it tells a complete and powerful story on it’s own. Yes, After You gives you a picture of how grief really is, that it just doesn’t go away but I feel there are a multitude of other books out there that will give you the safe feeling.
I think my main issue with the novel was that I found it hard to connect all the characters to their former selves from Me Before You. It almost felt like an entirely new set of characters. Of course it is expected that grief and loss will change people but I found it difficult to imagine this new Lou to be the same person as the old Lou. Even the dynamics of her family was completely different and hard to imagine. Her relationship with her family was once again strained but in a completely different way and I found it difficult to marry the two completely different dynamics.
The new characters were loveable and unique and I have no complaints about the writing style or the twist in the story. Moyes once again manages to write a touching story with loveable characters. However, the magic that I encountered in Me Before You was lost for me in After You and I know I will not read this particular story again. I do feel a sense of guilt to the author and characters but I feel I must give this book two of Lily’s plants as I was just unable to connect with it. That is not to say that many of you out there will not love the continuation of Lou’s story so if you are really curious to see where it goes, I do still recommend reading it yourself and making up your own mind.