Book review time!
So I must admit, March was a little busier for me than previous months. I liked that, but I was hoping to be able to read as much as I previously had and keep the momentum going. Alas, I didn’t. I did read my highly sought after book that I couldn’t leave town without- After You. However, my second book I began reading- I have yet to finish and will have to save that review for next month! Never the less, here goes nothing…
Let me first say, I convinced my best friend to read Me Before You, and I got hate messages from her after. So, if you wanted to send me hate messages for that ending as she insisted she needed to yell at me- I am so very sorry, but know, Kylee did it on your behalf too. And I say this in a good way! Truly, I mean it. It was that the ending tore her up like it did me. But, as much as I adore her, I am happy it did because it justifies my feelings. On that same note, multiple people actually reached out to me about the book having previously read it, or having read it after my review, and confirmed what I already like to believe- I am not crazy. It makes you ugly cry! However… this is not about Me Before You. This is about After You.
After You is set during a period after (gosh I am realizing this is going to be hard to not give spoilers!) the lead character Lou attempts to a live outside of her comfort zone due to promises made in the first book to Will. Now, I am sure you could tell from my last review, I loved Me Before you. I mean I LOVED it. So, this is a case , a sequel is going to inevitably never live up to the first book. But, that doesn’t mean it is bad. It just… isn’t Me Before You. That is okay. But, I still expected more from it. I expected more heartstrings tugged, I expected to close that book and feel more proud of Lou. (I still felt proud, I will say that) And, also, in this story, there are situations, themes, characters, etc. that I would not have necessarily put into it. I think, it did fine for what it was. However, I just would have preferred a different story line. There are people I know who have read this and said they didn’t think a second book was needed at all as the first was so good. I agree, it wasn’t needed, but most things are rarely ever needed right? Even though it may not have been needed, we still got it. And I am okay with that fact too, because I truly love Lou’s character and I was excited to see where she went from here. Maybe not excited in a positive way, but curious, hopeful, and just down right felt like her cheerleader in her corner saying that she can push forward and forge ahead!
At times while reading I loved it. Mainly because, I realized, it was Lou who makes you love it. As a main character, that is normal. But the difference between the first and second book is largely, in my opinion, different (aside from story line) because of this- the first book, you also loved the other characters. You grew to know them, you watched their character development and you needed to know what happened next at all times. In the second, aside from feeling a sense of duty to see Lou’s story through, you just kind of don’t care about a lot of the other characters. Some are new, and okay characters. Some are new and a little better than okay. But, none of the new ones are great. None of them come close to me having any interest in their lives outside of their interaction with Lou. The first book, I wanted to know about Wills life outside of him and Lou spending time together. Whats more, is that even the characters still featured in After You from the first book, I don’t particularly love them as much either. (with the exception of maybe her mom- who arguably had more character development than Lou even!) I didn’t need to love them more. I just needed to still love them. And I couldn’t even do that at times. Which resulted in me unable to love the book as a stand alone book. I love it because it is the follow up to Me Before You. I don’t love it for what it truly is. I like it, but I wanted so bad to love it. –
Don’t get me wrong, still worth reading, just go into it knowing you will probably come out feeling underwhelmed, and angry at Lou for being so lost still throughout so much of the book when, if you are like me, you were ready to see her struggle, and then have her “ah-ha!” moment and “comin to Jesus!” views pop into her head and spring her into action much sooner than she did. MUCH sooner.
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