After You by Jojo Moyes
For the review of Me Before You, click here
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?
Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.
Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future…
For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.
I know a lot of people really love this duology and the movie but honestly, I cannot grasp why.
I really kind of feel that this sequel was a little pointless.
First of all, Patrick is a complete dick for bringing his fiancee to Lou’s house. Who the fuck does that? It’s one thing if you just go once but every single day? Seriously, grow the hell up and knock on the door if you want to see her so badly. Although, flaunting the fact that you’re about to get married in front of your ex isn’t the best when they’ve just had a near death experience. Like seriously, he could not have been any less considerate.
I did feel bad for Lou when she felt the need to change her wardrobe again because people were talking shit about her. She didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not like she killed Will herself. He made a choice.
This whole Lily thing is a little out there. Yes of course it absolutely something that could happen, I guess I just wasn’t really feeling this plot in any way. I also really hated her at first. I totally understand that she feels that she’s missing a part of herself because she never got to know her dad. I also can very personally relate to what it’s like to feel unwanted and like a burden to her parent and honestly her mother is the exact kind of person that shouldn’t be a parent in the first place. However, none of that excuses the way that she barges into Lou’s home, disrespects her, her clothing, her space. It’s still bullshit and I get that Lily is a teenager but being young doesn’t mean that you have to act like a reckless, selfish bitch and walk all over people who try to help you. Don’t get me wrong, I felt bad for her with the way that people treat her, not only her mother but Peter also. But being treated badly by others does not give you the right to inflict that same inconsiderate sort of pain onto others.
The more I think about it, the more that I realize that I had a lot of issues with this book.
There’s one part where you (sort of) get a glimpse of Lily’s mother, Tanya Houghton-Miller, and the nanny appears. When Louisa sees the nanny she tries to guess her ethnicity and assumes she is Filipina. Whether she is or not, what was the purpose of throwing that in there? Are Filipina nannies something common in London or was it just to add a typical token POC playing the help? I also noticed the stereotype of Lily’s mother and how she is cast as the wealthy white suburban mother who doesn’t actually take the time to be a mother but hires nannies instead.
It is very clear that Lou is having a hard time moving on. Her denying her depression not only shows how afraid people are to discuss mental health in general but also parallels how a lot of people won’t even admit that they are having a hard time. Yeah she’s going to the support group, but that doesn’t make you better over night. It is going to take time.
I was kind of surprised at how lowkey sexist Bernard was. I rarely noticed in the first book (or I just can’t remember if it was displayed as much). He’s fucking lazy, and hardly does anything but heaven forbid his wife have a life that doesn’t revolve around taking care of him 24/7. He’s a grown ass man who acts like a child and had the nerve to freak out over a fucking cake. If you really want it to be homemade, get off your ass and make it your damn self.
Honestly I totally understand how hard it is to move on after losing someone. However, Lou was pretty foolish to give up that job without providing an explanation the first time around. I almost wish that Gopnik hadn’t given her a second chance because I feel that it wasn’t unrealistic.
I also just didn’t like realizing that the whole purpose of this book was that Louisa wanted to feel “wanted.” As I said in my review of Me Before You, I kind of felt that she loved Will in a way that he could never love her and that there was a huge imbalance in their “relationship” therefore (in my opinion) this entire novel was pointless and a waste of time.
2 out of 5 stars.