I liked Jojo Moyes' Me Before You so much. I don't know that a book has ever made me cry quite like that one did. The emotional impact was intense. I was so excited when I found out she was writing a sequel.
I was very excited to read After You, but my expectation might have been too high.
I enjoyed that book for the most part, but the emotional intensity of Me Before You wasn't there. Lou seemed to change so much in Me Before You, becoming a stronger, more confident person. I had looked forward to seeing how she utilized that new found awareness.
But instead we learn that Lou didn't really continue on the path she'd been on. It makes sense that she's still sad, but she's struggling and in many ways still clinging to Will.
I was especially bothered by the story line involving the teenager who enters Lou's life. It seems to be another excuse for Lou to not move on and not take care of herself. She's more concerned with this teenager who really is not her responsibility at all. I work with teenagers on a daily basis and this characters behavior didn't make much sense to me at all. I disliked her so much and the whole bit about her feeling pressured to behave the way she did because of something caught on video. I'm not in any way saying bad things deserved to happen to her, but she wasn't the type who had previously cared about people's opinions and took pride in behaving badly. So why now all of sudden she felt ashamed and willing to commit criminal acts to hide what she'd done? Also, teenagers grow up in a world now where their idols are people made famous by sex tapes, most of them are not that upset by being caught performing sexual acts. That Lou was having to deal with all of this just upset me a lot.
On the plus side, this is a book written by Jojo Moyes and she writes in such a way that even if you don't like the characters or what they're doing, you still care because they feel real.
I'm glad the story was written, I'm glad to see where Lou is in her life, but I'm sad that her situation isn't a little better. In the end of the book, things are looking up for her considerably, and I'm going to choose to believe it continues it that upward direction because she's such a great character, she deserves a good life with people who love her and don't take advantage of her.
I received a copy of this via NetGalley.