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Search tags: chick-lit-for-men
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review 2018-04-12 16:23
Lackluster Sequel
After You - Jojo Moyes

Please note this review has spoilers in it for "Me Before You."

 

So I read the first book in this series and gave it four stars. I didn't like the ending and all of the reasoning for Will deciding suicide was the answer and him having Lou and his parents all standby as he dies. I really thought Will was selfish and hoped that whatever future Lou had, she would use the money that Will left her to move on and have a happy life. Well this book was all "surprise, her life is horrible." Yep. Lou has  not moved on in the two years since Will's death. She's partially estranged from her mother and is living in London in a soulless flat and at a terrible job.

 

The main reason why I can't give this book above one star is that it was terrible from beginning to end. The character of Lou is a horrible stand-in for the character we had in the last book. She throws herself into taking care of someone that is related to Will (no spoilers) and just ignores opportunities being thrown at her in the romance and job areas. There's a dumb side-plot with Lou's parents, and we do get to see the Traynor family again. Although I hated the multiple POVs in the last book, maybe they should have been in this one with Will's mother, father, and sister, or someone other than Lou and the random person that Lou gets fixated on.

 

"Me Before You" follows Louisa (Lou) two years after the suicide of Will Traynor. Lou is a shell of a person, because watching someone commit suicide really will mess you up inside. When Lou gets drunk and falls off a roof (yes this happened) she ends up convalescing back with her parents. However, Lou eventually returns to London for reasons and then meets someone with a surprising connection to Will. Instead of Lou moving on and growing up, she is stuck until the last page with what would Will do and what would Will tell me to do. 

Lou is a pale shadow of the Lou we got in the last book. I know that Moyes apparently wrote this sequel due to readers demand when the movie came out. But seriously though, didn't the movie not do well? Eh. Either way, she decided that her fanbase wanted a sequel and she gave us this. I don't know if she's messing with us or what.

 

I think many readers imagined Lou in Paris, Tokyo, London, living a glamorous life. Instead she's working at an airport bar and wearing a terrible costume. Her flat is just plain and she hasn't bothered to do a thing with it. She starts going to a grief counseling group and lies to them about what happened to her. She has random conversations with her sister and still texts Nathan (Will's physical therapist from the last book) but she has no friends and no life. 

 

There are random sparks of old Lou in this book, but not many. We get to see that when she tells off her ex (I cracked up) and when she gets a little dirty with her new romantic lead in this one. But that is about it. 

 

The secondary characters are barely there. We just focus on the person with the connection to Will and they sucked from beginning to end. I was over the whole story-line almost as it was introduced to us. 


The writing was repetitive. The flow was awful. It felt like most of the book was the same thing being discussed (Will, moving on, going to take a new job, her romance with EMT Sam, etc.). 

The ending just leaves us with Lou off on a new direction. I have no idea why there was a third book made about Lou. I see from reviews it was widely panned by a lot of readers. I will not be reading it. 

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text 2018-04-12 14:25
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
After You - Jojo Moyes

Terrible book.

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-11 21:31
Reading progress update: I've read 21%.
After You - Jojo Moyes

Holy crap. Lou has the nerve to tell this woman who Will dumped (when they were teens I guess) that if Will had known he gotten her pregnant maybe he wouldn't have killed himself. What an asshole! Let us put all of this crap on some woman who had a totally different relationship with him and make it her fault. 

The pity party that is Lou this whole freaking book is exhausting at this point. I may finish this or not. I don't know. Either way starting my buddy-read today with Moonlight. 

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-11 17:43
Reading progress update: I've read 15%.
After You - Jojo Moyes

Ugh. This may be a DNF. Finding out that Will supposedly had a secret child (she's 16) doesn't even make sense. Also Lou is making me exhausted. Reading her justifications for the whole Will thing (being by his side why he chose to end his life) of course she's going to have some emotional issues. The only thing that made me laugh was her seeing Patrick again and telling him off. 

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review 2018-04-09 13:36
Wonderful Epic of Two Families
September - Rosamunde Pilcher

I don't know what to say about this. This was a very well done book. It was recommended to me by several people and I finally read it this past weekend. I have no critiques. I loved the characters, writing, setting, and the ending. The only thing I wish is that we had a chance to follow up with all of these characters in a later book. I wonder what happened to Henry, Alexa, Vi, all of the people we got to meet in this one. 

 

"September" is all about the preparations that are leading to a dance, celebrating the 21st birthday of a young woman named Katy Steynton. Though it's been some time since the village has done a huge dance, all of the inhabitants are happy to do so. Though we hear about Katy and her parents, they are not the focus of this book. Instead we follow Edmund and Virginia Aird and their family (their son Henry and his daughter, Alexa, along with his mother Vi). We also follow Archie Balmorino, his wife, his daughter and estranged sister Pandora. 

 

The characters are so very well done. We follow some other characters who will impact the characters above, one named Noel who appears to have a loose connection to the Aird family. Also a long-time servant/nanny whose creepy cousin seems hell-bent on destroying the Aird family. 

 

The writing is so lyrical. Pilcher made me remember being a kid again and the summers of my friends and I playing games, going wading in the nearby creeks, catching fireflies, playing tag, staring at the clouds and telling each other the shapes, eating on a run so that we could be outside with our friends again. I could actually picture Scotland while reading this book. It made me long for a place that I have never been before. The loch, the trout, the smells, the heather, the people, friends, and food. She does such a great job that you may want to run out and book a trip to Scotland right away.

The ending was messy, but it worked. Not all things are neatly tied up, but tied up enough that you realize that the families will continue on., That people will pass away, but the bones of the families will still remain for years. 

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