Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Book Review: After You


After You is the long awaited sequel to the madly popular Me Before You and I was in love with the novel and the film adaption so I was naturally desperate to read this book. I've since read it and didn't feel disappointed at all, although many others disagree with me on that, judging by some of the reviews on amazon, good reads and many others. What you need to remember as a reader whilst reading this is that the death of Will affected not only those closest to him, but also those closest to them. Lou's grief became her families grief and they couldn't cope with what she had done so she was alone. Loneliness affects even the most outgoing of people, Lou and her family are no exception to that. Throughout this book I tried to not to judge the characters, as it felt as though they had changed in leaps and bounds since the prequel. However, I suppose that's the result of such a tragic event happening previously.

The book is old from Lou's perspective (other than a couple of chapters told from the perspective of other characters) and she's obviously the main focus of the story. The one thing to keep in mind when reading After You is to avoid comparing it to the original as although many of the characters are the same, the plot and outline are not and actually even the characters have changed due to such a turn of events in the prequel. The novel still includes Will, but ultimately it's about grief and how people learn to cope without loved ones. Lou and the other characters still had plenty of life left even after Will died so it was interesting to understand their stories from another point of view. No one has forgotten Will and in fact, Lou definitely falls into a pretty rough patch of depression. There are some surprises tucked away in sections of the novel and in all honesty I wouldn't say that I was shocked by one of them, but it was good read nonetheless. The sequel is readable on its own as it's so multifaceted; it was really interesting take on the journey to recovery and added many new, but equally as interesting characters into the fold of the original characters.

The Louisa Clark we, as readers discover at the start of this novel is completely different to the Lou we knew and loved in Me Before You which actually drew my heart into the novel much more then I expected it would; you could see how much she truly loved Will and how she couldn't forgive herself for not being enough to change his mind. However, with the introduction of a horrible new job, recovery friends and a surprise new housemate and friend, the old Lou does eventually restablish herself. That being said, even at her lowest ebb she never lost her caring nature and I think that's why so many people love her character; she has so many moments that move you and for me personally I enjoyed this sequel just as much as the prequel because I didn't try and compare the two. After You provided the answers to left questions in a realistic way, as life was never going be smooth sailing after Will passed for any of the characters involved, but with the introduction of some new characters it did result in more questions but it also had an incredibly tender undertone; healing was key to the heart of this novel and I was more than pleasantly surprised by it.


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