After You by JoJo Moyes is the sequel to the novel Me Before You. The novel follows the life of Louisa Clark, a quirky girl with a unique style, a year and a half after the death of Will Trayner. Will was a quadriplegic who she cared for in the book Me Before You. Will died by assisted suicide after Louisa’s endless efforts to prevent him from doing so. She fell in love with Will and after his death she was very lost, she was left a large sum of money by Will which she uses to travel and buy a flat in East London, which is where the book After You begins. Louisa is working as a bartender in an airport when she has a life changing accident. Clark falls off the roof of her apartment building, she then returns home after this incident she briefly returns home and realizes that the rest of the world has moved past Will’s death except her. Upon returning to her flat a young girl named Lily shows up at Louisa’s door. Lily is the daughter of Will. A daughter that Louisa was completely unaware of. Louisa has no idea what to do with Lily and eventually decides to try and put the pieces of the life Will left behind back together. With Lily and the new knowledge of Will’s life it makes it even harder for Louisa to move on, but she continues to try. Louisa starts to see a man named Sam, the uncle of one of the boys that is in her grief circle. Although she likes him she struggles to give herself back to love and she has the pending question of her future. She will have to decide whether to move and take a new career and leave Sam behind or continue to pursue her unsatisfying life in London.
I read Me Before You last summer and I loved the book, it was one of the best books I have read and when I saw After You on the market I was very excited to read it. Sadly I felt the book was very disappointing. The main character Louisa seemed to be a different person from who she was in the first book, she was very dull and depressed and seemed to lack her positive and hopeful nature, which I’m sure was meant to show her loss, but it made the book very dull. The author does answer many questions about the characters lives which were left at a halt at the end of Me Before You when Will died. Most of the conclusions were satisfying, ending the questioning of the outcome of the characters, but Louisa’s I find displeasing. There are still many ends not tied in Clark’s life after she decides to take a new job as a caregiver. I feel I would enjoy the book a lot more if I hadn’t read Me Before You and was comparing the two constantly. The book is very good at showing how grief and the lost of an important person in your life can affect a person. However, I found the book depressing and slightly boring. Louisa’s new love interest lacks the spark that Will and Louisa had, which is sad and makes me feel bad for the character. The book also lacks originality for me. A girl loses her lover and then something from his past comes to her and continues to haunt her. Me Before You was very unique and special and After You is a book I could go without reading. I would give this book 2 out of 5 stars and not recommend it to you, especially if you read Me Before You, for you will be very disappointed.