Published by Penguin UK (Michael Joseph), September 2015, 416 pages £9.99.
Quick description: Sequel to Me Before You, the most heart-breaking book ever.
Steam?: Not much, plenty of warmth though.
Plot: Lou Clark has lots of questions. Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places. Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home. Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago. And will she ever get over the love of her life. What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.
Then, one night, it does.
But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions? Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe. Open it and she risks everything. But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in . . .
Let me first say that is a nice book. It was so good to get back into Lou’s life and revisit the Clarks again! They are such a hilarious bunch and always wrap me up with a warm homey feeling. But the sequel cannot compete with the greatness of Me Before You– how it completely worn my heart out- made me laugh, cry, and left its imprint, like many amazing books. I think After You brings a sense of closure and somehow helps you heal from the raw hurt that the first book left in its wake. Its perfect for fans who want a little bit more of Lou and also a way to imagine that Will returns. It will satisfy your curiosity about the Traynors and introduces you to a whole host of unique characters.
So it basically mops up your book hangover, but it wont wipe and wring it into something new.
After You is not a spin-off, so you definitely need to read the first book! Its generally well written and had me fairly hooked till the end. Its a 3-day max read. I liked how the author found a way for Lou to move on. Like many readers, I imagined my own future for her. I thought she could go travelling, do a fashion course and end up opening her own boutique or something. I guess that would always be my ending for it.
We readers always selfishly create our own world for characters existing parallel to the author’s.
What happens in After You is something I would never have thought, but it really works. And it offers a solution of sort for the Traynors as well. There is romance in this, but its nowhere as near the complex, heart-gushing mess Lou had with Will. There is more family love. We see how Lou is able to patch things up with her parents, makes new friends and attempts to let go. There are also strands of mini stories to keep you entertained.
All in all, definitely worth reading if you are on Lou’s team (which of course you are), but don’t big up your expectations.
Thank you Penguin for the review copy xxx