After You, by JoJo Moyes
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books (September 29, 2015)
Reading Sara Review: If you have ever talked to me about books, I probably mentioned Me Before You and my love for the characters, the way that a heartbreaking love story was told, and how you absolutely had to read it. So, I was in line when JoJo Moyes came to Denver for a reading and signing of the sequel to Me Before You, and couldn’t wait to get back to these people, their lives and what happened next.
I liked this book because I wanted to like it. As a stand-alone book, I’m not sure what I would rate it. But, lucky for us, the first book exists and I can give After You a 4/5 stars because it allowed me back into the lives of these people, watch their grief, recovery and friendship.
Moyes writing is brilliant – I would love to take a character writing class from her. She develops them into interesting and real people that could appear anywhere in our lives. She makes me care about them when reading – making faces at what they are doing, or telling them what to do or what not to do.
In After You, we pick up with Louisa – and she has a few surprises in store for her throughout the book. We meet her grief group, which is a cast of incredible characters that I would have loved to learn more about. While she never admits that a grief group helps her, it clearly does, as we watch her grow, become more patient and take the advice of those around her. I would have loved/still would love a book just about this group and their backstories. They were funny, insightful and making progress in their lives as well.
In the end, I thought there were a few too many plots occurring at once. A few of them could have been the entire book, but crazy things just kept happening. It made for quick reading, but because of my love for Louisa as a character, I just wanted her to find peace without all of the complications.
I miss Louisa and Will, and probably always will. As I recover the loss of them as characters in my life, I really enjoyed a night with JoJo Moyes!
Author readings are really fun, and I highly recommend going to them. JoJo Moyes is smart, funny and British, so my friends and I absolutely loved her. And we got a chance to briefly meet her while she signed our books!
This is my friend Paula, getting her book signed! Today happens to be Paula’s birthday, so a great opportunity to feature her in her excitement of meeting JoJo Moyes!
Fun fact, when she was signing my book, she let me know that Sara is her middle name – spelled without an h. As you can imagine, it made my night even greater, but then I was honestly too star-struck to say anything meaningful at all to her except that I am a big fan.
I thought that answering questions from the audience was a priority for her, and seemed to be her favorite part. She was approachable, and really seemed happy to be there – even though I’m sure she was exhausted from traveling to promote this book. And, as can be seen by the photo below, she likes wine, so…I think we can be best friends now.