Warning! As After You is the sequel to Me Before You, spoilers for Me Before You are in this review. You’ve been warned! Seriously – stop reading this review if you haven’t yet read Me Before You.
Review: After You is a good book. It doesn’t have the same power that Me Before You has, but it is a solid read. Set about 18 months after Will has died, Louisa “Lou” Clark has moved to London and is working in a bar at an airport. She is still grieving for Will and one night she falls off the roof of her building and gets a terrible injury. After recovering from that, she joins a grief-counseling group and tries to cope with the loss of Will. Someone from Will’s past turns up and turns Lou’s world upside down.
I really liked Lou in Me Before You. She was spunky, she had a sense of humor, and you never really knew what she was going to say next. That Lou is gone in this book. Well, not quite gone, but she is grieving and has lost a part of herself, and she needs to work through that. And I miss Lou! (and I miss Will, and I miss Lou and Will together). You can read my review of Me Before You here.
This book is about grief and Lou’s journey to face the loss of Will and to move on. I liked the scenes set in the grief-counseling sessions. Those felt very real to me, and the statements made about grief are very true.
In terms of characters, we get to revisit Mrs Traynor, and she really intrigues me for some odd reason. I feel like her story hasn’t been completely told yet, and there is a bit of mystery around her for this reason. We also get to spend a bit of time with Lou’s family, but not enough time for me! I love Lou’s parents, and the parts at the end with them I really enjoyed. They just put a smile on my face, whether they are fighting or happy together.
We also get some new characters, and they were fine. Lily, a young girl who Lou takes under her wing, has a good story, but some of it felt a bit forced. And Tanya Miller, Lily’s mother? What a terrible person she is! Uggh. And then there is Sam, the handsome paramedic who saves Lou after her accident. The scenes with Sam on his job just felt extremely forced and unrealistic. But I liked Sam; he was kind and strong if a teensy bit bland.
All in all, it’s a good book. Not as good as Me Before You, and I think that is because Will is not around. Will and Lou just had that magnetic chemistry, and Lou does not have that here. I’m glad I got to spend more time with Lou, but I feel like Lou’s story is just now starting. I’d like a third book, or even some short stories with her and/or some of the other characters would be nice.
Bottom Line: Good, solid read. Not as good as Me Before You.