Jojo Moyes blew my mind with Me Before You. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the sequel, After You. I was beyond excited to see how Louisa’s life would change after her experience with Will Traynor, and Moyes manages to layer drama, on top of drama, on top of drama, and it was exhausting.
I could have dealt with a couple plot twists, but she managed to squeeze more than I can count into all 350 pages. In the end it came off like she was trying too hard to top the first book by making Louisa’s life more difficult than believable. Between a dead end job, a terrible accident, long lost relatives, friction between her parents, a complicated grief counseling group, and relationship struggles I found the plot to be stressful and not in a good way. I plowed through the book very quickly mostly because I just wanted it to end.
The only satisfying part of the whole book was Louisa’s relationship with the cute paramedic Sam. Had Moyes condensed the plot to focus on Louisa’s struggle to find love with just a couple added bits of drama, I would have been much happier with the book. I found myself longing for scenes where the cute couple are together. Louisa and Sam understand each other in a way that most people don’t. They have been through similar struggles that bring them closer together and they manage to stay strong through even the most ridiculous plot twists. It is because of this couple that I found the end of the book very satisfying. It seemed like Louisa was finally breaking out of her shell to find some true happiness.
This book had too much going on. Too many layers that made the plot complicated and exhausting. And even though I was pleased with the final outcome, part of me wishes that I hadn’t read the sequel. I wish that that I had just let the first book be the end of it, so that I could come up with my own happy ending for Louisa.