Review for The prequel, Me Before You : Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Sequel – Still Me : Still Me By Jojo Moyes
Disclaimer : Avoid reading the Italics, it may contain some spoilers.
“After You opens with the protagonist, Louisa Clark, working in an airport in London. In the time since Will Traynor’s suicide, she has bought a flat with her inheritance money from Will but has been stuck in an unfulfilling job at an Irish-themed bar.
One night after work, Louisa climbs up onto her apartment building’s roof, while thinking about her grief over Will’s death. She is startled by a girl’s voice causing her to stumble and fall two stories down her building. Paramedics take Louisa to the hospital. Louisa returns to her hometown of Stortfold to live with her family. Once she is feeling better she decides to move back to London and her family agrees on the condition that she attends grief counselling sessions.
After a counselling session at the Moving On Circle, Louisa bumps into Sam, one of the paramedics who saved her life after she fell from the roof, and they start dating. Due to some unfortunate misunderstanding, Louisa mistakenly thinks of Sam as a womanizer.
One night at her flat, Louisa is visited by a teenage girl named Lily Houghton-Miller who claims to be Will Traynor’s daughter. Louisa makes attempts to introduce Lily to Will’s family while Lily’s behaviour becomes increasingly erratic. Lily arrives drunk in the middle of the night, borrows items of clothing with sentimental value from Louisa without asking, and invites strangers back to the flat for a party without Louisa’s permission. When Louisa discovers that her grandmother’s jewellery has been stolen, she kicks Lily out of the flat.
Meanwhile, Louisa confronts Sam about his womanizing behaviour and discovers the misunderstanding. After this misunderstanding is cleared up, their relationship becomes more serious and Louisa worries that she is betraying Will. Louisa discovers that Lily has planted a garden for her on the roof of the building. Feeling guilty about their argument, Louisa visits Lily’s family home in order to apologize, only to discover that Lily has gone missing.
In a chapter told from Lily’s perspective, the reader discovers the explanation for Lily’s erratic behavior. Louisa is offered a job in New York but she turns it down in order to take care of Lily. Shortly afterwards, Will’s mother, Mrs. Traynor, enrols Lily in a new boarding school and Lily moves out of Louisa’s flat.
Sam is shot in a gang-related incident in London and the prospect of his death makes Louisa realize how much she loves him. She is offered another job in New York. If she takes it up or not, you’ll have to read the book to find out.”
To begin with, I am quite pleasantly surprised at how this book turned out to be. I personally always love it when movies/books continue where the prequel left off, and not take a different tangent.
If you’ve read my review of the prequel, you’ll know I started dreading it towards the end and had to force myself to finish it. And it was not a fine moment to realise it was actually a trilogy, because I knew I would have to finish it (thanks to my ocd).
But this book, although starting off slowly and sulkily, picks up into a nice story. I already feel far too familiar to Louisa and always imagine Emilia Clarke smiling or frowning or doing her bit. In my head, I have associated Sam (a nice character added in this book) to be someone like a Josh Duhamel.
In my opinion, any person who’s grieving or has grieved in the past, be it at a permanent loss of a partner, a breakup, or just a broken relationship can feel the pain and emotions of the story. It isn’t extraordinary, it isn’t magnificent, but it is simple, sweet and relatable. I found myself vouching for characters and hoping that the story goes a certain way. Also being the sucker that I am for happy endings, I wasn’t disappointed.
I personally haven’t been in the best of spirits lately, and that is why I picked up “Me Before You” in the first place. Because in the end, love stories give you a sense of joy and hope, which the first book didn’t do, and I suppose that was added to my overall disappointment for that book. But this book did just that.
Unlike the previous one, I am looking forward to reading the final book, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint.