I should have known better. I don’t know if I’m a glutton for punishment or a masochist. I didn’t like Me Before You, so I’m not sure what possessed me to check out the sequel, After You. I don’t know if I thought it was going to get better or if somehow the characters were going to redeem themselves I must have just been very hopeful. Because it didn’t get any better and the characters certainly didn’t redeem themselves. This is the first book in a very long time that I just wanted to be done with and I didn’t really care what happened to anyone in the book. Dangerously close to a DNF, but I pushed through and was completely underwhelmed by the entire thing.
The story picks up a year and a half later. Louisa is working in a bar in the airport, depressed and completely unable to move on with her life. She’s miserable and she’s utterly devoid of any spark of life. Gone is the vibrant and talkative woman that we met in the first book. She’s been replaced with a wet noodle with absolutely no personality and seems to have even less coping skills than she had before. She has fallen apart and doesn’t seem to be able to put the pieces of her life back together again. She lies alone in a nearly empty apartment and one night finds herself drunk, on the roof yelling at Will and her life. She falls. Louisa goes back home to recuperate and has to convince everyone that she didn’t jump. Even the paramedic who was the first responder.
She stays home for awhile and we get to hear more about her family drama and her family becomes a character in this book, something I think we could have done without. They are all utterly annoying. You want to slap all of them at several moments. The story went nowhere and their involvement ended with absolutely no resolution, so I don’t know why it was made so important in the first place.
The romance that Louisa has with Ambulance Sam was actually quite nice at points. But at other points it just lost it’s authenticity. The additional drama of Lily was interesting in the beginning, but it soon just became another excuse for Louisa to just ignore her life and just dwell on someone else’s problems. I mean who in their rational mind would turn down the chance to go to New York City to work for a millionaire and be a companion to a rich businessman’s wife? Especially when she can work with her old friend nurse Nathan?
I know that I’m again in the minority when it comes to Lou Clark. I know that both books received overwhelmingly good reviews. This is just my personal review. You might love it. If you want to see what happened to Louisa after Me Before You, then you will probably like this book. If you were as exasperated as I was with Louisa, then you might want to steer clear.