If you haven’t read Me Before You yet, please don’t read the rest of the review. It’s better if you read that one first before this one. If you want a review of the first book, you read about Me Before You here.
It’s hard moving on after someone you love is no longer with you. Louisa Clark is finding herself in that exact situation. The six months she spent with Will Traynor had been magical: she learned to get out more, be herself, and fall in love. But after he went to Switzerland to commit suicide, Louisa finds herself at a loss. She works at a bar with a difficult boss, her family is being chaotic as always, and she is unhappily retreating back to what she’d been before she met Will. But how can she be the person that she blossomed into when she was with him? How can she move on from him without feeling guilty?
Then Louisa finds herself in an accident. As she heals, she finds herself in a support group for those who’d lost loved ones. With their quirks and homemade snacks, they gently nudge Louisa in the direction of moving on. She meets and falls in love with Sam, the paramedic who saved her life after her accident. Everything seems to be getting back on track. But then, a girl from Will’s past shows up on Louisa’s doorstep and everything changes. She may be the catalyst to propel Louisa into the future that Will had always wanted her to be.
What I liked about After You is the fact that Louisa is dealing with very real grief. Not only is she grieving for a man she fell in love with, she is also dealing with survivor’s guilt. Could she have changed Will if only she had a bit more ammunition to change his mind? Did she try hard enough? Why wasn’t her love enough for him? To add to this, she is faced with another relationship and a daughter like figure who is very troubled and needs more than Louisa can give sometimes. It’s had enough to deal with the grief of a loved one’s loss, but it’s even harder when you’re trying to pick up the pieces in the face of unexpected revelations.
There are some parts that were forced. Lily seemed genuine enough, but that story line could have been better developed. Her mother was one dimensional and uncaring, her parents seemed to do a total 180 from the first book. Even with some parts with Sam seemed a bit off to me, especially at the end.