After You By Jojo Moyes

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.

-The Travellothoner

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Note : You can find a review of the second book of this series here – After You By Jojo Moyes

Still Me : Still Me By Jojo Moyes

I recently read this trilogy and I’ll be attaching links to the subsequent books soon. I’ve written a small summary after which I have directly jumped to the review:

“Me Before You begins with its protagonist, Louisa Clark, losing her steady job at a cafe. Since her family’s financial situation is increasingly worrisome, she takes the best available job in her small town: care worker for a quadriplegic man. The man is Will Traynor, a former London businessman who has been seriously injured in an accident. Will is bitter when Lou first meets him, and subjects her to cruelty and ironic asides. However, the two eventually begin to connect, sharing jokes and treating one another with straightforward honesty. Will encourages Lou to explore interests outside of her comfort zone, while Lou gives Will practical assistance and helps him to feel less depressed.

After several weeks on the job, Lou overhears a conversation between Will’s mother and sister. She learns that Will has attempted suicide once and is still determined to commit physician-assisted suicide. He has agreed with his mother that he will wait six months before going to Switzerland to take his own life. Lou, who has grown fond of Will, is so upset that she nearly quits her job. She returns on the condition that she be allowed to take Will on a series of “adventures” in the hopes of brightening his outlook and convincing him to stay alive.”

Disclaimer : It is a good book worth a read if you aren’t aware of the plot in entirety. I have reservations mainly because I was very aware of the plot.

I did not particularly enjoy this book for multiple reasons. Not that it’s bad in any way, but this is the exact same plot as in the movie “Guzaarish” starring some prominent actors like Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai and Aditya Roy Kapur released in 2010 in Bollywood, The Hindi Movie Industry.

So there wasn’t anything in the book that surprised me. At some point, I was reading the book simply to finish it, and mind you, that took quite a while. I have grown used to reading Nicholas Sparks or John Green, where the books are shorter and are a 2-3 day relaxing read at max.

This book is significantly longer. And I really dreaded it when I found out it was a trilogy. I knew I’d end up reading it (OCD) but I’d do it forcefully. And I really have no intentions of finishing them soon, cause the first book took a lot of determination to finish.

Having said that, it’s not a bad book at all. I like how everything is explained in detail including emotions, which can be a very difficult, capable of getting a “hit or miss” kind of reaction. I did have a lump in my throat towards the end of it, and I probably would have enjoyed it more had I not been aware of the plot beforehand. But that’s the thing in this case, this plot is known to way too many people to be able to enjoy it.

-The Travellothoner

Zero To One by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

Note: This is my first time doing a book review. I have started doing book reviews in an attempt to practice and continue writing more and more. It also gives me an added motivation to continue reading.Which is why I am adding a book review category on my blog. I hope you like it and I’d love to know what you think about it.

I wrote a review for this book a little differently than how I have been writing others. I normally read an entire book and write a review. However for this one, I’d read a few chapters, write a gist and then read another and write more. Then finally I compiled it all to write this. This book is incredible in terms of the knowledge it imparts. I have learnt/been forced to think more in the first chapter itself than in the last few weeks combined.

However I personally feel that the book has let me down slightly in terms of the high standard it sets in the first chapter. There are some concepts/lessons in the chapter that a common man (including me; a finance student) couldn’t understand. It probably needs a level of exposure to economics that I and probably neither do a lot of my peers have.

However, it is a must read for every person out there, irrespective of them being an employee or an entrepreneur. The author talks about skills and ideas that can add value to our professional lives on a day to day basis. It has some basic concepts that one needs to be reminded of and some other concepts that are really helpful and thought provoking.

The author has also incorporated a ton of examples and facts that make the book all the more engaging and entertaining. I asked my father who has been an entrepreneur and a Chartered Accountant since 30 years to read it, which tells you how much I recommend this book. It’s concise, well written and I loved reading it.

-The Travellothoner