Trepidation is a good word to describe how I felt when I saw that there would be a sequel to “Me Before You.” Too many times I’ve been disappointed by sequels, or even simply by other books by authors I loved once. “Me Before You” seemed like an insurmountable lead to follow, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to follow it.
But, truth be told, after three times through the first, I’d developed a soft spot of the Clarks and the Traynors. I wanted to know what happened to them. So, the first time I saw “After You” in a store, I bought it.
I was not disappointed.
“After You” is not quite on the same level as “Me Before You” but that does not mean it isn’t incredible. In it’s own way, almost in a way unrelated to it’s predecessor, it is just as important a book. The ties are there, obviously, in that Lou is still struggling with the effects of Will’s death. But she grows and changes, and she realizes that she is so very far from the only one who is struggling with it, even who was affected by it. Even her parents, so strongly against what Will chose, are changing because of him being in their lives.
This is because Jojo Moyes brilliantly weaves in the butterfly effect of simply living.
It is the truth of life.
The irony of the story, I think, is that the love Lou finds in this second book teaches her more about how to “just live” than Will Traynor ever did. Or maybe Will taught her that by freeing her to find love. Either explanation is equally poetic, and it means I will read this book again.