This post doesn’t come with my daily photo. The blog title doesn’t contain a date. This is just some in-between entry 😉
In my February 25 blog post I had written a review about the book Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (German title: Ein ganzes halbes Jahr).
I liked that book very much and so I had decided to read the follow-up right away. Was only available as a hardcover at that time – means it wasn’t available at a paperback price range. It’s not often that I buy a hardcover for myself. If I buy hardcovers, it’s usually to give it away as a present. And if I get hardcovers, it’s usually as a present, too.
However… it was the time when I was still being miserable on the couch with the stupid bronchitis and I wanted to read how the story continues. And so I decided to buy the equivalent of the hardcover: I downloaded the book from iBooks ;-).
What I have to say about it is spoiler-free… but only for those who are familiar with the first book. If you haven’t read that one yet and want to stay spoiler-free, then stop reading here. Everyone else… read on.
The follow-up to Me Before You is called After You. (German title: Ein ganz neues Leben – translation: a whole new life)
I had seen the title of book #2 before I had even read book #1 and later I thought that this was somewhat spoiler-ish. Because while reading book #1 you could assume that Will would die at the end because the title of book #2 suggest he does. Maybe. Whatever.
So here we are with #2 and I am curious what Lou’s life will be after Will’s death.
What the author came up with though, left me deepy disappointed. So much that I have even regretted that I’ve read the book. This sequel screamed the following on every page: “My first book was such a success and everyone loved Lou (and Will but he’s gone) and so many people have asked me for a sequel and now I have to write one, no matter what and no matter how stupid the story is. And I’m sure I can make some good bucks with it.”
The story was all over the place, dealing with too many different threats and the main one wasn’t really believable to me. A bit too far fetched. Also, and I don’t give away anything with mentioning this because OF COURSE, Lou meets a new guy. Sam. And I had a problem with Sam.
Sam is a good guy. I don’t give away anything with that, either. And yes, of course he’s totally different than Will. But… sigh. No! Just NO! I didn’t like how she fell in love with him. I didn’t like anything about their romance and how it developed. And most of all – and this may sound totally crazy now – from the first moment I read about Sam, I had a vision of Blake Shelton in my mind. Blake who? Well… Blake Shelton is a rather successful American country singer (currently probably dating Gwen Stefani, for all you gossip lovers out there). If you wanna know what he looks like, -> this <- is Blake Shelton. To some he may be a very handsome bloke. He’s not my type though. And I couldn’t picture him with “my” Lou. Not at all. I won’t say anything about all that happens with their romance and whether they live happily ever after. But from now on Blake Shelton is always connected with Sam in the book.
It doesn’t happen often that I have such a clear vision of a book character. The last time this happened was when I read the brilliant book “The Circle” by Dave Eggers (a must-read!). The female protagonist – Mae – was cast by me within the first couple pages: it had to be Olivia Munn. No question. I can’t believe that someone has actually cast Emma Watson for this role.
But I digress. So, no, I couldn’t get into Lou’s relationship with Sam for several reasons, only one of them was that he looked like Blake Shelton, and I can’t make up a romance in my mind with someone who looks like Blake Shelton.
Another reason why I disliked the book was the way Lou changed. Of course she had to change due to what happened to Will. But I didn’t like her anymore. And what the fuck did the author think she did with Lou’s Mom’s storyline? Again, unbelievable to me.
Altogether there was too much going on and I wasn’t really down with any of it.
S has read the book, too and while she wasn’t exactly as psyched about it as she was about book #1, she didn’t have such strong negative feelings about it. (Maybe it helped that she didn’t have Blak Shelton in mind while reading about Sam :-D).
It’s not the first time that I was disappointed about a sequel to a story. I guess it’s kind of like a sequel to a good movie. Happens once in a blue moon that the sequel is as good as the original. But in these days and times, people think that if one thing works – be it a book or a movie – there has to be a follow-up to cash in some more.
I’ve made a point now to step back from reading sequels. Only exception would be if a story is intended to be told in several chapters. But Me Before You wasn’t. And the sequel just feels like the author thought she had to cough up a follow-up story just to please some readers who wanted one and maybe because she made so much money with book #1 that she thought she could make some more with book #2. Didn’t work for me.