Book Review Post

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)

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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.

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