Books,  Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge Book 5 – After You

Hi, Hey, Hello!

I was not joking when I said that book reviews are pretty  much all I have right now, unless you want me to get on some kind of soapbox that I may never get of given my current mood. I’m slightly worried for when I inevitably run out of a backlog of books to review because I’m not reading fast enough…

But I will cross that bridge when I come to it. For now though, I present to you book 5:

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 5, After You
2017 Reading Challenge, Book 5, After You

I enjoyed the first book enough because at the time it was the kind of froth that I needed (which was about this time last year actually) and it was because of that I sort of impulsively bought this book when I saw it in one of my many excursions n Waterstones. It took all of about 5 pages before I came to the conclusion that Me Before You was not a book that really required a sequel.Or at least I didn’t feel like it did anyway. This book kind of felt like it was reaching for storylines and at times just seemed incredibly unrealistic, which I know literally doesn’t have to do, but the first was so grounded in a version of reality that it was odd that this one didn’t have the same kind of feel to it.

Before it sounds like I am just gonna be negative for the whole of this review, there were elements of it that I liked. Personally, I thought that the way that the grief counselling was portrayed was mostly good (there was that one time when I wondered whether a particular story was all that relevant). The tension between Lily and Louisa was realistic and the first time that Louisa snapped at Lily made perfect sense and I was glad when she finally did it, but to be honest that was the first time that I was rooting for her in the entire book. That happened 200 pages in…

And now that I’m talking about her, I’m gonna continue. Louisa. I found her mildly irritating in MBY but I grew to like her the more the book went on. Whatever progress had been made there was thrown out the window about 5 pages into this book. Her storyline is cyclical. On more than one occasion I felt like screaming ‘haven’t we already done this?’ and on some level I got it and sympathised, but on another one it was just really annoying and grating. I didn’t care enough about Louisa to go through this again. Treena, in her brief appearances, seemed to be the only voice of reason and yet Louisa kept ignoring her, thus making her more annoying to me.

Ambulance Sam you confuse me. (I’m moving on from Louisa now because there is only so long I can go on about her.) There were elements of his storyline that I saw coming, he was obviously never gonna be the serial shagger, but I get it tension is needed so miscommunication happens. Overall, he seemed nice enough and he made Louisa a bit more bearable for me.

Lily, what a mess of a character. I mean that in a relatively good way. She was complicated and for the most part you never really know why, and then suddenly it clicked and made sense and all the shit you had put up with up until that point seemed marginally worth it. Marginally. I enjoyed the chapter told from her perspective, one because it filled in some gaps, two because it gave me a break from Louisa and three because it wasn’t in 1st person. It kind of felt like I could breathe again (I tend to lean towards third person narratives because it feels less immersive). I liked her. Kinda.

Talking about both of the ‘L’ characters, I rolled my eyes so hard when it suddenly dawned on Louisa that Lily was going to move on with almost minimal thought to Louisa meaning that she was putting her life on hold for something that honestly was not her issue after a while and yet she was surprised by this development…I mean teenagers are occasionally pretty fickle beings, of course it was never going to be a long term. I just sort of reached the end of my tether with her at that point (not that it would have been hard, it was a very flimsy thread).

My main issue (if that’s the right word I guess) is that I encountered with this book what I did with Jessie Burton last year, in that I wasn’t enthused by the story but I enjoyed the writing style. It felt personable, it was easy to read, she creates a world that you can’t help but get involved in. I like her writing, I would read more of her books (when I’m allowing myself to buy books again) but I just can’t help but feel that this book was sort of pointless…which I know is harsh but I preferred a world where I thought Louisa had gone all carpe diem and hadn’t just fallen back into the habit of being a martyr of her own life.

That being said the ending gave me a glimmer of hope to her no longer doing that. But I don’t want to go back there to find out if that’s really happened or not…

2/5 stars

Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!

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