If you have not read Me Before You (Why not?? I told you to go read it over two years ago!) then you probably should skip over this review. After You is the long awaited sequel to my favorite book of 2013. It has been nearly two years since Lou said her final good-bye to Will. She has only been going through the motions, not really living the life Will wanted her to live. She goes to work at her job as a waitress at an airport bar and then she comes home. And that is it. One night there is a freak accident and Lou ends up falling off her roof. She goes home to her parent's house to recover, but after weeks of their smothering she is ready to go home. And they are willing to let her go back to her apartment with one condition - she needs to attend grief counseling, for Lou's family isn't entirely convinced that Lou had an "accident". Lou isn't home long when there is a knock at her door and the young woman on the other side says that she is Will Traynor's daughter. Lou finds herself immersed in the feelings she has been trying so hard to bury. Will she be able to help the troubled teenager and find the true direction her life is supposed to take?
I often have thought about Louisa Clark and what her life was like after Will died. I am not surprised that her life has kind of stalled-out, anybody who went through what she did would need some time to get back to normal. About the same time that Lily enters her life so does Sam the ambulance driver. He was on duty the night that Lou fell off the roof and he was instrumental in saving her life and keeps popping up at the strangest times. While Lou is afraid to fall in love again she does enjoy his company and he makes her feel something she hasn't felt in a very long time - hope. As much as I wanted to love After You it did not recreate the feelings that I felt while reading Me Before You. The author really challenged my own beliefs about sensitive topics and that emotional roller coaster is why I loved the first book so much. That ride is just not there for After You. I loved catching up with Lou, I loved checking in on her and her family, I even loved the way she handled the whole Lily situation, but I was a little disappointed that the emotional ride was just not there.
Bottom line - if you read Me Before You then you have to read After You, you just have to. But you must temper your expectations and go into it knowing that Me Before You was a one of a kind novel than cannot be replicated. Definitely catch up with Lou, but just know that the hard part of her story has already passed.