After You… There Was No Point To Anything

after-youSo it’s a few days after Valentine’s Day, so I feel like it’s safe to kvetch about a romantic book I didn’t enjoy: the utterly unnecessary sequel to Me Before You.

I have to say I almost dnf’d this at page 37. So far it had been pretty uneventful, I didn’t like the downbeat tone and then this sentence happened:

“Now, when I read newspaper stories about the bank teller who had stolen a fortune, the woman who had killed her child, the sibling who had disappeared, I found myself not shuddering in horror, as I once might have, but wondering instead at the story that hadn’t made it into black and white.”

So there’s a nice bit of moralising that wasn’t in the first one- let’s break down everything that’s wrong with this statement:

  • Moral equivalence between theft, murder and assisted suicide- which somewhat lessens the evil of a mother who kills her child
  • Oh great, the main character sympathises with child murderers now… I shouldn’t have to say this, but the horror of a mother who kills her child is pretty “black and white”
  • Using these really shitty examples to “prove” your point actually undermines it (and kinda proves why moralising doesn’t work)

Now I’d like to say that after this the book got better, but the plot of this was a hot mess (just like the main character). I mean, really- I felt like the story had ended at page 300– I was like “well that’s that then”. But it just kept going and going and… *spoiler alert* all that happened in this book was for the mc to end up back where she started, about to jet off somewhere else, moving on and living life.

If you’ve read the first one, you’ll know it had no need for sexual coercion, weird confrontations, dramatic accidents and shootouts because it was all about the people. But here the people and their relationships were left behind. I didn’t feel connected to the romance in the same way. I didn’t like or dislike the characters- I just didn’t care. Not even about the protagonist, Lou.

Obviously I get that she was a hot mess- I mean grief can do that to you. But the thing I had liked about her was her bubbly, quirky personality- which was completely gone in this book- it just didn’t feel like the same person.  And that was ultimately my biggest problem here- it could have been a separate story about entirely different people. The author easily could’ve left well enough alone- just like I should’ve.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

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So have you read this book? What did you think about it? And what romantic book have you read that didn’t hit the mark? Let me know in the comments!

6 Book Recommendations From 6 Months of Reading Non-Stop!

Happy Friday!!! (Anyone else feel like doing a happy dance now that the weekend is here?) After my Mid-Year Book Tag post last week, I realised there are a fair number of books I’ve enjoyed this year that I haven’t reviewed or mentioned on my blog yet. Now, some of those I still plan to review (*hides face with shame at how disorganised I am*) but for those I know I won’t go into depth about, I feel like it would be unfair to the books if I don’t give them a proper mention. Especially since I gave all of these books 4* or more. So here are 6 book recommendations for the 6 months of the year that have now been and gone!

'Me_Before_You'1- Me Before You– I finished this wittily written, tightly wound wonder of a book really recently. This book hits you right in the gut and is sure to either make you cry or wondering what is wrong with your tearducts if you don’t. I really recommend giving it a go.

 

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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feet of clay2- Feet of Clay– let’s be honest, I don’t review or mention Terry Pratchett books often enough- and that is a terrible shame on me! But rest assured- I still love Pratchett and I’m looking to rectify that huge fault of mine by mentioning it right now. And just for the record- this one was up there as one of the best Pratchett books I’ve ever read! (so far!)

 

Rating 4½/5 bananas

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black maria3- Black Maria– here’s another author that I don’t mention off enough. I *adore* Diana Wynn Jones and I feel like I don’t mention often enough. I love the Chrestomanci series and so I’ve been reading more of that, but I particularly enjoyed this standalone!

 

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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witch's daughter4- The Witch’s Daughter– I thoroughly enjoyed this fantastical take on historical fiction- and that’s coming from someone that doesn’t often like historical fiction. I can’t say it’s an especially challenging or trying read, but it was fun, quick and worth picking up. I’m definitely gonna continue with this series.

 

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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five people you meet in heaven5- The Five People You Meet In Heaven– here’s another one I can happily recommend. Surprisingly for the subject matter, this is a very light read and didn’t give me too much trouble in the emotional department. That being said, it was well written and managed to be highly enjoyable and life affirming. Give it a try and let me know what you think- I’d be interested to see your reaction to it!

 

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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darkest part of the forest6- The Darkest Part of the Forest– I’m going to finish off with this rather splendid standalone. This is an exquisitely woven, dark take on modern fairy tales! It is only the second book I’ve read by Holly Black, but I have to say, I’ve come away satisfied every time. I love her unique storytelling style and I find I really connect with her characters. After this one, I’m very keen to read more of her work.

 

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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And that’s everything for now- have you read these books? Did you enjoy them? Do you fancy picking any of them up? Let me know in the comments!