I love to read just about anything, as long as it's fiction. I read for me - that means I read what I want, when I want. My reviews tend to mostly be based on how I'm able to personally connect with the story/characters. They are not intended to influence someone to read, or not read, a particular book. I always encourage people to take a chance and make up your own mind.
Oh, and I love chocolate.
Sometimes I find it difficult to read the sequel to a book I've loved. And I did really love Me Before You. I waited a bit after finishing the first book so I could let my expectations of After You drop to a reasonable level.
While After You didn't give me the same emotional punch as Me Before You, I still really enjoyed it. I thought it showed a realistic view into the life of someone trying to overcome the loss of a loved one. I felt that the difficulty that Lou had in moving on was true to her character. She cares deeply for people, and she can't just let that go easily. I enjoyed all the new characters that were introduced into Lou's life and the relationships she formed with each.
There are only two things that kept this book from being a full 5 stars for me.
1) There were many points where it was difficult for me to figure out if we were in the past or the present or even the future. It bouced around quite a bit and I don't think the transitions were as smooth as in the first book. I found it difficult to understand just how much time had passed between the story elements. Same with some of the dialouge. There were several moments when I really didn't know who was talking - especially in the group settings. It was enough to distract me and keep me from staying emotinally engaged.
2) The ending. On one hand I really appreciate the ending and think it's perfect. On the other, I sort of feel as though Lou's family pushed her into the decision that she made. I didn't really get the sense that it was what she wanted to do. It's OK to show doubt over a big decision - any normal human being would have doubt. But I was just never conviced that it was her decsion, but rather the decision of those around her. I wanted more for Lou in the end. I wanted her to be more confident of who she was and what she wanted out of life.