Book Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Still me

I was lucky enough to read the first chapter of this a couple of months ago, and really enjoyed it, so was very excited to read the book in its entirety!

In case you can’t be bothered to click on the link above, here’s the blurb:

“Lou Clark is back in the BRAND NEW Jojo Moyes novel Still Me, follow-up to the Number One international bestsellers Me Before You and After You.

Lou Clark knows too many things . . .

She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London.

She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to meet someone who’s going to turn her whole life upside down.

Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it’ll hurt.

Lou won’t know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.”

And – oh – it’s good!!

It was great to catch up with Louisa Clark and her friends and family again.  The book would probably standalone – but is much better if you have all of the back stories to everyone.

The setting of a large proportion of the book in New York is great – and even more so as we visited NYC with 2 of the kids last year. Things like ‘walking the High Line’ would have meant nothing to me before our last visit – but I could now really picture it (and totally do walk the High Line if you are in Manhattan, it’s a fabulous conversion of an old elevated train line into a public park, and feels like you’ve stepped into another world above the busy streets below). Similarly talking about Central Park (we too were ripped off by the blokes who give you a lift on a bike!) and the Loeb Boathouse (and the book has taught me how to pronounce it too!)

Lou’s relationships with her new employers, fellow staff members, neighbours, family and friends back home are all explored and are all really interesting – and change over the course of the book – dramatically driving the story forward.

Cross referencing Lou’s experiences with Will’s when he lived in New York by letters he’d written to his Mum, who’d passed them on to Louisa, was a lovely touch, and brought the trilogy full circle.

You are reminded how lovely Lou is – particularly when she has to keep a secret for her new employer.  I was (silently, the husband was asleep next to me) screaming at her to tell the truth and not cover up for someone else – but she is too nice.

I really, really, really enjoyed this. I confess to feeling that ‘After You’ has a bit of a ‘difficult second album’ about it – only because ‘Me Before You’ was such an AMAZING book, and ‘After You’ was still great – but this was FABULOUS.  And there was some snotty sobbing at the end – albeit not quite as much as when I read ‘Me Before You’ (and I still snotty sobbed at the end of the film version.  On a plane.  The children were MORTIFIED!!)

I am so pleased I read this – even though I’m struggling to fit it into an empty category of my 2018 Reading Challenge – but I enjoyed it so much, I don’t mind!

 

 

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First Chapter Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

“Lou Clark is back in the ALL NEW Jojo Moyes novel Still Me, follow-up to the Number One international bestsellers Me Before You and After You.

Lou Clark knows too many things . . .

She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London.

She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to meet someone who’s going to turn her whole life upside down.

Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it’ll hurt.

Lou won’t know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.”

Still me

I have loved the first 2 books in this series – and so when I saw on NetGalley I had the opportunity to download the first chapter of the 3rd book in the trilogy, I jumped at the chance!

I was not disappointed!

It was lovely to catch up with Lou again – and now she’s in New York!  We visited New York this summer, so the descriptions were fab.

The first chapter has TOTALLY whetted my appetite – and I have pre-ordered it ready for it to magically arrive on my Kindle next month.  Now, to work out which category I can tick off on my 2018 Reading Challenge (yes, despite saying having not completed 2017 I wouldn’t do another one – I can’t resist – obviously!!)

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Paris for One by Jojo Moyes

Paris for One

“Bestselling author Jojo Moyes brings us a charming and heart-warming short story in association with Quick Reads.
Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She has never even been on a weekend away with her boyfriend. Everyone knows she is just not the adventurous type.
But, when her boyfriend doesn’t turn up for their romantic mini-break, Nell has the chance to prove everyone wrong.
Alone in Paris, Nell meets the mysterious moped-riding Fabien and his group of carefree friends. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?”

I hadn’t heard of ‘Quick Reads’ before – but having just read another Jojo Moyes book ‘After You’ and not wanting to get started on another ‘big’ book on the last day of a break away, this seemed like the perfect thing to download – and I wasn’t disappointed.

Initially I thought Nell was a bit annoying, and I wanted to give her a bit of a talking to about being a doormat with her loser boyfriend, and not trusting her mates more – but I think that was exactly the emotion the author was trying to engender!

As the book goes on you do find yourself rooting for Nell and her new found bravery.

It also made me reminisce about when I ‘almost’ went to work in the Paris office of the accountancy firm I worked for – the partner over there who wanted me to go had great faith in me (even thought I’d told him I would only be able to work speaking French if I kept a plentiful supply of red wine on the go at all times!)  This is also the important person, who when I asked him what sandwich he wanted for a lunchtime meeting in Leicester said I could chose – so I went for a ‘roast beef’ one – at the height of the ‘mad cow’ crisis.  Thankfully he was a Frenchman with a sense of humour!  I often wonder what would have happened if I had braved it in Paris – but that would have been for 18 months plus – Nell’s weekend sounds like a much more sensible starter option.

Although I suspect she will be back!

A lovely, fun, ‘quick read’!

Book Review: After You by Jojo Moyes

After You

I, along with most of the world it would seem, really enjoyed ‘Me Before You’.  Enjoyed in a sobbing snotfest kind of way – but enjoyed none the less!  So I was excited to see there was to be a sequel.  This is what Amazon had to say about it:

“Lou Clark has lots of questions.
Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar.
Whether her family can ever forgive her.
And will she ever get over the love of her life.
What she knows for certain is that something has to change.
Then it does.
But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for?
Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.
Open it and she risks everything.
But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in . . .”

Firstly – you don’t have to have read ‘Me Before You’ for this book to work (although I would highly recommend that you do just because it’s a bloody good book)  ‘After You’ would work as a standalone book – and it references back where necessary, but not overly – so you wouldn’t feel like you were missing any ‘in jokes’ if you hadn’t read the prequel.

It follows Lou’s life now – and that of her family and Will’s family. It has a totally different ‘vibe’ to ‘Me Before You’ – and I would say is funnier, more fast paced and varied – but it somehow lacks the ‘heart’ of ‘Me Before You’ – and there wasn’t any snotty sobbing going on at the end this time.

I really enjoyed it – it was a good, easy, escapist read – and it did have such a lot to live up to.  Going for something completely different was definitely the right way to go.  I enjoyed finding out what had happened to Lou – and some of the twists and turns were really clever (I had to flick back and see if I’d missed the obvious clues to one certain revealing of parentage). It had a real air of ‘Bridget Jones’ at times – particularly the slightly disfunctional relationship of Lou’s parents –  but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

Overall I would recommend it – as I would every Jojo Moyes book I’ve read.  Writing a sequel to such an international best seller such as ‘Me Before You’ is always going to have that ‘difficult second album’ issues – but this was still a good, fun read.  Makes me slightly nervous of when me 12 year old is a few years older though………….