Why “After You” is basically “Me Before You” and why that’s a good thing.

Hello, fellow booklovers or just random visitors! It’s time to look into Jojo Moyes new book “After You” (The sequel to “Me Before You”). Ready?

Summary

Lou is depressed, but surely, she can’t admit that. She’s actually not depressed in the normal sense of the word, but she’s actually right there, where she started in the first book. She works at a place she doesn’t like, she lives in a flat, which she doesn’t love and she is lonelier than ever. The tide turns when she is falling of her … terrace? Yes, our sweet Lou was yelling angry at the dead man she loved after having a few drinks – and being distracted by a voice, while your balancing on the edge of the roof  isn’t the best way to deal with your anger. Because when you fall down and crash into your neighbours expensive antique, everyone thinks you wanted to kill yourself. Duh.
It’s alright, she survives. Her bones get broken a little and everyone thinks she had suicidal reasons, to “fall” off a rooftop.
Well, she get’s back to live with her parents and her awfully annoying sister to recover. Moving back into her flat something really, really … shocking happens. (If you don’t want to now, skip the rest of the summary). Will’s daughter is standing in her doorframe and this girl is a total mess.
Basically, Lou has to juggle a really, really messed up teenager with a stupid mother and some really BIG character flaws, with a shitty job, with the feeling of having disappointed Will’s last wishes, a support group and this really cute medic, who saved her life. Want to know more? Read the book.

For a more “professional” summary, click here.

Opinion

I was crying, I was laughing and I was (most of the time) really frustrated. I know, as someone who has no idea what to actually DO with the opportunities offered, how hard it is to choose a path. BUT DAMN – Lou is totally losing it, in every way possible. She is working in a terrible bar with a embarrassing and even more terrible outfit – and she doesn’t really care. But Lou is good. She’s one of those people who put the happiness of others (for example Will’s daughter Lily) before her own needs and that’s rare.

To skip the part where I totally go nuts with this girl is a favour (I was never this difficult as a teenager but my mum wasn’t even near that horrible person Lily calls “Mother”).
The writing and story are as good or as bad as the first book (Which worked perfectly fine for me). You dive back into the world and yes, you’re terribly sad that Will (that ass) is gone and Lou is left on her own.
I recommend this book to all of the readers and fans from “Me Before You” because it’s as heart wrenching and real as the first book. I hope you enjoyed this rambling and have great day.

xx

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Erased (Altered #2) by Jennifer Rush

3.5/5★

Hallelujah! Guess who is becoming a bad ass heroine? Ops, that was a little too fast. Let’s start at the beginning. The first book, Altered, was quite pleasing but you constantly had to fight the urge to beg Anna, the main character, to use her brain. Or her legs and arms in terms of self-defence.

Summary

They fought the Branch and now they’re on the run. All of them (Anna, Sam, Cas and Nick) are experiencing memory flashbacks*. Anna’s mind is beginning to show her images, blurry visions or conversations with people, she doesn’t recognise from the old life that was erased by the Branch. There is something more hidden deep inside of her head but she’s just starting to figure out what this could be.
Suddenly, the group becomes aware of a young woman running around town asking for someone called Anna. Turns out Anna’s presumed dead older sister Dani isn’t very dead at all. But before they can find her and contact her, the Branch (of course. Pf.) interferes and captures her.
Anna is determined to rescue her sister and with the help of Trev they can free Dani – and some other boys who were kept imprisoned. But Anna and Sam discover something terrible – these boys, after being thankful for their rescue, turn into blank faced fighting machines.
Anna has more and more memory flashbacks* and she feels as Dani is hiding something from her (as is Sam … and Nick … kind of everyone, except Cas). But blood is thicker than water, right?
*memory flashback; caused by the withdrawal of the memory-erasing/memory-suppressing drugs, side effects: (very much) fainting, staring blankly and getting more and more incommunicative

Opinion

This book was as well written and easy to read as the first one, but I was more enthusiastic about the story because Anna wasn’t a whiny, tiring and foolish character. She puzzles all the pieces together – way quicker than in the first novel (what took her forever). She is getting to know Nick better (what I really, really like because he was my secret favourite) and begins to question everything. Of course, she makes mistakes but this time they are understandable and absolutely human enough to be excused.
Her doing is bringing the story ahead. At one point, I can’t really name it, I began to wonder who Anna has become. She changed so completely you might have also just put a new character in the story in exchange for Anna. Yes, characters should evolve but she … changed nearly completely into another person (okay, the circumstances weren’t that great, she had to adapt I guess).
The ending was .. abrupt and a clean (bloody) cut. If you didn’t know there was a third book you would’ve thought this is it. The series is complete! (The third book is called “Reborn” and I’ll read it as well)

I would totally recommend the second book if you’ve read the first one, but there were too many discrepancies to give this book more than 7 stars.
However, you totally have fun reading this story! It was kind of like a nice snack in the end.

Altered #1 – by Jennifer Rush

3.5/5 ★

This book was a hard one. I’m so glad that Anna, the female protagonist, could turn the corner because I really wanted to like this book.

Summary

Anna lives with her Dad together (Mummy is dead) and works with him on scientific stuff. The creepy thing is that they nurture four boys, who are all living for about 5 years in their basement.
The mysterious Sam, Trev the calm one, the always hungry Cas (very high identification level!) and the grumpy Nick. While Anna gets along well with everyone, she is always scared by the furious Nick who obviously thinks that being held in a glass prison for 5 years isn’t that great, while Anna and her father are taking bloodsamples and testing their abilities.
(Anna always wonders why he hates her so much. Ehm, excuse me? Would you naturally become best buddies with your prison guard?)
Nevertheless she manages to be best friends with Trev and to bake herself into Cas’ heart (Chocolate Chip Cookies? Seriously?).
Of course, Anna is always asking herself what all these tests are for but her father won’t give her the answers and so she …. what? You thought she tries to find out the truth? No way, she’s just like “oh okay. Nevermind. Poor boys. Anna and her Dad are working for the “Branch” and sometimes this “Branch-guy” Connor visits. Or Riley. There are two guys but seem to me as one person being multiplied. Oh, and she’s in love with Sam, obviously.
After Sams managing a brilliant escape, Anna’s Dad begged them to take her with them because she would be punished as well for the outbreak.

Opinion

The first thing I have to say: Anna is freakin’ dumb sometimes. She can’t help it, I think.
Wait, I’ve saved the quote… Where is it? Ah, here:
(Situation: They have to steal a car to save their lives!) … and Anna is like:

“I just … I don’t know if I’m comfortable with all this.”
He gave me a look. “Now is not the time for your morality to make an appearance.” (Trev)

Her life is threatened by some Branch agents and all she can think about is …. I have no idea what she’s thinking. Maybe she wanted to run all the way to Lancaster (where they were headed) because she is totally working out every day in the lab?
That was the first time I rolled my eyes but nevermind, I still had hope. (This hope died soon enough but we’ll come to that later).
Okay, this story between Sam and Anna is interesting but I’m more interested in the question if Anna will become a bad ass in the near future, because this whiny and confused-acting girl isn’t made to be a main character in the story!
While Cas saves the story with his hilarious jokes and his steady hunger for any food, I hope, that something might accidentally kill Anna. No, just kidding.

In the beginning Anna mentioned that she had some combat lessons, so I had some hope she could defend herself. The funny thing is, while she totally failed the first few times … out of nowhere (the last 50 pages maybe) she was all hero-bad-ass-like. I haven’t seen that coming because it was really happening without a plausible reason!

However, I have complained enough. The story lives (thankfully) with the boys (she calls them “boys”. They are grown man with manipulated genes but nevermind. Boys fits just fine). The characters are authentic and funny (Cas, will you marry me?) and the style of writing is good as well.
There are enough suprising turns or new information introduced to the characters but while Anna is too dumb to figure at least something out on her own, Sam has to do all the work while she’s gaping at him to keep the reader interested.

Eventually, I’ll read the next two books, because Anna got herself together and I want to read some more about Cas, Nick and Trev. (Especially Cas … and the grumpy Nick. I might be the only one who like him … maybe because he’s is the only one giving everyone a hard time AND staying interesting. A very difficult combination if you think about it!)

Just, so that you have an example, here is how Cas works (constantly thinking of pizza and icecream. I love this guy!)

“We’re free!”
Nick sayin’ something grumpy!
“Awesome.” Cas rubbed his hands together. “Anyone have some marshmallows?”

Sure, I do.

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