Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

 

36048240Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 25th January 2018

Series: Me Before You #3

Source:  Received from publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 496

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is thrown into the world of the superrich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world.

Before she knows what’s happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. In Still Me, as Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets–not all her own–that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

Rating: five-stars

I absolutely loved “Me Before You” and “After You”, I didn’t have any problems with the second books like many others seem to have, and I was incredibly excited that Jojo Moyes is bringing Louisa back to us in a book number 3. I think that it’s the same with Louisa Clark as with Becky Bloomwood – haters will hate, lovers will love. I personally belong to the latest category and Jojo Moyes could write another three or more books about Lou and I would inhale them – I love Lou, and after finishing “Still Me” there is potential for another book for me there. And reading about Ms Clark is already like meeting an old friend – a brilliant feeling.
I’ve read this book few weeks ago so theoretically I could have posted my review then but it took me till today to really write it because I was scared – that I won’t do this book a justice with my words. And I’m pretty sure I didn’t but one thing is certain, guys – it was a gorgeous, perfect read and for me personally there is really a room left for another Lou’s story.

This time Louisa embarks on a new journey to New York, where she’s supposed to work as an assistant to a very rich and very influential family. Before she’s even unpacked, she finds herself jogging through Central Park, shopping for her employer and attending social events. To say that it is a totally different life style to the one she knows from England would be an understatement. Then she gets to know Josh Ryan, who looks exactly like… well, you can guess who, and their friendship grows. Is it going to jeopardize her relationship with Sam? Is Sam going to accept the changes in Lou?

Already the first chapter had me hooked – meeting Louisa at the airport was a brilliant experience and made me laugh so much! Be prepared to see her taking New York by storm, guys. She felt like the old Louisa, but also she seemed like a new one, with her new approach with her year of saying yes, taking Will’s words and lessons to heart. I loved seeing her meeting new characters – they were all larger than life, more or less likeable, real people made of flesh and blood. They were full of flaws and faults but that made them closer to life and more real.
Lou is still Lou, lovable and quirky, and she has this ability to see things with a pinch of salt, and she also doesn’t take herself seriously. She tries to balance her personal life with her new job, which of course is not so easy, as she’s on the other side of the world. It’s almost a shock for her to find herself in the company of the Gopniks, this influential family, and her life is now so very different to the one she has left behind in England. I loved the fact that Louisa was so normal, she has made mistakes and sometimes you could question her choices, but I think this makes her even more real and relatable.

What I also adored was discovering New York together with Louisa. You could think, with so many books set in The Big Apple, what could be so exciting and fresh, but Jojo Moyes had done here an incredible job. Seeing this city through Lou’s fresh eyes was like seeing it by myself for the first time. The descriptions of the city deserve a standing ovation, it was brought to life so easily, they were vivid and full of colours and flavours.

The hidden motto of this story are Will’s words “You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live as fully as possible” – they are beautiful, pure words and I probably should have them tattooed on my forehead to finally start appreciate life just like Lou’s has done in this book. Because for me she did this – she’s come out of her comfort zones, she was taking chances and put all her eggs in one basket. Sometimes it paid off for her to be her own person, sometimes it didn’t but she didn’t give up and this is why wanted to hug her so much and tell her she’s doing so well.

I love Jojo Moyes’s writing style. It flows so easily and effortlessly, it’s chatty. It is witty, with a great dose of super humour, it’s elegant and incredibly engaging. It has immediately drawn me in and I felt like a part of the characters’ world, and I loved them like my own friends. From the word go I wanted to know what’s going to happen, I was intrigued with the Gopnik family, I wanted to know more about Agnes and see the developing relationship between Lou and Dean Martin. This is not a romance but it introduces us to so many shades of love – unconditional, honest love and what we’re capable of doing to preserve this love.

“Still Me” is a story of misunderstandings, lies, secrets, new and old friendships, broken hearts, forgiveness. It’s a real roller – coaster ride full of laughs, tears, frustrations and determination, disappointment and hope. For me this was a firm five – stars read and I would give it ten if I could – for me Jojo Moyes has done it again – written a beautiful, emotional, comforting story about brilliant characters. A story that shows that life goes on. That we don’t have to forget to live and be happy, we can live with happy and fond memories. That moving on is painful and can hurt but in the end it is worth it. That we have choices and that we can’t give up because the remedy or help can come in the most unexpected moment. It’s full of charm and kindness, but this is also Louisa’s way. She is not perfect, our Lou, but she’s relatable in the way she acts. She’s genuine, as well as the other characters in the story.

So let’s live boldly, people.

After You by Jojo Moyes

After You by Jojo Moyes

 

25255376Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 24th September 2015

Series: Me Before You #2

Source:  Purchased

Number of pages: 407

Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

Rating: five-stars

Back in 2012 I read “Me Before You” and I still remember how powerful this book was, and what a snotty mess I was after finishing it. Three years later “After You”, the sequel, was released and even though I bought this novel immediately I haven’t read it – I’m not sure why, maybe it was lack of time, or maybe fear that it’s not going to live up to my expectations, because “Me Before You” was a really exceptional read. But lately I have won “Still Me”, the third book in Lou’s adventures, and it prompted me to read “After You” – and boy, I loved it. I simply loved it.

First of all, I don’t think you can read “After Me” as a standalone – I think you just have to read the previous book to understand how much Will meant to Lou, why she’s in such a mess in this book, that begins 18 months after the previous story ends. 18 months is a long time, right, people change, people move on, people try their best at coping, and it was all so moving – to see how they try to cope with their emotions and feelings.

Lou and her family are wonderful, brilliant characters, her parents (especially her father) and sister adding a touch of so much needed humour. There were some new characters introduced to us in this story, of course – the Moving On Group, a group that Lou was so reluctant to go to, determined not to make friends with those people, and who in the end turned out to be such important part of her life. They provided many moments of sadness but also of laughter and their stories just tugged at your heartstrings.
Even though Will is dead, his presence was so very strong in the book but the author has done a great job here, because I personally think she allowed us to mourn over him, together with Lou, in this story, and then to slowly let him go, to slowly start to accept the fact that he’s no more. I also think that the author has put Sam facing a great challenge – it was impossible not to compare him and Will but in my opinion Sam has won – he’s a great character, with a brilliant personality, a no nonsense approach and a heart made of gold, and even though I was always Team Will, I liked Sam from the very beginning – even when Lou has misunderstood and we thought he’s a different person. There is also one very important new character, and while I know some people despise her, and – I must admit – I also lost my patience with her a few times, Lou has done brilliantly with her, she understood her and her feelings so perfectly well.

This book was a perfect mix of humour and sadness, of hope and feeling pathetic. It was emotional, and moving, close to life and simply beautiful. Jojo Moyes captured all the feelings and emotions of her characters and beautifully put them into words. It was an extraordinary read about moving on but not forgetting. It felt real and it was written with so much gentleness. It made me cry and it made me laugh, and this laugh made characters’ pain bearable, the pain of moving over, of hurts sneaking up on you, of feeling unloved. It was emotionally charged, and about healing, about learning to believe in yourself again. Jojo Moyes knows exactly how to get to the core of your emotions and feelings, and there were moments that hit me really hard, that were shockingly painful but they were also powerful and beautiful. I can’t put into words how well the author has got into her characters’ heads and how well she described their feelings – I was totally invested in Lou’s story and I highly recommend “After You” to you!