And Still Me is no different.
I didn’t devour this book like I did Me Before You or its sequel After You. It took me 4 sittings over a few months to finish it. But it wasn’t because the story wasn’t good. It wasn’t because Louisa isn’t still as adorable and flawed as she always has been. It’s a story about life after. About moving on. About next steps. About being in your 30s. About finding yourself. And while the setting is interesting, new characters have personalities that make you want to know more and Louisa is still Louisa, it didn’t have the obsessabilty of Me Before You. But I think it is a stronger book than After You.
If you haven’t read or watched Me Before You, and know the premise of After You, there are spoilers ahead about those two books. I’ll save the important details for you to read for Still Me:
The Story of Still Me by JoJo Moyes
If you remember where we left Louisa in After You, and I didn’t, we left her ready to start a new job for a year working for a rich family in New York City. She was leaving her new love, Sam, the paramedic, to be the friend and assistant of a rich woman, Agnes.
Louisa and Agnes develop a relationship, a friendship even, which the first half of the book covers. Louisa creates a routine in her life in New York. She makes friends. She has new flirtations. She and Sam struggle with long distance in their new relationship.
This was the weakness of the book. I didn’t like it when it stated to happen. The trope made Beth skim the rest to find out what happens she hated it that much. It’s not my favorite thing that JoJo Moyes has done. I won’t say much more, but I could have done without it.
However, knowing where the book went after the trope, I’m not sure how we would have gotten to the end without it. So… I don’t have an answer for what should have happened INSTEAD.
But after “The incident” the book takes a new life of it’s own. It was then that I couldn’t put it down; that I finished it fairly quickly; that I really was reminded of why I love JoJo Moyes so much. Her writing makes me laugh and cry, often on the same page. And I did a lot of that in this book.
Louisa is, in fact, Still Her. But she’s growing. When you think about who she was when she first met Will Traynor, working in that cafe, to who she is today, hailing cabs off Park Avenue and going to protests to keep neighborhood libraries open and befriending rich older ladies and wealthy gazillionaires, she is a different person.
But the Bumble Bee tights still exist and still come out in the moments when she needs to be reminded of who she is.
And I love who she becomes.
This story made me laugh out loud. Lily (Will’s daughter) is perfection in her horrific teenager-ness. A new character Margot is terrible and wonderful. And oh— the letters.
And I think Letters are what JoJo Moyes does best. My favorite book is The Last Letter from your Lover which wrecked me. And this book did in the same way. The beauty of the written word is lost in many ways these days. And it’s nice to be reminded of it, even in a simple novel about a girl moving forward with her life and finding out that who she really is, is in fact who she has been all along. Buy it now.