I read Me Before You much, much later than everyone else did. I am not one of those people who eschew from things because they are everywhere in popular culture; quite the opposite actually. With the first in Lou’s story I just missed everything. It was very different with After You which I have reviewed here. I read that in 2015 and re-reading my review I think I was very kind. Frankly I didn’t enjoy it. So when I managed to grab an advance copy of Still Me at the end of last year, I was very reticent about actually reading it. But read it I did.
WARNING: there are spoilers for both Me Before You and After You in this review.
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.
To begin with I want to make two things clear:
- The cover of this book is so much nicer than the one for After You.
- The blurb is actually kind of crap and tells you very little about the story. Maybe that’s the point though?
At the end of After You Lou gets a job offer in New York which she takes. She wants seething new in her life and so packs up and heads over to the Big Apple. There her new job is both better and worse than she expected, the time difference and long distance nature of her relationship with Sam is harder than she expected, and every New Yorker is as cold and horrible as the stereotypes suggest except for Ashok who also works in the building she does and his beautiful wife and children.
My greatest dislike of After You was Lily, Will’s daughter. Thankfully, wonderfully, gloriously she is nothing more than a fleeting presence in Still Me. Apart from her I was thrilled to meet all of the other characters again especially Lou’s wonderful sister and her new love. The new characters were all so well written and drawn (especially in all their flaws), and the plotting also very well paced and gripping.
Still Me is a story in two parts. You have the first part when Lou is working for her employer and the second…well, when she isn’t and instead meets someone else in the building: an old, crotchety woman who has an amazing sense of style and a fabulous history and wardrobe. And this is why I think the blurb is wrong; Josh has so little to do with Lou’s story when you actually think about it. I feel as if he doesn’t deserve to be included on the blurb because Still Me is so much more than a heterosexual angst ridden love story. In the same respect I also didn’t really care about Sam. Lou’s life in New York seemed to outstrip her romantic desires – I was certainly interested and gripped by the other parts of the story a lot more.
The first book was wonderful, the second not so much, and the third a wonderful return to form. If this is it for Lou and the Clarks then I will be content but if it isn’t? Well, if it isn’t I will happily read her next adventures.