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Jan
30

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Still Me By JoJo Moyes – A Book Review

Credit: PenguinRandomHouse

If you haven’t read Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, this review will be spoiler-ish since this book is a sequel.

I was a big fan of the book Me Before You by JoJo Moyes – a book I picked up only after seeing the trailer for the movie that it was based on. Needless to say, I grew quite fond of the character of Louisa Clark and her quirky ways. After putting that book down I was a bit gutted, if I’m being honest. I was so affected by that book I still haven’t picked up the first sequel, After You, because I wasn’t prepared to see what happened next. I needed to walk away from those characters for a little while, and just let them be. But then I was asked if I’d like to review Moyes’ latest sequel to the book that ripped my heart out, Still Me, and I couldn’t resist.

Still Me follows Louisa Clark, still grieving the loss of Will Traynor, as she travels to New York to work as an assistant to a New York socialite. Intent to live in the moment as Will had suggested she do, Louisa packs up and leaves her new boyfriend and family back in England to work for a woman who is almost as much of a challenge as Will once was.

If After You, the second book in this trilogy, is about dealing with life altering grief, then Still Me is about rediscovering yourself when you realize that life truly does go on. Moyes has ensured that Louisa is her charming self as usual. She’s a character that’s hard not to root for, and you find yourself rooting for her a lot in this book.

Louisa travels to work for the Gopnik family at the recommendation of her friend and Will Traynor’s physical therapist, Nathan. She becomes personal assistant to the second wife of a Mr. Leonard Gopnik, a much younger woman named Agnes. Agnes is often unhappy, to the point of fits of rage and debilitating depression, as she hasn’t been accepted in to the New York Socialite circles her husband travels in. Instead she’s labelled a gold digger and a tramp, and Louisa’s job consists mostly of giving Agnes an ally and a friend, and sometimes simply a babysitter.  Unfortunately for Louisa, while she may be told she’s Agnes’s only friend, there’s constant reminders that she is truly just an employee. Louisa finally learns this truth the hard way.

The Gopnik’s are old New York money, and Louisa is quickly advised that she would be better off seeing nothing, hearing nothing and knowing nothing. Her life is quickly overtaken by Agnes’s many demands, to the point where Louisa’s own personal relationships are compromised. But still, the Louisa Clark we all fell in love with in the last two books shines through and is possibly more endearing throughout her heartbreaks and accomplishments. She’s never been so relatable as she is when she’s trying to figure out how to keep her new romance with paramedic Sam alive despite living an ocean away from each other.

Moyes has a talent of making you feel like one of Louisa’s family, which is probably why you’ll find yourself so invested in her story. You’ll be happy for her when she’s happy and outraged and conflicted and angry right along with her as she navigates her new life in New York. Life won’t be simple for Louisa, but her charm and wit and effervescent personality help her find her way.

In Still Me Moyes details perfectly what it’s like to struggle with finding yourself when you’ve spent most of your life putting others first. Louisa Clark is more endearing in this novel than she has ever been, and After You is a fitting conclusion to her story. If, this is the end for her.

Still Me is in bookstores today, January 30th, and is definitely worth the read.

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