After You: An ARC Review

Jojo Moyes did not plan on writing a sequel to her popular best selling book, Me Before You. The book chronicled the relationship between Lou, a caregiver, and Will Traynor, a quadriplegic, who had already planned on dying in six months. Me Before You, took on the controversial topic of assisted suicide. I remember crying like a baby for all involved, when Will stuck with his decision to end his life.

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While I did wonder what became of those Will left behind, the people who loved him the most, I didn’t need a sequel. I didn’t believe it was really a necessity. When I found out that Jojo Moyes was writing a sequel, I was not sure I wanted to read it. I am a caregiver myself, taking care of my mother, and I can’t (or don’t want to) think about the ‘after’.

I never thought about assisted suicide before, but it hurts to see someone in pain all the time, and watching them look at others with envy, because they are doing things they only wish they could do.  I was thankful that my mother was still able to walk, albeit with a walker, but still walking nevertheless.

However, you do have to think about the ‘After’ part and how one’s death effects everyone in their life. Life has to go on after a loved one dies, and it’s hard no matter how it comes about.  I think a natural death is an easier pill to swallow.  I found I really wanted to read After You, to find out how Will’s planned death effected those who loved him.

After You picks up 18 months after the events of Me Before You left off.  Everyone handles grief in their own way and this fact was very evident in the sequel. The book is told from Lou’s point of view, who is still grieving over the loss of the man she loved. She is also dealing with the guilt of having helped him end his own life.

She is not really living up to Will’s request that she ‘live life well’ because of the guilt and grief she still feels. She works in an airport lounge/bar and drinks heavily. She traveled but didn’t really enjoy where she went or what she did. She was walking and talking, but not really living. When Lou accidentally fell off the roof, and couldn’t feel her legs at first, I was horrified to think that she could now be paralyzed.

While I loved the idea of a sequel, this book fell a bit short in some areas. I didn’t really care for the character of Lilly and I wanted to love her, because she was Will’s daughter but she made that very hard. It was hard for me to believe that the Will we came to know would be such a jerk before the accident. Granted, we didn’t know much about him before he became a quadriplegic.

Lilly was my main area of disappointment, along with her mother as I felt nothing really genuine from either character. She didn’t seem to be grateful for anything.  Lilly just came off as a spoiled brat and nothing was good enough for her. Lou being who she is, put someone else ahead of her own needs. I would have loved to see more of her relationship with Sam develop. There is so much more that could have happened there, falling in love again would have been good for Lou.

While I loved the book and would recommend it to fans of Will and Lou, I wish that there wasn’t so much going on at once. I felt that too much time was spent on Lilly rather than Lou herself. I know the purpose of Lilly was to help Lou heal but I myself didn’t get that impression.

I was fine with where Me Before You ended and didn’t feel the need for closure. Lou and the Traynor’s, while devastated and heartbroken, accepted Will’s decision and agreed to his choice to end his life in a dignified manner and to not be a burden. Isn’t that what we all want for our loved ones?  It was still nice to revisit the characters, to see how they are fairing but I was hoping for something a bit different.

With that being said, I still give the book four stars because JoJo Moyes listened to the majority of her fans and let them back in Lou’s little corner of the world. I just think it would have been much better if Moyes had originally planned a sequel in the first place. However, that us just my opinion. What did you think of After You? 

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The Veil Blog Tour, Interview and Giveaway

I am very excited to be a part of the Blog Tour for Chloe Neill’s new book entitled’The Veil’! It is book one in her new series entiled ‘The Devil’s Isle’. I have read this book a total of three times since receiving the ARC!

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ARC Review: The Veil By Chloe Neill

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As a huge fan of Chloe Neill, I was very excited to learn that she was writing a new series.The premise behind the new series sounded very promising and I was intrigued. I love the world she created in the CLV so much that I figured she can’t go wrong with this brand new series! She has never let me down before so surely she wouldn’t start now! I was so excited when I received the ARC that I started reading it that very night.

Was my loyalty or confidence misplaced? Did I have that same loyalty and confidence after I finished reading? Did I love the first book in Ms.Neill’s new Devils Isle Series? Join me after the jump and I will tell you all my (spoiler free) thoughts!

Chloe Neill is a master weaver at world building and this is evident with every detail she wrote in The Veil. The book is set in New Orleans but not the NOLA we have come to know through personal experience or via the world wide web. The way New Orleans was described in this book reminded of the devastation that Hurricane Katrina brought to the region.

I love when an author writes a book that is mirrored in some reality and this was done perfectly. I was glad that the time was taken to vividly describe the new war torn city that it’s citizen’s have adjusted to, the city they still love and take pride in.

The characters draw a reader in fast, even if it seems the pace at the beginning is slow, that’s just more of that world building coming into play. Soon, that world and the fantastic characters collide into something fantastic and you are hooked.

Claire is a very smart,strong,beautiful character who the reader can relate to on so many levels. She has vulnerabilities and a fear of the unknown that only make her stronger, and her loyalty knows no bounds.

Liam is a sexy bounty hunter who quickly becomes Claire’s savior,in keeping her from becoming a permanent part of another section of the world that she has only heard horror stories of, Devil’s Isle. He is super confident in his ability to get things done, no matter how tough the situation. There is a major difference between being cocky and being arrogant. Liam is the right kind of cocky,and not of the I-want-to-slap-that-arrogance-right-out-of-a-person-variety.

There was something else I felt that the author got right, and that is the lesson of never judging a book by it’s cover,for in both the real and fictional world’s, things are never quite what they seem.

Cross through The Veil on August 4th to meet Claire, Liam and some truly wonderful supporting characters that will leave you wanting more at the end of this all new series. My tweet to Chloe after having finished the book read ‘100% done and 100% hooked’! I think you will be as well.

The blog tour for The Veil continues Monday and I am one of the lucky bloggers that got a spot on that tour so check back here on Monday for more of The Veil goodness!

My rating: 5 well earned stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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The Magical World Of Ink and Bone

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I was browsing through my Twitter timeline and saw a tweet regarding this book on my timeline and one word caught my eye, Alchemy. That is, if I am remembering it right. I know what I did next though, I immediately sent a tweet to the author. The tweet stated that I was tempted to ask for an ARC. Ms.Rachel Caine tweeted back stating that she thought they still had a few and to give my mailing information at her website. In my experience, receiving an ARC had never been that easy!

I figured it was my lucky day.  There is a normal procedure one has to go through in order to receive an ARC. As it turns out, it was not that easy as her assistant emailed me with a response that all review copies were sent out. I was okay with this as I knew this was not the normal procedure. I still had to read it as I was too intrigued not to and I got the book on release day.

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The Bourbon Kings

One day last week, I found myself perusing NetGalley after rating an ARC I had received a few weeks prior. I was searching by publisher because I figured it would be the easiest way to find something to catch my interest. A number of things catch my eye when it comes to books and NetGalley has my favorite of them all, in spades. I am, of course, talking about the cover of a book. So what cover caught my eye and made me take notice? Stick with me, my friends and I will tell you. Continue reading

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Preorder Midnight Marked

Chloe Neill announced today that you can now preorder Midnight Marked, the 12th book in her beloved Chicagoland Vampire Series! How about that cover huh?

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The Pile That Keeps Growing…..

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…and growing and growing and well you get the picture! My TBR pile just keeps getting more books added to it. I only have myself to blame. I have always loved to read and I remember driving my Mom nuts! I would come home from school with this book ordering form and she would say ‘Oh, you have to limit yourself, you cannot have every book on that form, you can have two only every time you bring one home’. She would also tell me I had to read them at least twice before ordering more. She said you always get more out of the second read.

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Love Chloe Neill…..

….and her books?? Do you want a chance to get your hands on her brand new series ‘Devil’s Isle’ with the first book entitled “The Veil’? I know you do!!

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Nothing Ugly About Ugly Love

Do you want to know the best thing about being in the blogging business? That would be getting book recs from your friends and other bloggers! A few days ago, in our own little secret place on Facebook a rec was given by some great friends.

Actually, the idea for getting this particular book came from an article that appeared on a friends newsfeed. The article was shared in our little group. We read it (I only skimmed it) and just like the book lovers that we are, we were intrigued.

I believe my words were ‘Color me intrigued’! We got the book on Thursday and I was finished reading it by Friday night. So I am here now, and ready to give my thoughts on it. I know this book has been out a while but a book can never have too many reviews!!
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Eighth Grave After Dark: An ARC Review

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A few months ago and quite by my surprise I won a signed Advanced Readers Copy of ‘Eight Grave After Dark’ and was not even aware.I almost missed out on a very good (signed) book! Thank God for EMAIL! I won this book by entering a contest held at one of Diana Belchase’s blogs and Kiss and Thrill. I am quite positive it was the first one but both blogs are great! Continue reading

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