Book Talk: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Still Me by Jojo MoyesStill Me by Jojo Moyes
Narrator: Anna Acton
Length: 13 hrs, 19 mins
Series: Me Before You #3
Published by Penguin Audio on January 30, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible

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?

Last week, I wrote a discussion post about romances and predictability, which talked a bit about series that dismantle ships. After Me Before You, I didn’t expect or particularly desire a sequel. But After You worked, in spite of everything. Moyes did an amazing job getting Louisa through the grief to a new phase of life and a new love. With Still Me, Moyes again takes risks with the romantic framework, but it once again pays off.

Moyes is one of those authors I never expect to love as much as I do, because she’s so incredibly hyped and popular. Her books are often about sad subjects I typically avoid. They’re not all massive hits with me, but I’ve loved more of her books than I’ve disliked thus far.

Still Me takes a plot I absolutely didn’t want and makes me like it in spite of myself. I don’t like watching a couple I came to love in a prior novel struggle with the distance and make poor choices and fall apart because of jealousy. That’s like the opposite of what I want. But when done well, true to the spirit of the characters and the emotional journey they need to go through, there’s no denying how real and momentous it feels.

Part of why I think this series works at all is Louisa. She’s one of those sweet little Hufflepuff cinnamon roll heroines. She has this massive capacity for love and caring, and she really does try to make the best out of every situation. Of course, that’s not to say she never gets mad or spiteful, but that’s her default. It’s really hard not to love Louisa, because she’s so honest and open and friendly and loving.

More than anything, Still Me is about Louisa’s relationship with herself, something highlighted by the change in titling: until now, the books have been about Louisa’s feelings for Will Traynor, but now the focus is shifting inward. Louisa’s main internal conflict is one that a lot of nice people go through: she gives too much of herself and doesn’t stop to think about her needs. Louisa has largely drifted through life, and she’s fallen in with big personalities, which was good in that it convinced her she could be more, but, without them, she’s not sure what to be.

Along the way on her journey of self-discovery, Louisa makes unexpected friends, because that’s what she does. Her relationship with the crotchety old woman in her building is so incredibly touching. Louisa’s relationship with her sister also is a major highlight of the book. (Also, helllloooo f/f rep, you’re adorable.)

The romance aspects of the book are indeed, for a shipper like me, frustrating, but they do feel necessary. Even the incredibly bad idea things really highlight issues with where Louisa’s head currently is. Because Louisa doesn’t really know who she is, she can’t know what she wants. Or who. View Spoiler »

Another strong book from Moyes. The plots occasionally veer towards melodrama, but the strong characters bring everything together and make the plots feel powerful and emotional.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

4 responses to “Book Talk: Still Me by Jojo Moyes”

  1. I loved Me Before You but then I never picked up the sequels. I need to rectify that because it sounds like they deliver. Great review!
    Teresa Mary Rose recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #262: Endless Water, Starless Sky by: Rosamund HodgeMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      They’re each a bit different, but I think you’ll be happy you did. And the good news is that they’re happier than Me Before You.

  2. I loved the first book but to be honest, I have been hesitant to continue, so I am glad to hear you voice the same fears. Now I need to read the next two.
    Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer recently posted…The Dead House: A Novel by Billy O’CallaghanMy Profile

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