Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Review: Still Me

Summary: From the sensational #1 New York Times bestselling author Jojo Moyes, a new book featuring her iconic heroine of Me Before You and After You, Louisa Clark

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? -- Pamela Dorman Books/Viking

If you are anything like me, then you'll be thrilled that Louisa Clark, from ME BEFORE YOU and AFTER YOU by Jojo Moyes, is back in STILL ME! I absolutely love Louisa, and I could hardly wait to see what was next for Louisa as she travels to New York for a new job... and maybe a new life.

STILL ME picks up where AFTER YOU leaves off. (It's definitely not necessary to read the first two books to enjoy STILL ME, but why wouldn't you want to?) Louisa has just left her serious boyfriend Sam to travel to New York to work as a caregiver/personal assistant for the very wealthy Agnes Gopnik. She and Sam are determined to keep their romance alive, but Lou also wants to take advantage of everything Manhattan has to offer!

Lou begins attending some pretty high falutin' social events with Agnes and meets the very charming Joshua Ryan... who also happens to have an uncanny resemblance to Will from ME BEFORE YOU fame. Lou finds that long-distance relationships come with their set of challenges, and absence doesn't always make the heart grow fonder.

When Lou makes the decision to protect Agnes from a shocking secret about her past, she finds that life as she knows it in New York has been turned upside down. Can Lou find a way to survive in New York while also staying true to herself... and can she work things out with Sam who is thousands of miles away?

I so enjoyed STILL ME! I absolutely adore Louisa and it was so much fun to see her adventures in Manhattan with an entirely different crowd. Lou is absolutely delightful and I love how she always figures out a way to make the best of every situation. She's just quirky enough to make things interesting, and I love how much humor the author is able to infuse into the novel through this character.

Having said that, I think the beauty of STILL ME (and the other Lou stories) is that the author writes entertaining stories while also tackling some serious issues. I guess you could call in smart (very smart) chick lit -- and I mean that in the very best way. In the case of this novel, the themes of class structure, wealth, and loneliness were all addressed in a thought-provoking way. In addition, there were major storylines about Lou's relationships (and her sister's!) that showed the reader that there are all types of ways that love can conquer all (although it's not always an easy to get to that point!)

Another thing I really enjoyed about STILL ME were the new characters. Lou lives in a posh high rise in Manhattan and finds herself in contact with an elderly woman and her dog as well as a doorman who is a happily married family man. I loved both of these characters and, even more, I loved how Lou was able to learn about herself (and what is important to her) by engaging with them.

I'm not entirely sure if there were be another novel about Lou; although at the end of this one, she is embarking on another exciting opportunity. But what I do know is that I love Lou and her crazy cast of friends and family... and I will continue to read everything Ms. Moyes writes about her life. (Honestly, I'll read anything Ms. Moyes writes... period!) Highly recommended.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.


bermudaonion said...

I've only read Me Before You and need to catch up with Louisa!

Mystica said...

I've just read one of the series. Thanks for this review.

The Book Sage said...

This is very good news indeed. I absolutely loved Me Before You. And enjoyed After You too (not as much as MBY). I would have read #3 anyway. But it's good to hear that you really liked it.

Kim@Time2Read said...

I've only skimmed your review, because I want to read this one. But I'm really glad to hear that you enjoyed it!
I've read the first two and loved Me Before You. But After You was a bit of a let down for me, possibly because I wasn't ready to move on from Will yet. I hope I like this one!