After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid {Book Review}

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After I Do Book Info

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My Review

This is going to be a tough review for me to write. I was very excited about reading this book…but, honestly, I probably couldn’t have read this at a worse time in my life. When After I Do first came out, I started comparing it in my mind to Landline by Rainbow Rowell, which is a book that I recently read and loved. I wasn’t sure if they were exactly similar, but I knew that they both dealt with failing marriages, so I anticipated that reading After I Do would be a similar experience to what I went through with Landline.

Over the past 8 months or so, my boyfriend (of 3.5 years) and I have been dealing with some relationship problems of our own, so the messages and realities of Landline really struck a nerve with me and reading that book was a very important and meaningful experience for me. But recently we’ve started to do a lot better. We’ve done a lot of work on our relationship and I feel like we’re in a totally different place than we were even a month or two ago. So now that we’ve sort of “come out the other side,” it was difficult to connect with the story of After I Do, because I so badly wanted to distance myself from what the characters were going through.

Overall, the message of this book is wonderful. I really tried to take that for what it was worth and connect to that part of it. But having to almost-first-hand experience the difficult struggles in the relationship between Lauren and Ryan was seriously hard for me to stomach. After I Do is extremely well written and very relatable — it just wasn’t what I wanted to be reading about.

And then…when I was halfway through the book, our 3-year-old cat passed away suddenly. So I spent the slightly happier second half of the book absolutely heartbroken. It’s just not how this book should’ve been read. I can say with almost absolutely certainty, that if I’d read this book at a slightly different time in my life — maybe a few months or weeks ago — I probably would’ve loved it. It probably would’ve become an all-time favorite. It truly is a really special book that I think so many people will be able to relate to and enjoy. Unfortunately for me, it just wasn’t in the cards.

But I was still able to get quite a bit out of it, which I think, in itself, speaks for how powerful this book is, because I wouldn’t have been surprised to have gotten absolutely nothing out of it after our cat’s passing. But my copy of this book (which I won in a giveaway — thanks, Hannah @ So Obsessed With!) is filled to the brim with little sticky notes marking my favorite passages! I even read a few out loud to Brent and he loved them, too.

I appreciated the beauty and humanness of this book so much. I loved the quotable lines and memorable statements made that will probably end up sticking their way into my brain and staying with me for a long time to come. Ultimately, I just couldn’t rate this book 5 stars, because I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as it deserved to be enjoyed…but clearly that was through no fault of the book’s. I did really like it, though, and I highly recommend After I Do, especially if you’re in a marriage or long-term relationship, and I hope to one day be able to come back to this and give it another try when I’m at a different point in my life.

My Rating 4 Ships

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4 responses to “After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid {Book Review}

  1. A great review despite your emotions during reading it. I think it’s magical when what you’re reading resonates with something deeper but being a cat mama myself I totally feel your heartbreak. You really made me want to read both After I do and Landline to see the similarities.

  2. I have heard really great things about After I Do. I’m not sure it’s something I’m really interested in right now, though. I know what you mean, though, about how your mood, or the place you are in, really affects your feelings about a certain book.

    • Yeah it really surprised me just how much my emotions ended up affecting my reading. I think I’m going to do a discussion post about that soon 🙂 Such a strange phenomenon…especially for me, somebody who’s very much NOT a mood reader.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about some of the things going on in your life while you were reading this book. I’ve definitely had life experiences affect how I feel about a book before! And honestly, I’m so happy that you could still so many great things to love about it! This really was such a great review – I feel like you really identified some of the things I loved about it (especially how quotable it is!). Maybe one day you’ll be able to revisit it… but even if not, so happy you read it 🙂

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