Book Talk: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Book Talk: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins ReidAfter I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by Washington Square Press on July 1, 2014
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Adult Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: Maybe in Another Life, One True Loves, Once and For All, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

 

A1

Lauren and Ryan have been together since they were in college. Now, many years into their marriage, it’s all fallen apart. In an attempt to figure out what to do next, they decide to take a year off from their marriage — no communication at all — in the hopes that spending some time apart they would fall back in love again or figure out what their future is. They both end up on a journey of self-discovery and that year questions what they think about love and marriage and their ideas of it.

a2Should I wake Will up to talk about this book now or wait until morning?! (I chose waiting because he might receive all my THOUGHTS better if I don’t wake him up). Also, CRAP it’s 1:30 in the morning and I have to be up early!!

a4Oh my soul. OH MY HEART. OH MY THIS BOOK. This is a must for anybody who is married for sure but even if you aren’t married it’s a great story and there is so much to glean from it regarding relationships — especially romantic ones. Estelle and Hannah both raved about this book and THEY WERE 100% RIGHT. It’s freaking amazing. No seriously.

1. As a married lady, this book resonated with me in more depth than I could have imagined: It was a lot like Landline by Rainbow Rowell in the way it made me think about marriage and relationships but this one affected me even more so to be honest. Will and I have been happily married for two years this month and this book made me want to vow to never stop talking, never let apathy lead the way and resentment to build and SO MANY OTHER THINGS because this story broke my heart in ways and I don’t want my marriage to ever get to the point this one did. There were little things that were in this book that scared the hell out of me because some of them I could see happening to us if I’m being honest. The beginnings of things that don’t look like a big deal but ARE.  I’d recommend this to everyone but ESPECIALLY YOU MARRIED PEOPLE. It was Thinking Book for sure and I am so thankful for it.

2. From page 1 I was just captured by this story: We know from the start that they are in a bad place so it’s super bittersweet when we get the story of them falling in love. Despite that, I loved learning how they met, their engagement and then life as newlyweds and then we get these chapters of these small cracks in the foundation and then each little section gets progressively sadder and worse with their relationship. I could FEEL the resentment and the anger there. And then we get into the present where they are deciding to separate from each other for a year. I found myself furiously reading because I HAD TO KNOW how it would turn out. I enjoyed watching what Lauren was learning in her year away from him and I just was so nervous to see what would happen at the end of the year. They both learned a lot about themselves/their marriage but would they be able to fix it? I HAD TO KNOW.

3. This book made me WEEP multiple times: There were just so many things about this story that made me emotional — especially the ending. But watching them leave each other, witnessing the sad moments and the loneliness, the doubt, the realizations of where things went wrong. It all just killed me and there were these perfectly written moments that just stirred up something in my heart so forcefully. And when the ending came…I was just a mess. It was just so unflinchingly honest and poignant that my heart couldn’t handle it.

4. I’m so used to reading books about people FALLING IN LOVE that it was refreshing to read something different: Sure, we see the beginnings of their love story but then we start to see this unraveling of it. And I liked that I really didn’t KNOW if they were going to get back together in the end. To watch how hard sometimes you have to work at love was just really refreshing because like the tagline says, “falling in love is the easy part.” And I honestly was glued to this unraveling but then this year of self love and reflecting on the marriage and the love for each other.

 

a6RATING-beyondloved

factors+ plot, characters, FEELINGS, how it made me think
NADA

Re-readability: YES!!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? I got this out from the library and I REALLY want a copy for myself now!

a5readers of contemporary adult fiction, people who like reading about messy love, people who liked or were interested in Rainbow Rowell’s Landine, married folk because it’s super relatable (even if it you AREN’T married it’s great)

a8I highly recommend After I Do and I can’t wait to pick up Taylor Jenkins Reid’s debut novel next. I loved this story and how I connected to it and the characters. It was definitely a book I NEEDED to read and hit me right in the heart with how it dealt with the complicated nature of love and marriage. As I approach my 2 year marriage anniversary, this was just the right book for me at the right time.

 

review-on-post-it

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
* If you haven’t read it, is it something on your radar or that you think you will read?
* DID YOU WEEP AT THE ENDING IF YOU READ THIS BOOK??
* Married ladies, did this one hit ya right in the feels?


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. I’ve been seeing so many rave reviews of this one and I REALLY really want to read it. I adored Landline and I like books that make me think. I’ve only been married since last month and there is plenty to get used to. This one also struck me because my husband and I met in college. we’ve been together a long time (6 years!) and even now I can SEE how resentment can build in a marriage. I’m really excited to read this one. I have her other book forever, interrupted so I’ll prob read that one first since I don’t have this one yet!

    • YES I think you would really liked it if you adored Landline!! Will and I were together for about the same amount of time as you before we got married so I think you, like me, would have that history of a relationship and just see how these things could happen. Just these little things. I’ve heard really good things about Forever, Interrupted and plan to read it but I def hope you get to this book soon — it’s a thinker!!

  2. I just bought this after reading your review! And I’m in between books right now so PERFECT timing!!

    I honestly wasn’t crazy about Landline, but it was mostly the unresolved stuff at the end that got to me. My favourite part was learning about their marriage and how things fell apart.. so if this is similar to that but better, then I’m totally on board!

    • Obviously we’ve talked about this on Twitter but I AM SO SOSO happy that you read it based on my rec and LOVED IT TOO!!

  3. Yes to freaking everything you just said. This book definitely made me think. I was so happy I read it. There’s definitely a lot of insight, and I hope I can keep the communication going so my marriage doesn’t come to that. It was perfect though. I’ve only been married 2 years, but we’ve been together almost 8. So those lulls happen, and this was a kick in the pants to make sure we don’t fall out of love. I’ve recommended it to a few people too. There were a ton of tears shed.

    • SO MUCH INSIGHT. I absolutely have to own it so I can read it every so often just to REMIND MYSELF. I definitely made a vow to myself and talked with Will about communication after this book because it is SO IMPORTANT.

  4. I find it interesting that you connected to this one better as a married person. I did wonder if my view of LANDLINE would have been different had I read it as a married lady, but I kind of think not because a lot of my issues were with the main character. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for reviews of this one by my single friends, too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • I’m really interested to see what some single friends think about this one! Landline definitely had that same personal connection to me too as a married lady but I still connected in just how it portrayed relationships in general. It made me think a lot about the work it takes to put into a friendship AND a romantic relationship. Both did a really good job portraying some things about marriage that I already can see so MAN DID THEY HIT HARD!

  5. All I can say is hooray! I want James to read this… somehow, I will trick him into doing so. (Does that go against everything I learned from the book?) It’s nice to know that other people are writing honestly about marriage and relationships because I don’t like to feel alone, no one does. Things can’t be perfect and a fairy tale all the time. Thanks so much for sharing this today, J! I know a lot of readers will trust what you have to say and hopefully give it a whirl! 🙂

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS REC!!! Seriously, I just am SO HAPPY you raved about it because I NEEDED THIS BOOK. And omg I told Will everything about the book so he pretty much almost read it haha but I SO WANT HIM TO READ IT SO HE CAN THINK ABOUT IT (but he never would). It was just so, so honest and made me just feel like OKAY this is normal! It doesn’t mean we are doomed to fail because things aren’t perfect! I’m hoping others will read this because I think it’s one of those books that will make lots of people in relationships/marriage think.

  6. This book is so amazing! As a single person I was wondering if I connect to this book but I really did. It’s heartbreaking but I think it shows marriage in a real light. It doesn’t sugar coat things, it shows marriage for what it is the good and bad. This is one I telling everyone about. Great review!

    • I’m so happy to hear that you related to this book as a single person…I was actually curious to hear reactions from someone other than married ladies (which were all I knew who had read it so far!) I SO loved that it didn’t sugar coat things because most of the time I always feel inadequate in my my marriage because of the internet and like social media. it’s easy to paint a picture of what you want people to think about your relationship but the truth is that it’s not always sunshine and unicorns but the things you see sometimes become your reality in some ways.

      Thank you for commenting because 1) i love hearing opinions but 2) it helps me when people ask me about it that I can tell them that you don’t have to be married to connect to this one

  7. Agree with what Estelle said – so glad you’re sharing your thoughts today, Jamie, because I know a lot of readers that will find this book through you. It’s one that’s needed and one that all married people should read. I didn’t cry (as I mentioned) – I’m not sure if it’s just that I’m a tough cookie, but I seriously almost felt like I would so many times, especially near the end. The difference between need and want with marriage was emphasized so clearly and it made me feel a lot better about my own marriage and my own thoughts as I went through this crazy year. I hope other people gain perspective like we did! =)

    • YES I want all my married friends to read it!! I think I am just a VERY emotional person so you probably had the normal emotional response by almost crying (seriously I cried tonight because I felt sad for a Big Brother player who has no allies in the house).

      And yes the need vs. want thoughts were so interesting and I just felt like I gleaned so much and thought of things that Will and I could improve on in our marriage!

  8. I have been waiting for you to read this so I could hear your thoughts! When I saw you were reading it, it took all of my self control not to tell you what a Jamie Book this was because I didn’t want to pressure you or anything but I’m so, so glad you loved it so much and that your feelings so mirror my own.

    I got married a few months after you, and I am right there with you about After I Do being a wake up call of sorts. I have so many little fights with my husband over the stupidest things because we haven’t learned the right way to communicate (for us) when one of us is angry. Seeing what happens in this book after one such stupid fight was hard, for sure, and I sobbed my way through this one. Thanks for sharing!

    • Seriously, I LOOOOVE when people say THIS IS A JAMIE BOOK..if I’m not reading it yet I always move it up because I so take seriously the personal recs of blogger friends and readers who KNOW my tastes. IT WAS SO A ME BOOK…you were right about that!! But I totally understand why you wouldn’t want to be like THIS IS A YOU BOOK..and then what if it wasn’t haha.

      I’m telling you…Will and I STILL struggle with communicating when we fight..esp over dumb things. We both grew up in households of yelling. There wer no Full House moments but just shouting matches to get the last most meanest word in so we really have to try SO HARD no to do that. We both are stubborn and know the buttons to push. It’s always been something we’ve had to work hard at. Sometimes I think we’ve gotten better and then sometimes I’m like MAN WE STILL SUCK. This book def gave me some more things to think about in how we can improve and made me realize even when I’m in those moments of “GAWD THIS IS SO HARD” I still think our marriage is worth it all.

  9. I’m actually reading this one right now, but have set it aside in favor of other books. I feel just she’s just dragging things out at this point. I’m not in love with Lauren as a character – I think she’s being really childish about her marriage breaking up.

    • That being said, I will finish it because I’m meant to review it, but it’s not a hit for me.

    • Aw sorry that you aren’t connecting as well :/ I think I probably wouldn’t have PERSONALLY dragged it out as long as she did but, for me, I know I can been childish about things with relationships haha Idk I think I just connected better with her which is so important with such a character driven novel like this! I hope that the rest gets better for you at least? I would be still really curious to hear what you think when you finish! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!! 🙂

  10. If I had seen this book on a shelf I might have just left it there after reading the back but your review makes this one a possibility for me.

    Today’s blog post: Revenge Bound by Heidi Joy Tretheway

  11. Wow, reading your review I can really see how reading this book is different for married people/people who have been in a relationship for a long time vs people who aren’t/haven’t. Nevertheless, I really liked this book and I’m glad I picked it up based on Ashley’s review based on your review. 😀 (I also reviewed it if you’re interested)

  12. I’m very glad that you wound up loving AFTER I DO! It’s seriously such an incredibly moving + wonderfully written story about falling in love, out of love and what happens next. It’s seriously impressive how Reid manages to capture the situation and these characters so perfectly with all her words. I’d not read her debut novel, but you can bet I already snagged a copy of that baby to read soon!

  13. Wow. You are the second person who has raved about this book. I read a review on Friday and already decided I’d buy the book, but still haven’t grabbed it up yet. But now I am determined to pick up a copy (or order it online) so that I too can have all the FEELS and rave about this book. I’m actually more excited to read this than some of my review books that I need to read ASAP. Oops.

  14. Jamie, thank you for posting about this book! After your review and love for it, I bought it this weekend and am starting it today. Can’t wait!

  15. Thanks so much for this review… I love the part “who should read this” – a little inspiration! Definitely on my wishlist now. Have you read Me & My Sister’s… sounds a bit like this too. Happy reading.

  16. I just finished this book after seeing your review last month, and OMG DID I LOVE IT. I’m not married yet, but I live with my boyfriend and know we will be married at some point so I definitely enjoyed the perspective that this book gave. It helped me to really be more conscious of continuing to make an EFFORT with each other each day and not let things get so blah and boring, as well as to watch out for anything that could cause future resentment that we just don’t talk about. I’m so drama-free that I rarely bring up anything that bothers me but this book honestly opened my eyes to how that can lead to bigger problems.

    ANYWAY, thanks so so much for reviewing/recommending this book that I probably never would have found otherwise. It’s one of my new favorites and I can’t wait to read the author’s other books! 🙂

    • THIS JUST MADE MY DAY!!! I’m so happy you loved it! I’ve been pushing it on people who aren’t married because I feel like it gives good perspective at ANY stage of life! I think the thing you took away from it is definitely what struck me the most too because I am the SAME way — I can shove my feelings down so much until it all just comes racing out and it’s ugly.

      I am SO happy you loved it!!! Thank you for telling me that you picked it up because of me! Always makes my day!

Trackbacks

  1. […] – After I Do.  Getting some serious love in the blog world lately.  After seeing Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner rave about it – I immediately purchased it on my […]

  2. […] I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I’ve heard so many good things about this book (here and here). And since I really liked Landline, I’m sure I will love this […]