The moment you meet that special someone and you just know in your heart and soul that you’ve found your soul mate is like no other feeling. It’s like you’ve found the other half of yourself, your partner, your best friend. Falling in love is the easy part, staying happily married is where the hard work begins. Taylor Jenkins Reid has written an honest, raw, emotional story about what happens when a couple realizes that they aren’t happy together anymore. When the joy and the need to be together subsides and all that’s left are two people who are unsatisfied with the current state of their marriage.
First of all, I loved the way that this book was written. It was overflowing with emotions, keeping me glued to the pages from beginning to end. I witnessed the characters fall in love, fall apart, and I was able to witness their unconventional attempt to salvage their marriage. They weren’t perfect characters, they were realistic. They made mistakes, they took each other for granted, they got lazy in their relationship, it happens. The little things that we all find cute and endearing early on in our relationships, can turn into our biggest pet peeves, escalating into arguments and hurt feelings. The togetherness that was once invigorating has turned monotonous and stagnating. But is it irreparable or is it worth fighting for?
Lauren and Ryan were tired and fed up with their marriage, but neither of them was just willing to throw it all away. Their approach was extremely unconventional. It wasn’t a brief separation, it was a whole year without being in contact at all. It was a year of no holds barred, living and experiencing whatever they wanted to - including other people. While I would never be able to agree with this in my own marriage, I could appreciate their reasoning behind it. It was a time for them to see what life could be without the other person, to see if it was better or if it felt empty.
“Just because you can live without someone, doesn’t mean you want to.” The book mostly followed Lauren’s journey, but the book did offer glimpses into what Ryan was going through during their year-long separation too. As a romantic, I wanted them to be able to find their way back to each other, to remember what they meant to each other at one time, and to learn from their mistakes. It was such an intense story that was filled with hope and heart.
After I Do put my emotions through the wringer. On one page I was laughing, the next my heart was breaking, and the one after that I had tears rolling down my cheeks. When an author can make you feel a gamut of emotions in a book - that is the sign of a truly talented author. It would be remiss of me if I did not mention the fantastic supporting cast of characters who also added to the perfection of this story. Every last one of them added to my overall enjoyment of the book.
I can’t say enough kind words about After I Do. It just hit all of the marks for me as a reader. Lauren and Ryan’s story will not soon be forgotten. This is one of the best books that I have read so far this year, in fact, it is probably one of the best books that I have ever read!
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