I can hear a voice in my head, speaking crisply and clearly. I don't love him anymore. That's what it says. I don't love him anymore. And maybe more heartbreaking is the fact that I know, deep down, he doesn't love me either.
It all clicks into place.
Ryan and I are two people who used to be in love.
What a beautiful thing to have been.
What a sad thing to be.
I reviewed Taylor Jenkins Reid's Forever, Interrupted back in December of last year, and it was not your typical romance "meet cute" novel. I was excited to get the chance to review her newest book, After I Do, which is thankfully a bit less depressing, but still very interesting nonetheless.
From the author of Forever, Interrupted—hailed by Sarah Jio as "moving, gorgeous, and at times heart-wrenching"—comes a breathtaking new novel about modern marriage, the depth of family ties, and the year that one remarkable heroine spends exploring both.
When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.
Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?
This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.
When Lauren and Ryan realize they're no longer in love, Lauren proposes something outside the norm: take a "year off" from their marriage, and then, after that time, reevaluate their relationship. This means they can date other people, and generally behave as if they are single, although at first Lauren misses Ryan so much that she won't even entertain the idea of seeing others.
After a few months, though, something interesting starts to happen: she realizes she doesn't actually need Ryan, and is actually happy trying to live an independent life.
Reid's first book, Forever, Interrupted, told the story of a couple whose time together was cut short rather quickly, in a fatal way; After I Do tries to evaluate if a couple wants to cut their time short, or not. At the same time, the key players in Lauren's life are trying to evaluate their own relationships - her mom with a boyfriend, Bill, and her younger brother Charlie with the newly-pregnant Natalie, whom he met on a plane - and these impact how Lauren starts to think, as well.
I'd recommend this novel for anyone who likes a good story. I loved Reid's first novel, and this one was just as good - I devoured it on my Kindle app very quickly. It might fall in to the "beach read" category but it's not your typical romance or rom-com; marriage has already been accomplished, and this takes a look back at what happens AFTER one says "I do."
After I Do is in stores (link) on July 1st. 4 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.
I have one paperback copy of After I Do for a lucky reader to win. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway will end Wednesday, July 9th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email on July 10th and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.
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