After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Adult – Contemporary
Published July 1st 2014 by Washington Square Press
This book was so cute and exactly what I needed after this week. My reading habits have really been slacking this month but between preparing for a move and work, all I want to do is bundle up and watch fall tv and eat donuts for the rest of my life. I don’t think that’s too much to ask at all really and this book is exactly the cuddle-up book I needed.
Lauren and Ryan have been married for 11 years. Having been together since college they are comfortable with one another and their life. They’ve reached a point where they don’t bother to fight about what’s actually bothering and important to them. After months of limited communication they both gradually become resentful and begin despising one another. After their last fight they finally both admit their unhappiness and that’s where this idea begins. They decide to take a year break from one another with no communication with the understanding they will reevaluate their relationship when the year is up.
The first part of this book is where I was sucked in. Their passive aggressive fight about where the car was parked was all too relatable and felt incredibly genuine. The book then quickly works backwards to show how they met and fell in love and how this fight has played out before when they still communicated and how much things have changed.
Ryan is absent for most of the book and I thought that was good and bad. I didn’t really care for him and he felt more like an imaginary friend than a real person. Maybe I would have felt differently about him if we got things from his POV, but on the other hand, I really liked just having Lauren’s POV because that’s all she had and I think it made it easier to get sucked into the story. What we do get are some amazing secondary characters with her family. Lauren’s mom was a single mom to her and her sister and brother, Charlie. While her immediate family was pretty understanding and they didn’t sugar coat that it was hard for them to be without Ryan. I also loved when Lauren’s grandma came to visit because she had vastly different views about marriage and was not afraid to call Lauren out for essentially giving up in her eyes.
As much as I loved this book and found it incredibly relatable to relationships, I hated the ending. It felt rushed and unearned and very much a, “let’s have this event that brings everyone together and not let them develop on their own.” I would have preferred that the meet-up happened at Charlie’s big event and gradually progressed from there but that’s just me.
Either way this book was adorable and I read it in a weekend.
“Isn’t it nice … once you’ve outgrown the ideas of what life should be and you just enjoy what it is.”
“Sometimes people do things because they are furious or because they are upset or because they are out for blood. And those things can hurt. But what hurts the most is when someone does something out of apathy. They don’t care about you the way they said they did back in college. They don’t care about you the way they promised to when you got married. They don’t care about you at all.”
“Your love life should bring you love. If it doesn’t, no matter how hard you try, if you are honest and fair and good, and you decide it’s over and you need to go find love somewhere else, then…what more can the world ask of you?”
Definite yes, I think out of all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s book this one is a favorite.