Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published July 1st 2014 by Washington Square Press
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.

My Thoughts
"Make no mistake: I do love you. Just because I don’t feel the love in my heart doesn’t mean I don’t know it’s there. I know it’s there. I’m leaving because I’m going to find it. I promise you that."
Loved it all... Yes all of it!!! 

There were so many parts of this novel that resonated with me at least in some small way. The feelings between the main characters, the email drafts, the family dynamics felt so real and believable that I found myself re-reading passages long after finishing the book. After I Do is not only well written, but it’s relatable and realistic. Fantastic read!

Lauren and Ryan met and fell in love in college, and after 10 years of being a couple… they’ve sadly discovered that their relationship isn’t what it used to be. There’s resentment, complacency, and frustrations that are not only deep seeded, but ultimately destructive. Eventually, this modern day couple sits down to face the fact that the love they once shared for one another isn’t quite there anymore, but they don’t want to resort to divorce as a solution. They decide to take a year apart – no calls, no texts, no emails to rediscover themselves and what they want out of their marriage. As months go by, and they soon realize that self-discovery isn’t the only item on the agenda, but rather they begin to look for ways to be a better partner, friend and in Lauren’s case a better sister and daughter.

"There is a part of me that feels like years ago I stopped fighting with you. It just became easier to agree with you or ignore you. I felt like I just said whatever you wanted to hear. And I stopped being honest. I stopped telling you what I really thought. What I really wanted."
Throughout the novel, I kept crashing against moments that felt so real and relatable and that’s the most resounding take-away I have with this book. I simply understood these characters in more ways than one. There were times when I felt I’d be okay if Lauren and Ryan went their separate ways after the year was up, but in the end I couldn’t ignore the fact that deep down I was hoping they’d reconnect and realize an even deeper relationship.

Overall, I have no doubt that this book will land on my top five this year. It was one of those novels I kept looking forward to reading after a long day of work and well - life… Taylor Jenkins Reid caught my attention because after close to a week of finishing this book, I remember her name, her characters’ names and the title of the book. That’s saying a lot as of late. After I Do is my newest ready-to-recommend book for my fellow readers. Great story!!
5 Suns

My Thoughts
What a wonderful, realistic, gut-wrenching, fantastic read! I adored this book so much.

Ryan and Lauren have been married a long time, having met in college, and have come to a point in their lives where they realize they aren't happy. There is resentment and anger boiling at the surface and they've lost their love along the way.

"I've come to realize that resentment is malignant. That it starts small and festers. That it grows wild and unfettered inside of you until it's so expansive that it has worked its way into the furthest, deepest parts of you and holds on for dear life."

Not willing to jump right to a divorce, they agree to take a year apart from each other, with no contact whatsoever. A chance for self-discovery - to figure out what they want in a marriage, and to find themselves along the way.

"Make no mistake: I do love you. Just because I don’t feel the love in my heart doesn’t mean I don’t know it’s there. I know it’s there. I’m leaving because I’m going to find it. I promise you that."

I normally do not take time to highlight passages in a book while I'm reading it unless the book has really gotten to me. I highlighted the crap out of this book. I love reading books like this because they make you think. They are a reality check - marriage and love aren't perfect and it takes hard work to make them last.

"Why do we undervalue things when we have them? Why is it only on the verge of losing something that we see how much we need it?"

It's easy to get into a routine and forget the reason you fell in love with the person in the first place. It's easy to take someone you love for granted and start nit-picking at all of their quirks. But it's the realization that you wouldn't want to spend your life with anyone else that makes all of the bumps in the road tolerable. And while I read this book, I kept hoping that Lauren and Ryan would figure all of this out, would find their way back to each other and find their love again. Learn what is really truly important in life, and appreciate the things they've taken for granted.

"Just because you can live without someone doesn't mean you want to."

This book was written so beautifully, so realistically, and I felt every emotion while reading it. It has settled into my soul and will stay with me for a long time. Definitely one of my favorite books of 2014, and I am so glad I read it.

"I know it will be OK because everything is OK in the end. And if it's not OK, it's not the end."

"All that matters in this life is that you try. All that matters is that you open your heart, give everything you have, and keep trying."

5 Suns


  1. Okay, I'm buying this book!

    "Make no mistake: I do love you. Just because I don’t feel the love in my heart doesn’t mean I don’t know it’s there. I know it’s there. I’m leaving because I’m going to find it. I promise you that." That quote killed me. I'm a total highlighter and find sharing quotes is my favorite way to share and discover books, so thanks for sharing these!

    I've been married fifteen years, and I think books like this are so valuable to me. I find a lot of comfort and knowledge.

    Beautiful reviews!

    1. I can't wait to see what you think after you read it! :)