[Book Review] After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

After i doBack in February, I got this book in the mail and instead of putting it on the back burner while I prepped for Fall conference like a responsible adult, I jumped right in. If you’re a frequent visitor of my blog, you’ll know that I’m a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s work and her newest book, After I Do delivers!

This is the story of Lauren and Ryan’s marriage. Sadly, today’s divorce rate is higher than successful marriages and like many, Lauren and Ryan are headed for the higher statistic. Arguing over petty, silly things, they are both able to recognize that there are some major cracks in their matrimony. Rather than jumping the gun, they decide to make one more attempt to fix things by agreeing to take a year off from their marriage. Their hope is that by taking a year away from one another, they’ll find a way to remember the good times and somehow find a way to fall in love with one another again. The one catch, they can’t contact the other. Both, Lauren and Ryan agree that this break from one another is the only way to take a step back and look at the big picture.

After I Do is told entirely from the perspective of Lauren and in a recent interview I conducted with TJR I asked her,

When you originally came up with the premise of After I Do, did you know that the narration would only be told from the point of Lauren?

It took me a long time to figure out how to make this a book about both Ryan and Lauren without using two narrators. I wasn’t entirely opposed to the idea of two narrators but I just felt that two narrators would turn this into too much of a He Said/She Said — a dynamic I’m actually quite fond of but one that I didn’t think worked for this. So I settled on seeing the world through one of their eyes, and Lauren seemed the most natural fit. Luckily, I found a way for Ryan to speak up throughout the book.

Ryan is well represented through this story from the eyes of Lauren’s family, who are quietly rooting for them to make it work. His voice is also well represented in a unique and creative way that I don’t want to spoil, because it adds so much depth that giving it away might spoil it for you. I do want to add, that you’ll come to fall in love with Lauren’s entire family. You don’t just scratch the surface with these characters, each and every one of them make an impression on you in the best way possible.

Mesmerizing and heart breaking at the same time, this is an unconventional love story that I’d compare to titles written by Emily Giffin and Sophie Kinsella. It has the readability factor that catches you by surprise, because you want to know, you need to know how this modern marriage experiment will play out in the end.

I’m so excited that now all of you can read it and then we can discuss the ending. This book will be available on July 1st.

Thanks to Carly Watters from the PS Literacy Agency for sending me an advanced reading copy.

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE MY INTERVIEW WITH TAYLOR JENKINS REID.

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