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After I Do

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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?

334 pages, Paperback

First published July 1, 2014

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About the author

Taylor Jenkins Reid

22 books162k followers
Taylor Jenkins Reid is the New York Times bestselling author of Carrie Soto Is Back, Malibu Rising, Daisy Jones & The Six, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, as well as four other novels. She lives in Los Angeles. You can follow her on Instagram @tjenkinsreid.

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5 stars
46,886 (29%)
4 stars
69,766 (43%)
3 stars
36,308 (22%)
2 stars
6,291 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 16,817 reviews
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.8k followers
December 31, 2022
"I don't want to go home tonight and work hard at being nice to somebody."
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I didn't like this book at all. What's the point of reading a love story where neither character even cares enough to try to be nice to the other?

Married life has taken a toll on Lauren and Ryan. Over the years, they've slowly drifted apart and become resentful of each other, so they've agreed to take a year apart to examine themselves and figure out if they still want to stay together.

On the surface, this sounds exactly like the sort of story I'd enjoy. Instead, my eyes rolled so hard and I almost chucked my book at the wall.

In order for a love story to work for me, I have to be able to find some likable qualities in the characters, or be able to relate to them in some way, or at least want to cheer them on in their quest for love. But that didn't happen here. The two main characters were both annoying and selfish, with seemingly no redeeming qualities to speak of.

Lauren, in particular, is so mean and dismissive towards her husband that it made me cringe. She treats him like a doormat, and then is shocked that he doesn't love her anymore. Huh, imagine that! During their separation, instead of working on herself and learning to become a more supportive and caring spouse, she only obsesses about whether he is sleeping with anyone else and stalks him.

Ryan isn't any better. At one point, he confesses that he is filled with rage and wants to punch the wall any time she says she wants to eat falafel or pho. He thinks ethnic food is pretentious and he hates that she likes it. In fact, all he wants to eat is burgers and pizza. Yep, these two idiots deserve each other.

Then we hit the last 10% of the book, and suddenly, everything is resolved. They love each other again! They realize they have to keep trying! Don't give up! Wow, it's like being smacked in the face with a happily-ever-after that came out of nowhere. Where was the development of the plot and the characters? Instead, the book just drops us at the very end and calls it good.

What a huge disappointment this was, especially from such a beloved author. I adore Taylor Jenkins Reid's most recent books, and have been wanting to go back and try her earlier works. And maybe that's where I went wrong. Authors naturally grow and mature, so to have expected that her books from years ago contained just as much insight and nuance as her current works is probably too high of a bar to meet, even for TJR.

See also, my thoughts on:
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Carrie Soto Is Back
Daisy Jones & The Six
Malibu Rising

Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
January 11, 2019
"Isn't it nice...once you've outgrown the ideas of what life should be and you just enjoy what it is?"

I love how TJR is able to weave together different elements of a story (such as flashbacks and emails) so seamlessly. This went beyond a simple "finding yourself" and "discovering love again" story as we got different character's unique perspectives on what love is. There wasn't just one definition of a "perfect" love or life, just whatever made them happy and fulfilled. She is now one of my favorite authors and I'm pretty sure my next read will be another one of her books!
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
September 5, 2018
*5 Stars* for a refreshingly genuine read!

This book seems so incredibly simple, yet so profoundly important. A husband and wife who have reached a crossroads in their marriage agree to separate for a year to find out if they can make their marriage whole again.

Lauren and Ryan have reached a point in their relationship where they no longer bother telling the other what is important to them. Communication is stifled, and they become so withdrawn they begin despising the other for their own shortcomings.

What I loved most about this book was it's genuine feel. From dialogue to circumstance, everything felt entirely realistic. Although Lauren is separated from her husband for the majority of the read, the plot moves rather quickly and can easily be swallowed up in one sitting.

There is a strong sense of family bonds even outside of the marriage. Lessons on love and life are offered gently and bring this book to a wholly relatable level.

Because, whether the reader is married or not, it is easy to relate to the circumstances, characters, and theories displayed in this book. And that alone allows us to feel connected to this story; a part of it, rather than simply it's reader.

I loved the character development all around--particularly our main protagonist's, Lauren. We experience the journey through her eyes and from the unfiltered stream of her mind.

I adored her initial honesty and ignorance within her marriage, and admired the person she became during time spent on her own. It was as though she was remembering herself in the process.

After I Do emphasizes that there are no rules in life; no standard formula to follow for love to work. There is nothing forced or unnatural about this book. As uplifting as the story becomes, "life" happens regardless, and that's what makes this a unique and refreshing read.

If you're looking for a realistic, inspiring plot about love and family that's light on the angst but flooding with inspiration--this may quite possibly be the book for you!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪ Genre/Category: Romance/Adult Contemporary
▪ Romance: Damaged and lost.
▪ Characters: Well rounded and lovable.
▪ Plot: A married couple at crossroads take time apart to find themselves and see if their marriage can be made whole again.
▪ Writing: Outstanding. Genuine. Refreshing.
▪ POV: 1st Person: Heroine
▪ Cliffhanger: None/Standalone
Profile Image for Bel Rodrigues.
Author 3 books19.9k followers
January 15, 2022
a leitura toca em pontos específicos que os seres humanos sentem certa dificuldade em lidar; tanto com a problemática de um casamento cujo amor se perdeu nas intercorrências dos anos, quanto nos caminhos que uma traição pode trilhar até ser, de fato, conceituada como tal.

taylor jenkins reid consegue sintetizar relações muito bem, por isso é bom demais acompanhar uma história escrita por ela. recomendo muito!
Profile Image for Pam Gonçalves.
Author 10 books10.7k followers
February 3, 2021
Depois de ler livros tão fortes como "Daisy Jones e The Six" e "Os Sete Maridos de Evelyn Hugo", as publicações mais recentes da Taylor Jenkins Reid, é impossível não ter uma certa expectativa com suas histórias.

Eu li "Amores Verdadeiros", então já sabia que o livro seguiria na mesma linha. O tema é o desgaste de um relacionamento de muitos anos. Como lidar com a infelicidade ao viver com uma pessoa que se ama? Como dizer para o outro que não está mais feliz?

Mesmo que pudesse ir para uma linha mais pesada, o livro continuou em um ritmo leve. É uma comédia romântica, afinal. Eu me diverti com a protagonista e os diálogos descontraídos, mesmo que lá no fundo eu sempre tivesse esperando o algo mais da Taylor. Não veio. Na verdade, fiquei levemente decepcionada com a abordagem de um assunto sério que ao longo do livro era motivo de piada, mas que tomou um espaço na resolução da história sem de fato ser abordado da forma respeitosa que merecia.

Eu recomendo a leitura, principalmente se você está procurando algo leve. Certamente vai ler o livro bem rápido e terminar com uma visão mais otimista da vida.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews616 followers
May 26, 2017
I was given a gift certificate from my daughter Ali and her boyfriend Adam to the Burkes William Spa. While driving to Santana Row in the morning, I was listening to
Taylor Jenkins Reid audiobook "After I Do". I was so close to the end ...I was sure I'd finish it before my 'fancy-dancy' spa treatment began.
But I didn't.... I had 26 minutes to go.

While Lucas was giving me a wonderful 2 hour massage including hot stones and an exfoliating skin scrub treatment ( I already have soft skin...but it was part of the gift),
my mind drifted to those last 26 minutes of "After I Do"......(ok... I didn't think about this 'PINK BURNT TOAST BOOK', for the ENTIRE 2 hours-- I'm not THAT crazy)....
but there is something about TAYLOR JENKINS REID.... where I swear to God, she becomes an addiction!!!!
I don't have the words for, and I can't put my finger on what it is she does..... but her BOOKS WORK.
I don't usually even like this genre. But if Taylor Jenkins Reid's name is on it, I'm in!!!
One book might've been an accident. Two books, might have been a fluke. Four books is no longer an accident.
So, I've jumped on the bandwagon. I've joined the TJR club. Fans can officially use her initials, yes? lol

Call it guilty pleasure - whatever you want, but there was a moment in this book where I turned into complete MUSH!
Why??? who knows.....( maybe it was my mood- the warm garden pool - the blue sky - birds singing - just a 'moment' of appreciation)......
But the best answer I can give is MY HEART REALLY OPENED ......and the storytelling contributed to these emotions.

I melted over GRANDMA....
When I turned to mush and had my 'first cry' -( while soaking in our warm pool), the mother of Lauren, the main female of this story, sits down with her adult daughter .....and listens to her SOOOOO FULLY.....
I cried real tears. I felt a mix of emotions......( sad & happy.... but MOST.... sooooo GRATEFUL that people have mothers like this storybook mom in real life). There 'is' GOODNESS in the world!!! There are great mothers for our son's and daughter's. I'm honored to be friends with many of you - right here on Goodreads!!!

I haven't even mentioned a darn thing yet about this story --- does it matter? lol

It's about marriage - struggles - challenges - families- sisters - brothers - moms - boyfriends - fiancé's - babies - love - death - lost and hurts - laughter and humor -
It's about being single - it's about having passions- its about self discovery-
it's also a 'little' about sex.....(in the area of communication - asking for what you like)...
.... it's about the spinach in your teeth...and the foods you like to eat....it's about all relationships of all kinds....

Readers get to reflect on their own relationships..... but like in real life....."After I Do",
doesn't come with a "How To" manual!

"The sun rises the next day after mothers lose their babies, after men lose their wives, after countries lose wars. The sun will rise no matter what pain we encounter.
No matter how much we believe the world to be over, the sun will rise. So you can't go around assessing life by whether or not the sun rises. This sun doesn't care about love. It cares about rising."


Paul gave me a gorgeous collage print - beautiful wood frame -- a girl sitting in a window sill reading a book...
It's art that tells a story! The artist is Richard Curtner Curtnerart.com.
The artist is amazing. Take a peek at his different prints online. Perfect for readers!!!!
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.7k followers
July 11, 2021
What do you do when you realize you’re addicted to an author the second you finish their entire backlist?

Just curious.

As it turns out, I’ve been in a reading slump for the better part of three months and only tricked myself into thinking I’d gotten out of it because Taylor Jenkins Reid books feel more like that thing where you’re at a hotel or something and you alternate between the pool and the hot tub and your body is in a state of total confusion / mild trauma than they feel like reading.

But that’s beside the point.

The point is...this book hurts so good.

It is raw suffering and angst and pain and then fluff and joy and yay.

Honestly not enough of the latter, but TJR writes for the former anyway, so. What did I expect.

Yes, I felt like the actual funhappyromance part of this was too quick. You can revoke my cynic card now. It’s fine.

I have no more Taylor Jenkins Reid to, well, read, and therefore I have no reason to go on anyway.

Bottom line: Too dark? No such thing for TJR.



sure, things might be tough, but at least i'm doing better than literally any taylor jenkins reid protagonist
Profile Image for Antje ❦.
132 reviews271 followers
April 11, 2023
I would give it five stars but my scorpio moon hates happy endings 🚓
Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,704 followers
October 17, 2014
6 stars!!


I am in awe of this book. This is the kind of story that makes me think, makes me feel, and stays with me long after the last page is flipped. It doesn’t just become another book on the ‘read-shelf.’ It’s in a league of its own, and no matter how much time passes, the profound impact it’s made on me won’t diminish. This is one of THOSE books: the kind that will get you out of a book rut, continue your book roll, and is filled with the most meaningful quotes you won’t be able to stop highlighting. This is an unforgettable read that is definitely in my top 10 favorites of the year!


This book tells the story of how Ryan and Lauren’s marriage falls apart and their last resort decision that changes their outlook on life, each other, and reveals unknown depths about relationships and family. The first 50% of the book was truly heartbreaking to read: I became the firsthand witness to a disintegrating marriage. The book then jumps to yearly flashbacks, starting from the moment Ryan and Lauren first met to key events in their lives that led up to the present. I think it was tough for me to read because it’s just hard to believe that a couple so in love like Ryan and Lauren could end up loathing each other and tossing hurtful words back and forth like it’s nothing. Like years of courtship, fun, laughter, and love meant nothing.

“Honestly, Lauren…I did not want you to go with me. I haven’t wanted you to go someplace with me in months.”

As a last effort to save their marriage, both agree on an open marriage idea: separate for one year and cut all contact with each other until the year is up. As for this part, I’m just going to say what a lot of people are wondering: YES, they sleep with other people while they’re separated. Did I like it? No. And after finishing the book I still don’t like it. But I think there was always a part of me that knew this would happen but didn’t want to admit until Ryan and Lauren realized it for themselves. Ideally I wish they hadn’t but they haven’t had a good marriage for months and can barely tolerate seeing each other and if pursuing a relationship with someone else helps them see that the best relationship they've ever had was right in front of them, then so be it.

“It made me miss you. Not you, my wife. Or you, the woman who has been with me since I was nineteen years old. You. Lauren Maureen Spencer Cooper. I missed you.”

Though told from Lauren’s POV, I was still privy to Ryan’s thoughts and feelings through unsent email drafts (you’d have to read the book to understand why he has those and Lauren has access to them). There were several times I was dying to get a glimpse of his thoughts because let’s face it: in a marriage that’s falling apart, there are always two sides to the story and it would be a little biased and unfair only to get one side. Those emails are evidence of their marital cracks and that Ryan and Lauren have very real and very long-standing problems that needed to be resolved. Sometimes there are thoughts and feelings that are hard to voice out loud but easier to write down, and it’s in those emails I felt that these characters were the most honest with each other.


I spoiled it once to a friend but I’m not making the same mistake twice – I absolutely will not reveal what the outcome of this open marriage is. I will be 200% honest with you: before you even finish the book you will know for sure what Ryan and Lauren decides. This is a story where the journey to the end is most important, and should be completely experienced first-hand no matter the outcome. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you end up loving, liking, or hating the book – everyone will be able to relate to this story on some level and take away something after reading. Because the story is achingly real, because these characters are easy to relate to and because the book premise itself is a daily issue so many of us in the world face, it hurts. But with the sting of the pain comes a bright side: never give up and always keep trying. Life is full of obstacles and nothing is perfect but we can always do our best to make it as perfect as we can.

“I know it will be OK because everything is OK in the end. And if it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”


Recommended read.
Profile Image for ALet.
292 reviews240 followers
February 28, 2019
★★★★½/ 5
It was such a beautiful and genuine story! Usually I‘m not a very big romance fan, but this book in an exception. The story itself looks simple, but underneath it, this book brings such amazing points about relationships and life in general.

I very loved main character and how she stayed herself, but at the same time tried to change herself to become better. I really liked her inner monolog and how she dealt with everything what happened. She was very honest with herself and that was very pleasant to see. In addition, I enjoyed reading about her family, they just brought the story to life and because of that plot didn‘t drag and everything evolved quickly.

“After I Do“ is a great book with a simple story witch just sucks you in.
Profile Image for Farrah.
221 reviews608 followers
November 30, 2020
4⭐ because I wanted to read something light over the weekend and this book was exactly that.

After I Do has like, ZERO conflict.
Lauren and Ryan's marital problems are SO simple - she doesn't like the way he packs his toothbrush, he doesn't share her likes for ethnic food - and they could have been fixed if either of them had thought to say 'why don't we just get 𝘵𝘸𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 takeaway dinners?'

However, I thought the messages about love and marriage were sweet. Open communication, compassion and never take each other for granted.

This was my first time reading a book by this author. She certainly has talent so I hope my next read by her has a little more substance.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,521 reviews9,010 followers
July 14, 2021
After I read this book, I wanted to call it a hot mess, though it felt more like a bland mess in all honesty. I will start with the positives: I appreciated Taylor Jenkins Reid’s general attempt to show that relationships can take different forms and that these various types of relationships all have merit. I liked the main character’s sister, Rachel, the most. Rachel started her own bakery and did not feel pressured to have a romantic partner or a kid. Yay Rachel (I’m not being sarcastic, like genuinely yay Rachel for acting as one redeeming quality of this book even if she did not receive much actual character development.)

Now to start the roast session, in which I will do my best to focus on specific qualities of the novel itself so I do not come across as unnecessarily mean to the author. First, the two main characters, Lauren and Ryan, have a super toxic relationship where their communication breaks down faster than I can sing the first lines from my favorite Twice song, “Feel Special.” What’s frustrating is not the fact that they have a super toxic relationship – because that happens sometimes when communication falters – what’s frustrating is that Reid literally does not actually address the toxicity or show either character trying to grow from the toxicity, reflect upon the toxicity, or exhibit any tangible behavior change to ameliorate the toxicity. Rather, Reid has the two characters take a separation of a year, and then after that year, they magically fall back in love and act like their relationship is glorious again, without actually addressing the roots of why their relationship fell apart in the first place. She could have shown these characters unlearning unhealthy relationship behaviors, and instead she opted to portray them feeling obsessed about one another, then slightly less obsessed about one another, then back to being obsessed with zero actual self-insight about their original relationship. Ugh.

I’m not even going to try to say this in a nicer way: these characters felt blander than the blandest men I’ve gone out with, and trust me, I have gone on dates with men that literally put the “medi” in “mediocre” and the “bor” in “boring” (idk why I chose those parts of those words, I’m just trying to emphasize my point here.) After reading 300 pages of this novel, I don’t think I can recall a single interesting characteristic of Lauren or Ryan. Lauren, our main character, comes across as so basic: she works in alumni relationships, she generally cares about her family, she eventually writes to an advice columnist. But what intriguing conflict or growth edge does she have outside of her angst about her marriage and then separation with Ryan? Nothing. Like actually nothing. Aside from her sister Rachel’s bakery, every single thing that occurred in this novel felt like filler for Lauren to ruminate about her relationship with Ryan – and again, she doesn’t even generate any psychologically deep insight about that relationship after 300 pages and one year apart from him.

My final critique of this novel centers on how it does not address amatonormativity in any meaningful way. Reid had such a clear opportunity to tackle amatonormativity – the initial portrayal of Lauren and Ryan’s relationship is rife with heteronormativity, internal and external messages about “the one,” unquestioned expectations about marriage, etc. However, instead of having either character reflect on what made them prioritize romance so much in the first place, Reid makes them continue to obsess over romance and then simply fall back in love with no awareness of the societal forces that affected their unhealthy relationship to begin with. At this point as I write this, I’m like, am I projecting my frustration about not currently having a crush on a guy right now onto this book? I think the answer is no though, because even if I had a crush on the most beautiful, emotionally available, social justice-oriented man of color right now, I would still say all of these things about the book because it was pretty yikes.

Anyway, if you’re interested in quality romance, I’d highly recommend Such a Lonely, Lovely Road by Kagiso Lesego Molope and A World Between by Emily Hashimoto, both written by women of color who deserve way more praise and attention though have not yet gotten it most likely because of racism in the publishing industry, imo. Or check out my favorite fiction reads of 2021 so far, two books that center women of color with full and complex internal and external lives: When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert and A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum. Okay Goodreads friends and followers, it’s 11:24pm as I write this and I’m going to bed after posting this, have a good night or day or listen to “Lovesick Girls” by Blackpink wherever you are, and I hope your current or next read is better than my experience with this book.
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
656 reviews1,624 followers
September 7, 2020
I’m 3 for 3 with my love for TJR’s novels! I mean, she could write a 500 page book about Egypt, and I’d probably devour every word.

This is such a wonderful story about Lauren and Ryan, a couple that married young and no longer feel love for each other. They agree to take a break for one year and see what happens. No contact. No obligations.

While the story was told fully from Lauren’s point of view, I must say all of the characters were fleshed out. I loved each and every person, and truly enjoyed their journeys...and there are plenty of them here.

So unputdownable (especially for a non-thriller)! Another book that I didn’t want to end, and another story that would make a fantastic film! I feel like I can say this about all TJR novels, and can’t wait to read the rest! 5 stars!
March 24, 2022
4.25 ⭐️ pain. so much pain. the way I was STRESSED the entire time reading this book. i’m happy w how it ended but the journey…. was painful….. 🧍🏻‍♀️& in typical Taylor Jenkins Reid form It was beautifully written <3

“But sometimes you need to go get coffee more than you actually need coffee.” I relate to this hard.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,620 reviews988 followers
May 26, 2023
Ten years after they first fell in love at college, married Lauren and Ryan have falling out of love after a somewhat idyllic ten years together. They not sure what happened or why, but they know they can't continue destroying what they have little cut by little cut. They decided to spend a year apart. This is the story of Lauren's year as she seeks to assure her and hopefully Ryan's future. A a pretty adult romantic work in that it takes a serious albeit fictional look at mending broken relationships, and although very well written it all feels very Hallmark movie-ish.

If you've read Daisy Jones & The Six or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo don't be expecting those heights here as this is TJR's conventional albeit realistic take on romantic fiction. A 6 out of 12 Three Star read.

2023 read
Profile Image for Baba  .
859 reviews3,871 followers
July 25, 2014
2 stars. Review posted July 25 2014

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From the blurb:
(…) 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.

With all due respect I dissent. This is the story of Lauren. It's not a story about a couple because Ryan hardly exists. He drops by sporadically And what did they search for? It's all about Lauren here and Lauren there. We never get Ryan's POV. Besides, there is no fixing of marital problems whatsoever in After I Do. How can they get back together without taking care of their issues first? But wait, how is that even possible when they take a break for one year and they never friggin' talk to each other? The are a drop in the bucket, no more no less. That won't solve anything at all. But, of course in a way it did fix things, didn't it? The final 10 % were way too sappy and everything came together:

How convenient that these things just happen to cross her mind

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Zero steam doesn't equal a bad rating in my book. I have given five stars to books that had no explicit sex in it at all, yet it was the superb writing and intriguing characters or storyline that made me fall hard for a certain read. Unfortunately this wasn't the case with After I Do. Folks, don't start reading this book with the wrong perceptions. This is not a romance--which is fine by me, BTW. It reads like women's fiction and doesn't provide any romantic elements and it's told from Lauren's POV. As a matter of fact, I missed Ryan's POV very much and I didn't like Lauren.

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This ^^^^^^is a scene

I really pushed myself to see this through but it wasn't a pleasant experience for me. I just should have called it quits because I'm so…I don't know…incredibly frustrated. Please bear with me when my thoughts are all over the friggin' place. So, let's get down to business.

I know it's easy to be a bystander and hand out advice. I guess Ryan and Lauren don't need my counsel, yet I'm going to give it to them nonetheless.

First 20 %
It's never a good sign when I start to feel bored so soon (only a couple % into the story). I didn't like the MCs who, given the fact that they are thirty-years-old and have been married for six years, came off as immature and annoying. Besides, I got the impression I was watching a bad ping-pong match. You know…left, right, left, right etc. You said, you did…no, you said this or that and you did this or that. I did not, you told me…blah blah blah. I felt the disputes and everyday quarrels were incredibly silly and both of the main protagonists as well as their conflicts got on my last nerve right off the bat. She had problems with the way Ryan packed a toothbrush. A. Friggin'. Toothbrush. Are you effin' kidding me? Reading the first 20 % of After I Do reminded me of a NA story. Like I said in my update at 20 %, I was secretly hoping that After I Do would remind me of Arouse because both books feature a married couple. But, alas, I couldn't have been more wrong. I knew the premise was not the same but both couples had to deal with marital problems. Arouse, however, gave me a feeling of kinship and reading about a married couple must make me feel related. Also, reading about a couple's marital problems must make me feel emotionally invested. I'm sorry but this whole "thing" felt a bit too childish to me, especially Lauren. I don't know…I just didn't feel "it". BTW, when they met it was too much about insta-everything and the proposal was cheesy.

Other thoughts as the story progressed
What I liked were I liked that, for once, he was so straightforward. That's the thing…men are usually very rational, direct and that's exactly what I love about them (among other things, of course). They might be somewhat plain about it but they bring. A. Problem. To. The. Point. And why the heck did Ryan not are not sufficient, before everything is going to lie in shambles. And Lauren, of course, was caught up in her emotions and tried to figure "it" out. She rehashed the same things over and over and over and over in her mind.

I set out to convince Mila. I just wanted someone to tell me that it was OK to do something I knew wasn't OK. But in doing so, I've convinced myself somehow.

After she She was so nosey and insecure and needed reassurance. Well, I wonder what's so brave about that? Come to think of it, I also wonder what should have been so brave about Lauren's "self-discovery"? Her mother told her she was brave for trying to stay married. Whatever. In my book that means a couple works hard to save their marriage. You do it together and you don't hide in your little corner to lick your wounds.

A very good example was when Ryan wanted to talk about their problems and how they should proceed. Of course Lauren said she didn't want to talk about it now. There's this lovely proverb: Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. The crux of the matter was they should have started to discuss their issues a long, long time ago. Anyway, Ryan insisted, they had the talk and decided to split up for a year.

Ryan and Lauren You both made your bed AND the rules, so lie in it, baby. Given the fact that a grown woman has a problem with her mom having a boyfriend (yeah, let's call him her partner or her lover, shall we?) and thinks about her in the terms of "ewww" and "gross" in the context of her having an actual sex life, frankly, I have to wonder how she wants to overcome her (marital) problems? Fact is, she seemed incredibly embarrassed to address her intimate problems, i. e. not being satisfied in bed by Ryan. To "solve" the problem she simply refused to have sex with him. Excuse me, but in what world is she actually living? I remember that she accused Ryan of not asking her what she liked. Fair enough. But when did she ever address her needs? When did she tell him what she wanted? When did she tell him her desires and fantasies? Guys, do. Talk. To. Each. Other. Articulate. Communicate. Speak. Converse. Or whatever the hell you want to call it. Geez!

I understand that Lauren took everything about Ryan for granted. She got comfortable, she did not make any efforts to keep their relationship exciting. She fell in a everyday rut. Since I never got Ryan's POV I am just assuming he did the very same

Ever thinking that the real problem with living without your spouse is that you're sometimes just really bored?

Baba to Lauren:
Ever thought about the fact that you are incredibly boring and that might have bothered your spouse? But, since I He must have been boring and self-absorbed too.

I guess there are several secrets for a happy marriage and we all know it's a daily challenge. Try and just go with the flow and enjoy what you've got. Try and scale down your expectations but don't pass on them completely. Do have realistic and mutual expectations. This is a give and take after all. Stay active, make yourself and life in general interesting, have great sex, talk to each other often, early, and well. Be honest with each other and make compromises. Respect each other, show your affection and love, and first and foremost keep your little personal corners where you make yourself happy. Give the both of you space and air to breathe. You are married but it's not a prison where you have to spend 24 hours and 7 days a week with your spouse. Life in general and marriage in particular are not always about sunshine and roses. It's not only about love; it's hard work.

I tell I'm not sure I ever had much of a life outside of Ryan.

Looking at all those things Lauren "learned" during their separation makes me want to tell her that she should have learned them before she'd gotten married.
Given the fact that Lauren has a psych major yet has no clue how to fix her marriage is a bit disconcerting, TBH.

Or this...

(…) Although the truth is, I don't really know how anybody meets anybody outside of college. And I don't know that I want to find out just yet.

Seriously. That's just absurd. I thirty-year-old (allegedly) very smart woman has no idea how to meet people or specifically how to meet a man? It's not rocket science and you don't need to graduate from college to figure that out.

As I mentioned in my intro expectations suck. I'm very sorry this book did not live up to my expectations and it's official: I'm in a book funk and will be doing a re-read of a novel I loved to get back in the swing of things. Book goes back to Amazon for a refund of my money. I'm not willing to pay 7.69 euro for an ebook I did not enjoy.

Profile Image for Kezia Duah.
393 reviews346 followers
March 17, 2022
After I do takes us on the journey of a struggling marriage. Ryan and Lauren have been together for a while, and after years of many miscommunications, their love is not sparkling like it used to be. They decide to take a year apart with no contact at all and see if their love can survive. During this time, they both learn a lot about each other and discover many things that were wrong with their marriage. Is this enough for them to get back together?

You know your relationship is bad if you forget it’s valentine's day. I felt that Ryan was literally a manchild because he got so angry quickly and just wanted to be coddled. Lauren just took most of this in without always expressing how she truly felt. It was pretty easy to see the many cracks in Lauren and Ryan’s relationship. Reid does a good job of portraying this since it’s a reality for a lot of couples.

I loved Lauren’s family. They were such a great support system for her during this time.

I didn’t connect with most of the characters in the book, so it was really hard to care in general. Subsequently, I was not convinced by the decisions they made in the end. I feel that I needed more from these characters, especially with Ryan since most of the growth we saw was from Laurie’s side. I think what would have definitely helped this book was getting more of Ryan’s pov. They basically invaded each other’s privacy and then used that to make their decision….it was kinda messy.

Profile Image for Gabby.
1,307 reviews28k followers
April 16, 2019
“Just because you can live without someone doesn’t mean you want to.”
This book is incredibly emotional and moving and I absolutely loved it. This book follows Lauren and Ryan, a couple who meets in college and is together for eleven years (married for six). We see them at their best and we see them at their worst, and the couple is struggling to make their marriage work. They just don't care about each other the way they used to. This book reminded me a lot of one of my all time favorite movies: Blue Valentine. That movie and this book contain all of my biggest fears about marriage. The concept that someone will get bored of you, and you will eventually get sick of each other. It's something that slowly happens over months and then years and then you can't stand each other anymore and I think that's the saddest thing in the world. The one person who used to love and adore you more than anyone in the whole world can't even stand to be around you anymore.

“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.”

Ryan and Lauren decide to take a year apart instead of divorcing because they feel like they need space. I cried multiple times while reading this and it was written so beautifully and so well, which is something I've come to expect from Taylor Jenkins Reid. Lauren and Ryan are so in love in their first years together and I could honestly feel it. Their love was infectious and it jumped off the page and made me giddy. I instantly fell head over heels for Ryan, he was so charming and likable. I love Lauren's relationship with her family, it all felt so real. Her sister Rachel who she is so lose to and they are so alike they often forget they aren't the same person (which reminds me a lot of me and my sister.) And her brother Charlie, who also goes through some major character development in this book and is one of my new favorite side characters ever. That's another thing I noticed about Taylor Jenkins Reid books: she writes amazing side characters. They always feel real and important and fleshed out and like they contribute something to the story. (Like Gabby in Maybe in Another Life is one of my favorite side characters ever.)

“Marriage is about commitment. It’s about loyalty. It’s not about happiness. Happiness is secondary. And ultimately, marriage is about children.”

When Ryan and Lauren start to have problems in their marriage, it made me so physically depressed because their problems were so real and I've seen this happen to couples in real life all the time. They fight about everything like forgetting where he parked the car, financial problems, their sex life, where they want to go for dinner, and a lot of small everyday things that build up into something bigger. They aren't honest with each other about how they feel most of the time and over a period of time they can't stand to be in the same house together. Watching them go from being insanely happy and romantic to not feeling anything at all towards each other is so depressing but also so raw and real. That's what is so sad and scary about this book: how real it feels.

“Isn’t it nice … once you’ve outgrown the ideas of what life should be and you just enjoy what it is.”

This book and all these characters have a lot of different ideas about what a marriage is and what it means to be a husband or wife. Is it about happiness or stability? Or selflessness? I've never personally been married but this book brings all those fears of marriage I have right to the surface. Marriage is a huge commitment and it's all about compromise and even if you do meet "the one" you still might not be able to make it work. That's fucking terrifying.

“We are tied to each other. We can hate and love, miss and loathe each other all within the same breath. We can never want to see each other again while never wanting to let go.”

This book is so important and it's so painfully beautiful and tragic and I love it. It hurts my heart but at the same time it inspires me so much. This book is written so beautifully, I highlighted so many passages I can hardly keep track of it all. I love Ryan and Lauren as characters and I loved seeing them grow together and apart. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an amazing author. This is the 3rd book I've read from her and all of her books are so freaking great. Her books are primarily about romance, but they are always so much more than that. She dives deep into the concept of fate and marriage and soul mates and I really appreciate her books. Her characters are always so real and relatable and her writing style is gorgeous. I can't wait to read more of her books and I hope she never stops writing.
Profile Image for Virginie Roy.
Author 2 books624 followers
April 11, 2021
There's a first time for everything... With this book, TJR didn't meet my expectations! But it's still TJR, so it wasn't bad either. Reading her books is always... soothing and comforting, you know what I mean?!

I really appreciated how different perceptions of love, marriage and relationships were depicted. Each character had a different point of view about that, but it wasn't too stereotypical.

According to me, the greatest lesson of this book is about communication: Please, share your thoughts about what you like and what you dislike to your husband or wife! Personally, I don't have trouble with that (quite the opposite: I should keep some things to myself sometimes...), so I didn't really relate with Lauren, the main character.
There was also another great lesson about relationships, but if I talk about it, I would spoil the ending!

I forced myself to keep reading because I love the author so much and I'm glad I did: I like how everything ended. The last part is definitely the reason why I'm rating this book 3 stars, because I was thinking of giving it 2.5 before that.

Next TJR in line: One True Loves!
Profile Image for exploraDora.
553 reviews271 followers
October 11, 2020
***5 stars***

This book just hit me on so many levels and it really pulled at my heartstrings in the best way. I absolutely adored it!

After I do is about a couple, Lauren and Ryan. They meet in college, fall in love and after 6 years of dating they get married. But another 5 years later, they fall out of love and separate.
They want to work things out, so they decide to take a break for a year. No texts, no emails, no contact whatsoever. Will they find their way back to each other?

I won't give away much more of the plot, but I will tell you that what Lauren and Ryan go through was so very real, at least it felt that way to me. I think it could be so easy to just become disconnected and complacent in a relationship/marriage. They got so wrapped up in their day to day life, that they forgot about their love and about honoring each other. It was sad to read about how things began to crumble, but then again, so very real. They didn't have problems that came up over night, it was a series of miscommunication, lack of interest in each other and they simply forgot all the reasons why they fell in love in the first place.
Me and my friend, Natalie, read this book at the same time and she rated it 2 stars. When I told her that I actually loved it and that it's a clear 5 stars for me, she asked if we even read the same book. 😂 Thing is - everyone approaches love and relationships differently. This book has a lot to do with the individual, as it does with how we each perceive relationships and love. What I see as being right can be completely wrong for someone else.

The reason why I felt so connected to this book is because my relationship with my boyfriend is similar in many ways to that of Lauren and Ryan. We met when we were 19 and we've been together for exactly 11 years (just as the two in the book). We're best friends and partners in crime, besides being each other's better half. So, even though we never had any rough patches along the years (not any huge, break-up-y ones, at least), I could so easily relate to everything these two were going through. I always say this with every chance I get: communication is the key to every relationship. It's what makes us work so well even after so many years. Lauren and Ryan grew apart because they stopped talking and eventually stopped caring - about each other, about everything that concerned them as a couple. I think anyone who has been in a long term relationship can relate to some of the things that happen in the book. Maybe not to such an extreme extent, but getting to the point where you start snapping at your partner or find yourself getting irritated at them for their mannerisms, or for not being able to read your mind. That's when you have to start talking to your partner, at least if you want to save the romance.

I feel like through this book, I got the chance to see what could possibly happen to me and my bf, if we'd stop communicating and it kind of scared the crap out of me. Made me realize that I never want to get to a point where I'll need space from him, just to see if there are still feelings between us...
But my love for this book is not only with the MCs, it's also with all the ways in which the other characters approach and interpret love. We get to meet Lauren's family and they all have complex relationships with love. Her sister wants to fall in love but she is also happy being by herself and developing her career. Her mom is seeing a man that loves and spoils her and she is happy with just casualy dating him. Her brother chooses to marry a girl he barely knows and that works for him. I loved their crazy family dynamics and this is another thing I can relate to, because I, too, have a big, crazy family.
The story of Lauren and Ryan reached me personally, yes, but I also felt that there were some really great messages for everyone throughout the book. It has something for every reader: heart ache, self discovery, falling in love, family complexities and more. They’re not the things that fairy tales are made of – they’re real, honest, sometimes painful and yet, endearing.
This book is well written, it's filled with hope and it will make you laugh, cry and warm your heart. Whether you’re married or single, go read this! It’s worth it.
Profile Image for paige.
637 reviews732 followers
May 5, 2023
"We walk up the mountain until we can barley move, until we think we can't go one more step, and then we keep going. We never let the mountain win."


This was such a stunner of a book. While the summary was intriguing, I don't think that I really knew where the plot would take me until I truly got into it. What a controversial idea on how to save a marriage. What an interesting way of navigating love and all the different ideas surrounding it.

Lauren has so many different forms of love surrounding her. She has a sister who doesn't care when love comes into her life, but knows she wants it. Knows that she'll never search for it, but also never say no to it. She has a brother who stumbled into love, and is doing everything he possibly can to build a life out of it. A mother who tried love, thought it wasn't for her, and may be realizing it is. A grandmother who loved her entire life. A friend who was so broken by love, but still unable to say no to its charm. A co-worker who is in love, deeply, but not as happily as can be.

Each story that Lauren is surrounded by is so extremely important to her figuring out if she can or cannot be with Ryan. Each love is another stepping stone into figuring out if she can let him back into her life after they hurt each other so much. It was compelling, beautiful, and heart-breaking. I think it's so cool that you can see how perfectly matched Lauren and Ryan are even though we hardly see any of the actual good in their relationship.

And you want to know the coolest thing of all?

I didn't dislike either one of them.

In stories of separation and lost love, it's almost impossible to be neutral and not take sides. Especially if it's someone you personally know. Ryan's family disliked Lauren the moment he told them their situation, but Lauren's family supported her while loving him all the same. Found family is so special because so many of us are at an age where we feel lost in our families, and lost in our lives. Lost in decisions that nobody is ever truly prepared to make. But when you read a family that is so beautifully developed together, it's sometimes even better.

I love that Lauren found herself in her time away from Ryan. I love when it clicked, for her, what being in love truly meant. I love that he was so selfless in their decision and that she respected everything he asked for. I love that they aren't angry at the decisions they made in their time apart. I love that Lauren realized that sometimes the most important part of loving someone is not taking them for granted.

Marriage, by societal standards, is a very odd concept. The breaking of marriage, even more so. I hope that when I find the only person I want to hold onto me through life, we can both be as clear-headed and kind to each other as Lauren and Ryan were in their toughest moments. This may have started out as a plot I didn't think I could get behind, but it turned into one of the most beautiful stories about love I've ever read.

Marriage is different for everyone, and whether or not it works out in the end, it should always be worth the try.

- Paige
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,473 reviews2,407 followers
April 8, 2023
"Why do we do this?
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?"

I love the characters. Yes, Taylor Jenkins Reid does that with every book she has written. I guess this will stay for the books to come as well!

Her flawed, clueless characters. It's the character development that's always so wholesome and damn satisfying to read.

The main couple/main characters we are dealing with, Lauren and Ryan, while they are separating for a year as they cannot come to stand each other after years of marriage. Somehow they believe that they would make their marriage work that way.

But it's the other characters that made the plot so good to read. Lauren's sister, Rachel, and her colleague, Mila, are my most favourite characters in this one.

Rachel for being herself, totally reliable and going to work hard towards her dreams ultimately. Mila, the funny friend who you can just hand over your life with all the good, the bad and the ugly.

And then there's Lauren's mom. I love this woman so much!

And her grandmother. I tried my best not to cry towards the end of the story because I believed in what the rest of the characters were telling each other and it's so damn hopeful beautiful!

Yes, Charlie, Lauren's brother. The character which is developed the best I would say. I wish there was more of his fiancee, Natalie's, part. I want to know more about this character.

And there's David as well. A refreshing character. Love this character. Wish I meet a human like him.

And well.... Thumper Cooper. I hand over to you my burning heart. I so want to hold you close. I would choose you over any of these characters anyday!

The family and friendship dynamics are quite strong and stable throughout the story. The writing is good but I find it not as gripping and heart-wrenching as her other books.

I find some parts to be so convenient for the characters. Of course, things have been planned for such situations to happen but, well, it seemed too easy and cheesy towards the end.

But I find the book real good and there are so many things we adults form a strong population of confused beings no matter what we are dealing with. No, kids. We aren't handling anything as we should. We are all confused and become more fragile as we age. So yes, we need more of such confused adults to team up with and make mistakes together and go through them together. This is what the book is about.

I love your books, Taylor. I need the new book soon 💌
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,244 followers
May 22, 2023
"Just because you can live without someone, doesn't mean you want to."

I love, love, loved this book!

After I Do is the story of Lauren and Ryan, who have been married for six years, and together for eleven. When they first got married, they both thought their love for each other would conquer everything. As time went by, they both began to drift apart, to the point where they've fallen out of love.

In an effort to save their marriage, Lauren and Ryan resort to the unconventional: a trial separation of 1 year in which they cannot contact each other, no matter what.

"Isn't it nice once you've outgrown the ideas of what life should be and you just enjoy what it is?"

Going into the book, I had my reservations about it. My reservations were mainly about the fact that I'm not married, therefore how could I connect with the characters and their marriage problems? This book is a testament to Ms. Reid's fantastic writing skills, because I related to this book more than I thought I would, and I fell in love with their characters, and their faults.

I loved that even though the book was from the point of view of Lauren, we still gained some insight into what Ryan was doing through his unsent emails to Lauren. Most of the emails "exchanged" broke my heart and caused tears to come into my eyes more than once.

And even though it wasn't a main part of the book, I loved all of the Los Angeles tidbits that were included. I can relate/laugh at all of them because I'm a resident, and they're so true. For example:

-the whole issue with what street to take to get somewhere? That's an everyday thing here. Watch SNL's "The Californians" when you get the chance, it's pretty accurate.
-Burbank IKEA! It's across the street from my local Barnes and Noble, so it was an awesome shoutout to my hometown :)
-The dodger stadium issue: My dad and I once lost our car in that parking lot. It took us over an hour, and much bickering to find it, so I was literally laughing out loud at that part in the book.
-Rose Bowl flea market (which is awesome)

This book about an unconventional love story stole my heart, and I think I'll be having a book hangover from this special one for a while.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.5k followers
December 27, 2018
Re-read 12/21/18: Aw look how cute 2017 chelsea was down there before she realized TJR would become one of her favorite authors. Not at all surprising: this book was still so fucking great.

Original read 4/18/17: I really, really, really, really, really, really liked this. I want to read everything this author has written now.
Profile Image for Sheri.
1,152 reviews59 followers
April 3, 2023
Everyone will have a different view on this unconventional approach to marriage problems, but I was mystified as to how any problems might be resolved this way. I was eager to see how it would turn out after the year was up, because, honestly, I can only see negatives.

I found the story to be somewhat slow and drawn out with details added for fill rather than effect. Also, at times it was painful to listen to because the characters are so wrapped up in themselves that they can't see the faults they are each bringing to the situation. Of course, as a bystander, it's easy for me to see the resentment and routine, but the lack of communication, consideration, respect, and compromise are obvious to anyone who has given some thought to any sort of problem and its possible resolutions.

I liked the message of moving on and letting go, not necessarily from marriage, but from one's history, and from expectations. We should be living life instead of waiting for it to happen, and there's a more subtle message of understanding that we grow through this living. Important questions and ideas are raised around the topics of marriage and relationships, romance, and the evolution of life goals. Our definitions and expectations will and should evolve as we learn more about ourselves, and we all have different ideas of what life should be and what it is. It was also interesting to see the perspectives from friends and family and how attitudes and beliefs have changed over time.

The end was a letdown for me. You learn whether Ryan and Lauren reconcile, but none of it seemed true to how it would happen in real life. I also expected more concluding details for the reader, but it seemed like we got more about Lauren's family and the events happening in their lives.

A worthwhile theme that could have had more impact with more mature main characters, both at the beginning and the end.

(I will offer a up something I would have liked to have seen: )
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,168 reviews37.3k followers
June 24, 2021
Review posted on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

A Taylor Jenkins Reid novel that I almost gave up on immediately... (I had my reasons!)

Thankfully, I kept going and it paid off!

The beginning of this novel was so Schmaltzy and Schmoopy, I honestly couldn’t take it! It was so very over the top, it made me ill. Then thankfully, it took a turn (which I knew it would) and became much more realistic, thus, I breathed a sigh of relief and continued on.

Let me explain: Lauren and Ryan are college sweethearts. MADLY in love. And when I say Madly, I mean, Over the Top, Sickly Sweet, In Love. For the first few years they are together, they are extremely happy. After they get married, however, their love starts to fade, and then well, their marriage falls apart. Now, I didn’t mean to cheer or anything (and forgive me for this as I’m not cold-hearted.. I swear), but their relationship was so unrealistic that when it fell apart, I was grateful, as it was so schoompy that I was almost gagging.

As things fall apart, Lauren and Ryan decide to take a break, a trial separation if you will, for one year, to try and find their way back to each other and find themselves in the process.

Told through Lauren’s eyes, we see Lauren grow, find herself, and discover what it is she wants out of life and in a relationship. It is here, through this journey, that Lauren became a stronger more self-assured woman, and it is through this that I felt a connection to this novel. Bravo TJR for making me feel such a connection to a novel that I was initially wavering about! While I would have loved to have seen more of Ryan’s perspective, I ended up enjoying this novel and was cheering (truth!) for this couple when I got to the end of “After I Do.”

A novel about love, marriage, family, friendship, and life lessons that will make you believe.
3.65 Stars

Thank you to my local library for loaning me a copy of the audiobook.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram.
Profile Image for chloe.
246 reviews28.5k followers
December 1, 2018
I read this despite it sounding like something I wouldn’t be interested in because I LOVED Evelyn Hugo & for the #TJReidalong and WOW I really enjoyed this! I’m now a lot more open to adult contemporary & definitely want to continue reading Taylor Jenkins Reid’s other books!
Profile Image for Warda.
1,209 reviews19.7k followers
December 28, 2019
Taylor Jenkins Reid just can’t do no wrong.
I’ve been wanting to read more books that explore relationships and marriages and how people keep it together.
We get so much of the happily every after, the honeymoon phase, the good stuff with the odd miscommunication thrown in. But this story was so real and raw and it became uncomfortable to read at times.
The grittiness was appreciated. And Taylor Jenkins Reid did it so well.
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