Baba 's Reviews > After I Do

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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it was ok
bookshelves: rolls-eyes, sap-or-cheeseville

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 (view spoiler) 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 (view spoiler) 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? (view spoiler) The final 10 % were way too sappy and everything came together: (view spoiler)

(view spoiler)

How convenient that these things just happen to cross her mind (view spoiler)

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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 (view spoiler)

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 (view spoiler) 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 (view spoiler) are not sufficient, (view spoiler) 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 (view spoiler) 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 (view spoiler) 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!

(view spoiler)
(view spoiler)

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 (view spoiler)

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 (view spoiler) 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 (view spoiler) 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.

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Reading Progress

July 23, 2014 – Started Reading
July 23, 2014 – Shelved
July 23, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
July 23, 2014 –
0.0% " photo oie_LUyr06f0O5bX_zps185bf4bf.gif\n After two DNFs in a row it can't get any worse, can it? *fingers crossed*"
July 23, 2014 –
20.0% " photo tumblr_n5s7wb14Sp1rks5xoo1_500_zpsd6971541.gif\n Gif is self-explanatory. I was so hoping this book would remind me of Arouse but I couldn't have been more wrong. Unlikable MCs who come off as totally immature. I think I need to do a re-read of a great book."
July 24, 2014 –
80.0% " photo oie_QxVxCtZvB3ot_zps82c780f9.gif\n This is not a romance (I can live with that). It's not even a fictional story about a couple. It's Lauren's story and provides no fixing of marital problems whatsoever. I miss Ryan's POV greatly but I don't miss the non-existent sex."
July 24, 2014 –
100.0% "Too many thoughts."
July 24, 2014 – Shelved as: rolls-eyes
July 24, 2014 – Shelved as: sap-or-cheeseville
July 24, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 68 (68 new)


message 1: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Looking forward to seeing what you think of this one, Baba!


Baba  I'm bored, Lisa. :(


message 3: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Oh no... :(


message 4: by Chandra (new) - added it

Chandra Boo! Sorry you don't like it Baba. Reviews looked promising too :-/


message 5: by Lola (new)

Lola Aww, that gif with the dog is so cute!! Sorry you're bored. :(


Baba  Lisa (Fic Talk) wrote: "Oh no... :("

This is not for me...


Baba  Chandra wrote: "Boo! Sorry you don't like it Baba. Reviews looked promising too :-/"

Yep, I think you should give it a go. Many enjoyed it after all. :)


Baba  Lola wrote: "Aww, that gif with the dog is so cute!! Sorry you're bored. :("

Thanks, Lola. :)


message 9: by Lola (new)

Lola And here I thought it was the full review. >.< If you dislike the main character then there is a problem. And if there is no romance, I would get really bored lol. And the ending seems too unrealistic and it's a contemporary so blaah. Anyway, great review and hope your next read will be better, Baba. :)


message 10: by Chandra (new) - added it

Chandra Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Tate, Dan & Hunter wrote: "Chandra wrote: "Boo! Sorry you don't like it Baba. Reviews looked promising too :-/"

Yep, I think you should give it a go. Many enjoyed it after all. :)"


I think I'll skip it.
I've read enough bad books lately. Don't need to add to that list ;-)
Hope the next one works out better for you.


message 11: by Nawal (new)

Nawal Glad I read this review before making a decision on reading it. Doesn't sound like I'd enjoy it.


Penelope ✘ that awkward girl that doesn't go here ✘ Looking forward to your full review, Baba! :) I can't get over that last scene you included, lol.


Lady Vigilante (Feifei) You already know I'm looking forward to the full review hehehe ;) Enjoy your re-read in the meantime! <3


Lady Vigilante (Feifei) I did get the impression that while they were married for so many years, they barely knew each other, and yeah (view spoiler). Excellent review Baba!! <3


Penelope ✘ that awkward girl that doesn't go here ✘ Wow, Baba. This is a brilliant review. I feel like I should call you Dr. Baba and come to you when I have problems, lol.

On a serious note, I know for certain this book wouldn't be for me. A psych graduate who doesn't talk shit out? WTF is that about?

I hope you get out of your book funk soon! <3


message 16: by Jill (new)

Jill This has been rec'ed to me, but I may have to pass. The writing may not work for me. Great review, Baba!


Baba  Lola wrote: "And here I thought it was the full review. >.< If you dislike the main character then there is a problem. And if there is no romance, I would get really bored lol. And the ending seems too unrealis..."

Thanks, Lola. Lack of sex is not a problem for me but a total lack of romantic elements...well, that's a though one and I'm not fond of that at all. Plus, like you said it's very difficult to enjoy a book when you don't like the MCs. :)


Baba  Chandra wrote: "Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Tate, Dan & Hunter wrote: "Chandra wrote: "Boo! Sorry you don't like it Baba. Reviews looked promising too :-/"

Yep, I think you should give it a go. Many e..."


Thanks, Chandra. You can always read a sample; that might help to make up your mind. :)


Baba  Nawal wrote: "Glad I read this review before making a decision on reading it. Doesn't sound like I'd enjoy it."

A sample might help to make the right decision, Nawal. :)


Baba  Penelope wrote: "Looking forward to your full review, Baba! :) I can't get over that last scene you included, lol."

Lol It's only a short scene and there was actually no explicit sex at all. But this scene made me wonder how "bad" their bedroom action is. :)


Baba  Lady Vigilante (Feifei) wrote: "You already know I'm looking forward to the full review hehehe ;) Enjoy your re-read in the meantime! <3"

Thanks, Feifei. I'm enjoying it a lot! <3


Baba  Lady Vigilante (Feifei) wrote: "I did get the impression that while they were married for so many years, they barely knew each other, and yeah [spoilers removed]. Excellent review Baba!! <3"

Lol Gosh, that toothbrush scene was so OTT ridiculous it made me roll my eyes. And I agree, they were together for ten or eleven years but didn't really know each other well. Thank you, Feifei. <3


Baba  Penelope wrote: "Wow, Baba. This is a brilliant review. I feel like I should call you Dr. Baba and come to you when I have problems, lol.

On a serious note, I know for certain this book wouldn't be for me. A psyc..."


Thanks, Penelope. Nope, I'm not Dr. XY. (view spoiler) So, you see, I don't use a magical wand and everything will be fine. Like I said a marriage is a lot of hard work but sometimes it doesn't work out despite every effort you put into it.
Anyway, I really couldn't connect with the heroine whom I found immature and very insecure considering her psych major...that was kinda strange. <3

P.S. Yes, I'm outta my book funk. Adrian forever! Lol


Baba  Jill wrote: "This has been rec'ed to me, but I may have to pass. The writing may not work for me. Great review, Baba!"

Thanks, Jill. As discussed a sample might help you to decide if you want to give it a shot. :)


message 25: by SheReadsALot (new)

SheReadsALot Sorry it didn't work for you Lady B. Thanks for the thorough review. :D


Chelsea Great observation and fab review Baba! To be honest, when I get know that this book is about marital problem the first book that pop in mind to compare this to is also Arouse by Nina Lane. Unfortunately, the other is a romance novel and this is NOT =(


Alexis *Reality Bites* Great review! Sorry, this one did not work out for you Baba. Hope your next read is a good read! ;)


Baba  Vilda wrote: "Hat definitely sucks, Baba. Great review though, explaining things!"

Thanks, Vilda. Can't win them all. :)


Baba  SheReadsALot wrote: "Sorry it didn't work for you Lady B. Thanks for the thorough review. :D"

Thanks, Lady S, and you are welcome. :)


Baba  Chelsea Holder wrote: "Great observation and fab review Baba! To be honest, when I get know that this book is about marital problem the first book that pop in mind to compare this to is also Arouse by Nina Lane. Unfor..."

Thanks, Chelsea. Well, this is definitely nothing like Arouse. At all. :/


Baba  Alexis *RealityBites! Let's Get Lost!* wrote: "Great review! Sorry, this one did not work out for you Baba. Hope your next read is a good read! ;)"

Thanks, Alexis. I decided to do a re-read of a book I really loved. I'm back in a very good place! :)


Alexis *Reality Bites* Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Tate, Dan & Hunter wrote: "Alexis *RealityBites! Let's Get Lost!* wrote: "Great review! Sorry, this one did not work out for you Baba. Hope your next read is a good read! ;)"

Thanks, Alexis. I decided to do a re-read of a b..."


Niiice!!! Nothing like a good re-read!! :D


message 33: by Sheziss (new)

Sheziss Sorry it was a bad fruit, Baba :( . I liked that gif about the okeys XD . Better luck next time! :D


SueBee★bring me an alpha!★ So sorry B! Your review explained it well! [waves magic wand for a 5-star read]


Baba  Alexis *RealityBites! Let's Get Lost!* wrote: "Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Tate, Dan & Hunter wrote: "Alexis *RealityBites! Let's Get Lost!* wrote: "Great review! Sorry, this one did not work out for you Baba. Hope your next read is ..."

Couldn't agree more, Alexis!! :))


Baba  Sheziss wrote: "Sorry it was a bad fruit, Baba :( . I liked that gif about the okeys XD . Better luck next time! :D"

Lol Yeah, I thought it looked good. Thanks, Sheziss. :)


Baba  SueBee★bring me an alpha!★ wrote: "So sorry B! Your review explained it well! [waves magic wand for a 5-star read]"

Thanks, Sue. Yup, the book I'm currently reading is a five-star read b/c it's a re-read! :))


♥Rachel♥ Sorry this didn't work for you, Baba, but I see you're re-reading a winner! Louder was fab! Have fun with Adrian! :)


Baba  ♥Rachel♥ wrote: "Sorry this didn't work for you, Baba, but I see you're re-reading a winner! Louder was fab! Have fun with Adrian! :)"

Thanks, Rachel. Yes, I totally enjoyed Adrian and Louder Than Love! :)


message 40: by Karla (new) - added it

Karla Hmmm...I was thinking about reading this one, but now I'm not so sure I want to shell the $ out. A re-read is always a good way to go after a book bombs out! Great review Baba!


message 41: by Mysza (new) - added it

Mysza Awesome review Baba, sorry it didn't work out for you.


Baba  Karla wrote: "Hmmm...I was thinking about reading this one, but now I'm not so sure I want to shell the $ out. A re-read is always a good way to go after a book bombs out! Great review Baba!"

Thanks, Karla. It's definitely too much money when you don't like it, Karla. Give it a try and if you don't enjoy it, then return it for a full refund of your money. :)

Yup, I love to do re-reads when I'm in a book funk!


Baba  Mysza wrote: "Awesome review Baba, sorry it didn't work out for you."

Thanks, Mysza. I'm back in a good place after doing a re-read. :)


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you for this review Baba, I was on the fence about the marriage aspect in this one and it sounded intriguing.

But I read all the spoilers and I don't think I'll be reading the book because I think it'll just make me all sorts of upset for the reasons you stated in your review. I am wondering though (view spoiler)


message 45: by ♥Sharon♥ (new) - added it

♥Sharon♥ Great honest review Baba. Sorry this one didn't work for you. xo! p.s. (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 completely agree! :)


message 46: by Baba (last edited Jul 28, 2014 05:28AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Baba  Kat Stark wrote: "Thank you for this review Baba, I was on the fence about the marriage aspect in this one and it sounded intriguing.

But I read all the spoilers and I don't think I'll be reading the book because I..."


You're welcome, Kat. Like I said in my first paragraph, Lauren's (view spoiler) Hopefully. :)


Baba  ♥Sharon♥ wrote: "Great honest review Baba. Sorry this one didn't work for you. xo! p.s. (Life in general and marriage in particular are not always about sunshine and roses. It's not only about love; it's hard work..."

Thank you, Sharon. Glad we agree. :) xoxox


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter wrote: "Kat Stark wrote: "Thank you for this review Baba, I was on the fence about the marriage aspect in this one and it sounded intriguing.

But I read all the spoilers and I don't think I'll be reading ..."


Thanks girl, I kind of figured as much (view spoiler)


Baba  Kat Stark wrote: "Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter wrote: "Kat Stark wrote: "Thank you for this review Baba, I was on the fence about the marriage aspect in this one and it sounded intrigu..."

You're welcome, Kat. :P


message 50: by Louise (last edited Jul 29, 2014 02:23AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Louise So this two people "consciously uncoupled" for a year hehe:D sorry it didn't work for you Baba. Great review;)
Side note: to add to this marriage advice, frienship is also an important factor to a strong and lasting marriage:)


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