Luana Ferraz's Reviews > After I Do

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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really liked it

I don't know how I feel about this one. I'm really, really torn. Which can be a good thing, right? Any book that leaves you thinking about it, that needs time to be digested, is good, right? I think so?

So, the premise of this story is very interesting - a couple who grow apart and to try to solve this problem (should they break up or work on it?) they decide to spend one year apart, with no contact whatsoever, in order to 'find themselves'. This is promising. This can be an amazing look into the importance of individuality, into the differences between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship, into society's views of marriage and how it influences our own views and expectations, etc.

Well... it's not about that. But it kinda is. But it's not. And this is where I'm torn.

Halfway into the book, I'm hating it. I'm absolutely hating the way Lauren is dealing with all of this. This story has so many of my most recurring pet peeves - portraying single 30-something women as losers, the obsession with men, the fact that she can't be alone to 'find herself' and starts dating again, not to mention the whole plot is based on miscommunication, which is something I really, really hate. Like, you've known someone your entire life, how hard can it be to talk things through?

But then... then Lauren has a conversation with Rachel, her sister. It's a short conversation, seemingly insignificant, it's just the two of them hiking and having a sisterly moment. And it hit me. Hard. Harder than I was expecting it to. Because I'm Rachel. If you have read this book, you'll probably understand what I mean. If you haven't, then go read it and you'll understand what I mean.

Rachel basically tells her that she doesn't have the same ache Lauren has to have what she calls 'a normal family'. She's happy without it, she's fulfilled without it, but she understands Lauren's feelings. This is when I realized that maybe, just maybe, my problem was that I was being judgmental. And I felt guilty. I felt so guilty for judging this fictional woman through my own values and beliefs. And I know that we do this all the time, that this cannot be avoided, but I also know the importance of empathy. I also know that different people have different ways of dealing with their problems, of living their lives. And I was being so unfair to Lauren when she really was just trying her best.

The book changed for me after this. I read the second half with different eyes. I cried the whole last 40 minutes of the story. And... I don't know. I think it changed me a little bit. And this is why it's hard to rate it and why it was hard to write this review.
I still don't agree with most of the things Lauren did. I still don't like that the whole story was built on the fact that Lauren and Ryan just didn't communicate despite being together for over a decade.
But I also feel like I understand them, I understand what happened and why it happened, and I also think I understand myself better now.
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Reading Progress

March 31, 2019 – Shelved
March 31, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
April 14, 2019 – Started Reading
April 19, 2019 – Finished Reading

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