Monday, October 8, 2018

Audio Book Review: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Other Books By Author: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "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?"




Lauren and Ryan have fallen into a major marital rut, like we are taking a major abyss.  They are fighting over everything, including where they parked their car in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. Everything that he does is irritating her and vice-versa. They are, obviously, heading down a slippery slope.  But, this is painful for us readers as Reid flashes back to better days when they first met, when they got married, and other happy memories. Can they make things work or is it too late? Ryan and Lauren decide to take a break from their marriage for one year and then reassess.  They plan on pursuing other interests, spending time with friends, working on themselves, and they don't plan to talk to each other under any circumstances.  The thought of this is frightening to Lauren at first, but then all this freedom starts to sink in.  A flowery bedroom is possible....more time with friends.....full control of the TV....eating lots of food that Ryan doesn't like.....dating?  She's not really sure about the last option, but as they separate, things things start to get even more complicated.  Taylor Jenkins Reid writes such absorbing and compelling novels; After I Do doesn't disappoint.

What is so effective about After I Do is how real it is. What Lauren and Ryan fight over feels very authentic. I mean it could be anyone's marriage!  But what is a bit unconventional is how they proceed with a year long break.  It was very, very interesting to go along on their journey and experience both the good stuff and the bad stuff, at least from Lauren's perspective.  Everything is from Lauren's point of view, so I was dying to find out what Ryan was up to.   I found Lauren very easy to relate to and although I didn't always agree with her choices, I could understand why she made them. I also really liked her relationship with her sister as well as her mother, grandmother, and brother, who both play a prominent role in After I Do.

After I Do is heartbreaking at times. I found myself getting emotional, because Reid is such an effective storyteller. She not only makes us love Ryan and Lauren, but she even shares with us flashbacks to happy memories so we fall in love with them even more.  This makes the hard part of the novel that.mush.harder.  And that much more heartbreaking.  After I Do will definitely, definitely tug on your heartstrings.

I loved the audio book of After I Do. It was easy to get absorbed in it and I thought the narration, done by Tara Sands, was also decent.  She wasn't my favorite narrator by any means, but she did well enough and she wasn't distracting to the story.

There were some real amazing quotes and memorable moments in After I Do that will truly make you think, especially if you are married.  Here are a few of my favorites: 
“Isn’t it nice … once you’ve outgrown the ideas of what life should be and you just enjoy what it is.” 
“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 love by whether or not the sun rises. The sun doesn’t care about love. It just cares about rising.” 

So, as far as I am concerned Taylor Jenkins Reid can do no wrong. She is easily becoming one of my favorite authors of adult fiction. So, if you are looking for an audio book or an adult novel that will make you feel all the feels and leave you thinking, but hopeful, definitely give After I Do a try.  

Are you a Taylor Jenkins Reid fan?  Which of her books is your favorite? Let me know in the comments.


4 comments:

  1. I adore Taylor Jenkins Reid and she is one of my favorites too! I have read all her books so far and they just get better and better. Even her new short story was incredible.

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    1. Me too! I have yet to be disappointed. I should check out her short story....sounds great! Thanks for visiting, Michele!

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  2. I love TJR; her books are so authentic and honest. Some part of this book felt so uncomfortable because they seemed so real!

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    1. I know, right? This one was emotional! Thanks for dropping by, Angela!

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