Book Review: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Posted July 7, 2014 by Melissa in Book Review | 3 Comments

Book Review: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins ReidTitle: After I Do
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication date: July 1st 2014
Target Audience: Adult
Genres: Women's Fiction
Length: 352 Pages
Source: Publisher
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
My Rating:

From the author of Forever, Interrupted—hailed by Sarah Jio as "moving, gorgeous, and at times heart-wrenching"—comes a breathtaking new novel about modern marriage, the depth of family ties, and the year that one remarkable heroine spends exploring both.

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?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. 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.

Book Quote

“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.”

My Thoughts

After I Do takes us on the amazing journey of one couple from the very beginning to what might very well be the end….and you won’t want to miss one moment of the trip.  We see their relationship progress from the first stages of infatuation, through first kisses, first apartments, first dog and on.  Unlike most conventional romance stories which end at the Happily Ever After, Taylor Jenkins Reid  takes us beyond that point in After I Do…to show us what happens after the HEA.  And it’s not always pretty.

We see Lauren and Ryan go from being the intimately connected couple that can’t live without each other to a couple that almost can’t even stand each other…and it’s not an easy path to walk with them.  To see all the little things that added up to years of resentments and distaste…was both heartbreaking and frightening…because throughout…one can help but wonder…could this happen to me?

The characters, the story, all of it was so wonderfully believable and easy to connect with.  I think that someone at any stage of a relationship or even hoping for a relationship would find it hard to put this one down.

I laughed, I cried, I wondered why they made the hard choices they did, and most of all I rooted for them…and in doing so rooted for myself and every other married woman out there.

Final Thoughts:

This incredibly well written and thought provoking read will make you re-examine all of your relationships and how you define love. My first taste of Taylor Jenkins Reid, this certainly won’t be my last.

About Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author, essayist, and TV writer from Acton, Massachusetts. Her debut novel, Forever, Interrupted, has been optioned with Dakota Johnson attached to star. She is adapting her second book, After I Do, for ABC Family. Her most recent novel, Maybe In Another Life has been featured in People, US Weekly, Cosmo, and more.

In addition to her novels, Taylor’s essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, xoJane, and a number of other blogs.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Rabbit.

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3 responses to “Book Review: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. Good review, Melissa! This sounds really well-written, and yet I don’t think it’s for me. I know so many marriages hit rough spots or fall apart entirely (including my parents’, when I was young), and it makes me so sad. To be honest, I’m not sure I could read this without knowing how it turns out. I’m happily married for nearly 24 years now, and both my parents have been happily re-married for at least that long or longer, but reading about marriages in trouble (that don’t survive) can still tear me apart.
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