Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Review: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Rating: 5 Cups of Coffee
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.

Natasha’s Experience:

God, I loved this book. I love just thinking about it. I finished late last night and thought: “I’ve got to write a review for this because I need everyone I know (and don’t know–hey internet friends!) to read AFTER I DO the minute they finish reading my blog post.”

This is the second novel that I’ve read by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I can say, without a doubt, that she is probably my number-one favorite author right now. I love her words, her wisdom, and her characters who are so incredibly real.

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

AFTER I DO follows the story of Lauren and Ryan who are struggling to keep their marriage alive and breathing. They have somehow gotten off the path of easy living and their days are filled with a quiet unhappiness, with themselves and with each other. They’ve lost the fire, the passion, the overall excitement of being with each other every single day. In order to find the reason and understand why they want to make their relationship work, they decide to take a year sabbatical away from each other and regroup once their year is up.

“I mean, the goal here is to spend the rest of our lives together. If I really feel that romance doesn’t last, if I really think that’s true, am I ready to never feel that tingle again? Was I ever ready?”

Lauren is forced to learn a lot about herself during her year away from Ryan. I loved being inside her head, seeing her transition from somebody who didn’t know what to do without another person by her side to someone who is okay with being alone, someone who is happy making herself happy. She becomes the person that she wanted to be, while realizing that being away from Ryan has given her a reason to step back from their relationship and see it with clearer eyes. Her love for Ryan didn’t need to completely fade for her to be happy; she only needed to find a balance between herself and her relationship with him.

“Maybe it doesn’t matter if you need someone during the everyday moments of your life. Maybe what matters is that when you need someone, they are the one you need. Maybe needing someone isn’t about not being able to do it without them. Maybe needing someone is about it being easier if they are by your side.”

Read this book. I can’t not recommend this nearly enough. Read it, fall in love and be open to learning a little more about your own personal values on love and marriage.

Links: Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

Keep Up With Taylor Jenkins Reid: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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