Taylor Jenkins Reid slowly makes her way towards my favorite authors of all times. After I Do is the story of Lauren and Ryan, who fell in love at 19 and now find themselves eleven years later falling out of love with each other.
I loved this book very much. It starts with the story of Lauren and Ryan falling in love, meeting so young and finding in each other someone they wanted to be with all their lives. It was sweet to read about, but nothing too special. I wasn’t taken by story then just yet – it wasn’t unlike any other “marriage struggles” stories I’ve read before. But then.
Going through the months after that through Lauren’s eyes, watching her journey after the mandatory background of how their love started, how things started to go downhill from there, it was captivating and heartbreaking. It made me catch my breath and hold back tears. I didn’t think I cared much for Lauren and Ryan in the beginning, but they both grew in my heart. This book left me with a feeling of hope and wanting to do my best to be with the people I love. It’s so great. I won’t tell you if they get together or not – that’s not the important message and would be a criminal spoiler. The message was, for me, learning when to fight on, and when to let go. That you are stronger than you think, that you are resilient and can overcome anything.
I am not categorizing this book as a romance because although it’s obviously got romance and it’s told around a married couple, hat is not what the book was about to me. Love and romance are, to me, not the same category. I love that the main characters in her books aren’t too young, rather in their late 20s or early 30s, so that for my stage of life right now (at 28), this book fits like a glove. It’s wonderful to recognize your thoughts, your doubts, a bit far away from college days but not so much that they aren’t in your mind quite often. Finding yourself so far form that person you used to be at 19, but not quite feeling so grown up, despite the grown up things you must do every day.