Review: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

After I Do was a well executed, highly relatable story, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. Maybe I never actually read the book description, or maybe I just read it a long time ago when I first heard about this book. I was expecting the day to day story of a married couple. What I wasn’t expecting was an all-too-realistic portrayal of a couple who have fallen out of love and are not sure they can be married anymore.

After admitting that she no longer loves him, Lauren and Ryan decide to take a break…for a year. They’re hoping that some time apart will help them remember what they love about each other and help them save their marriage. What unfolds over the year isn’t what Lauren had anticipated. With a lot of wisdom from her family and some family drama along the way, this story reminded me of the TV shows Parenthood and Brothers and Sisters. I enjoyed the close-knit relationships Lauren had with her sister, her brother, and even her mother and her grandmother. Although I didn’t entirely agree with Reid’s assessment of how marriage changes a whole family, she described it very well.

Lauren’s voice was easy to read. I plowed through this book in a few sittings, but I think I was just hoping for more. I’d read so many rave reviews, and I loved Maybe In Another Life and One True Loves so much. I wanted to see a love story that continued after marriage instead of having to read about an almost failed marriage and rediscovered love. The title of this book was misleading, and while the story was very well written, it left me feeling unfulfilled.

Rating: 3 Stars

After I Do
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Washington Square Press
July 1, 2014

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.

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    1. It’s interesting how much our expectations can affect our enjoyment of a book. If I’d gone into it knowing more, I may have enjoyed it more. It was very well done, just not the story I wanted to read. I’m glad you enjoyed it more.

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