Still Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

Must-read women’s fiction: ‘Still Me,’ ‘Talk to the Paw,’ ‘As Bright as Heaven’
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By: Leigh Davis | February 15, 2018 12:00 am 
HEA welcomes Leigh Davis to our growing group of awesome contributors. She’s going to be loving up women’s fiction for us.
Leigh: Welcome to Happy Ever After’s new women’s fiction blog. It is so exciting to delve more into this genre of books and so glad you’re along for the ride.
You already know that women’s fiction is all about a woman’s journey — a journey examining many types of relationships, including romance — an important prerequisite for any book! Along with, of course, a Happy Ever After! Every month in the column we’ll be highlighting books that have both, along with explorations of the many challenges we face as women.
This month we have a wonderfully varied selection.

Still Me by Jojo Moyes
What it’s about:
Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life. 
As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?
Funny, romantic and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she navigates how to stay true to herself, while pushing to live boldly in her brave new world.
Why you should read it: You already know that Jojo Moyes writes fabulous books, and if you read the first two books, you might be wondering what else is there to add. Let me tell you: a lot! Like the problems of long-distance relations, or the lives of the extremely wealthy or taking risks and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. All are excellent reasons to read the book, but the most important is that it is such an entertaining story — you’ll laugh, and cry, and cheer for Louisa.
Talk to the Paw by Melinda Metz
What it’s about: 
Inspired by the true story of a Portland, Oregon, cat who stole from his neighbors—and stole America’s heart …
She’s putting her love life on paws 
Jamie Snyder is thirty-four and single but NOT ready to mingle. After suffering through The Year of the Non-Commital Man, The Year of the Self-Absorbed Man, and The Year of the Forgot-to-Mention-I’m-Married Man, Jamie’s ready to celebrate The Year of Me—and MacGyver, of course. MacGyver is an adorable tabby with a not-so-adorable habit of sneaking out at night and stealing things from the neighbors. That’s right, MacGyver is a cat burglar. He’s still the only male Jamie trusts—and the only companion she needs …
But her cat has other ideas
MacGyver knows his human is lonely. He can smell it. It’s the same smell he’s noticed on their neighbor David, a handsome young baker who’s tired of his friends trying to fix him up. But now MacGyver’s on the case. First, he steals something from David and stashes it at Jamie’s. Then, he steals something from Jamie and leaves it with David. Before long, the two are swapping stolen goods, trading dating horror stories, and trying not to fall in love. But they’re not fooling MacGyver. When humans generate this much heat, the cat is out of the bag …
Why you should read it: Sometimes you just want a bit of fluff! Dogs have had their time in the spotlight and now it is time for cats. This is the perfect book to pick up when you just want to unwind and be entertained. No doubt about it, this is a cutesy book, completely PG, but MacGyver is adorable, and you’ll close the book with a smile on your face.
As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner
What it’s about:
In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters—Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa—a chance at a better life.
But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without—and what they are willing to do about it.
As Bright as Heavenis the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.
Why you should read it: Perfect for readers who love historicals. The Spanish Flu had such an impact on our nation — heartbreakingly so — and Susan Meissner explores that aspect, but the resiliency of the men and women in the story is superbly displayed, too. A wonderful glimpse into our past!
Leigh Davis is a former contributor to Heroes and Heartbreakers. When she is not reading, she’s usually outside throwing balls to her insatiable dogs. She loves hearing and talking about great books. You can connect with her on Twitter and Goodreads.
Jojo Moyes, Melinda Metz, Susan Meissner, women's fiction, Recommended reads, Top stories
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I just love reading about Lou. Still Me was delightful, yet sad, similar to the other books in the series. Still Me had strong characters, and I divided them up into characters that I DID like (Lou, Paramedic Sam, Ashok and his family, Mrs. De Witt, the ladies that own the fashion store) and characters that I did NOT like (Agnes, Leonard, Joshua, Sam’s Paramedic Partner). All of them together made for a wonderful conclusion to Lou’s story, but I still wish that there would be more books.
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The interesting character of Louisa Clark continues in this third book of the series.  This time Louisa is in New York city.  She has to deal with a new job, new duties, and deal with a long distance relationship with Sam.  You know something has to go wrong but it is always fun following Louisa and seeing just what havoc ensues.
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Louisa Clark has endured the death of the love of her life, found the child he did not know he had and survived debilitating injuries to find love again with Sam, her attractive paramedic boyfriend. Now she is going on a new adventure in New York City. Louisa has decided to start saying 'yes'. However, this move takes her far away from her family and her new love, then she runs into the doppelganger of her old love Will Traynor...
Jojo Moyes recaptures the some of sparkle of Me Before You in this third Louisa Clark book that sometime lacked in the second book, After You. Louisa is as always her quirky, scattered, romantic self that readers have come to love.
#StillMe #NetGalley
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Rating 3.5 stars

You are shaped so much by the people who surround you, and how careful you have to be in choosing them for this exact reason, and then I thought, despite all that, in the end maybe you have to lose them all in order to truly find yourself. 

I have to admit, I have not read the previous books to this series or seen the movie. However, that being said, I felt like this was a good stand alone which I am grateful. If I do read the previous books, I will start in the beginning just so I can see how Louisa's journey started. 

Louisa is starting over of sorts in New York far from London, her past pain and Sam. I am assuming Sam was introduced in book 2. Louisa is now employed with a well to do family being an assistant to the wife. The family dynamics are strained. The wife #2, the husband is determined to keep #2 happy while running a million of $. Daughter from wife #1 deals with the chip on her shoulder from wife #2 and the break-up of her parents. These are the super rich. With their appointments, parties, to be seen and not to be seen. Agnes Gopnik wife #2 only wants the marriage but not expectations of being rich and certainly not under the microscope of the first wife. She relies heavily on Louisa and Louisa takes it all in stride. There are many characters in this read. The neighbor of their Central Park apartment that is eccentric to say the least, the cook for the Gopniks that has a temper, the doorman who is never seen but has a family that makes a local mark; and Joshua Ryan whom Louisa questions if fate is real. 

With these kind of characters, Louisa experiences New York in finding purpose. With these relationships, Louisa is on a roller coaster of emotions and seeing others as they really are. Some hiding their true selves while others living for the moment. All in all it was a read that was easy and no loose ends. 

A Special Thank you to Penguin Group Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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Jojo Moyes always hits the heart of the matter dead center.  Always.  Still Me is funny, sweet, romantic, and poignant,  Protag Lou has adventures while learning  to be exactly who she is meant to be.  A vintage clothing store is a dream come true for some while life among the richest of the rich might be a dream for some.
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I absolutely adored this book! I felt like the Lou I met in the first book was back in full force. I loved the whole dynamics of the people she met in New York. Moyes did a great job of bringing the threads from the first two books and really twining the story together. Lovely!
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I was so excited to have the chance to read this book. Louisa Clark is one of my favorite characters and I couldn't wait to return to her life! This book brought all the feels. It's one of those reads that sucks you in to the point where even when you know what's coming you still feel the anticipation and can't put it down.
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Moyes finishes out Louisa's story in grand style, as Louisa moves to New York City and ends up pursuing a career she loves. Readers who have grown to care for Louisa over the course of the novels won't be disappointed.
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While not the emotional gut wrenching book that Me Before You is, Still Me is a lovely continuation of Louisa Clark. One can't help but just love Lou, her heart and imagination is open and so ready to live. This book is likely a 4-4.5, in that it's a simple read, and would not have taken me two weeks, but my mind has been elsewhere. I will continue to love Lou, and thank and praise Jojo Moyes for the stories she weaves. Pure pleasure!
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Still Me by Jojo Moyes follows the success of Me Before You and After You. This book proceeds in a more predictable fashion than the first two. They all work because the writing draws these characters and makes them come to life and makes them "real." I vest in their stories and laugh and cry along with them. The only question that remains mirrors my thought at the end of the previous book. Is another chapter in the life of Louisa Clark yet to come? 

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/05/still-me.html 

Reviewed for NetGalley
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I enjoyed reading (what I hope is) the end of Louisa's journey, but this is really nothing more than a fluffy ending to a story that I wish had ended with the first book. I don't regret reading this book, but I know there are other things I could have spent my time reading instead. The character development wasn't crazy and I didn't feel like I got to know anyone (aside from maybe Sam) better. Louisa was pretty static and I really didn't care for her story arc in the first half of the book. Louisa's relationship with Mrs. De Witt is what made me finish the story and I wish the whole book had been focused on their growth together rather than on Louisa's relationship with Agnes, who seems to be set up only as a foil to the much more richly developed Margot De Witt. Overall, not my favorite book.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2215915339?book_show_action=false
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Thank you Net Galley and Penguin Randomhouse for an advance copy of this book. 
 Loiusa Clark is a wonderful character. I enjoyed her adventures in New York City especially with her elderly neighbor. I hope that I will be able to go on future journeys with Louisa Clark.
I love all of the books written by Jo Jo Moyes, she's one of my favorite authors.
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Louisa Clark has left England and her boyfriend behind for a chance to have an adventure in New York City. She is following the advice of Will Traynor, the man she loved and watched die in the first book of the series. A wealthy NY businessman has hired Louisa to be a companion to Agnes, his new young wife. Agnes is an immigrant who’s out of her depth in high society and who needs the support of the affable Louisa. The city is vibrant and unlike anything Louisa has ever experienced. There are a host of intriguing characters that work and live in the brownstone where Louisa now works. Some are comical and some are a bit unpleasant, but all are colorful. 

Louisa’s almost boyfriend Sam still lives in England, and has encouraged her to experience life, despite the inherent difficulties of a long-distance relationship. Not surprisingly, there are complications and strains on their relationship. Louisa meets a friendly new guy in NY who reminds her a lot of Will and Sam gets a pretty new EMT partner who seems quite friendly. Both events lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. It might just be the end of Sam and Louisa’s budding relationship.

The plot isn’t breaking new ground but Moyes is able to win over readers with her fantastic world of loveable characters. Louisa retains her quirkiness and Sam is the reliable one. Who wouldn’t fall under the spell of ambulance Sam, the paramedic who saved her when she was physically broken? In NYC, the staff and residents of the brownstone bring fresh experiences for Louisa. Besides a charming doorman and his altruist wife, there’s a grumpy housekeeper, a lonely new wife who’s adjusting to her new status, a crotchety old resident and a cranky dog that likes to bite. There may be more to them than one initially suspects and they add tremendously to the book’s allure. To add to these colorful American residents, there are also interactions with some of the wonderful characters that made the first two books so remarkable.

One can’t help but be absorbed in the continuing adventure of Louisa, a girl who won reader’s hearts in Me Before You. The second and third installments don’t generate the deep emotional response as the first book, but they allow readers to follow Louisa and the impact Will has had upon this delightful girl.
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I adored Still Me as much as Me Before You! Five Stars
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I was luke-warm about the second book in the series, but this one was a wonderful continuation of Louisa Clark's story. I found myself laughing out loud at some of her antics and there was a good dose of the quirky humor we expect with Louisa's personality. Her experience of how the rich treat those who work for them was all too real, Although some of the relationships were a little predictable, it's an enjoyable and satisfying read. Louisa finds her voice!
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I so enjoy Louisa Clark as a character. I think it's because I find her easy to relate to. For some of us, it's really freaking hard to "find yourself," and Louisa gets that. She is the patron saint for those who  aren't quite sure that they are on the right path or even what path they want to be on. She isn't lost per-say, but is instead on a journey where every step and piece has led her to the person she has always been but couldn't see. This book is an excellent conclusion or a magnificent beginning, depending on how you want to look at it.

I don't really want to give away too much, but I will say that if you like Louisa as a character then you need to read this book. If you have ever felt like you weren't quite sure that you were doing this whole "adulting" thing right, then you need to read this series. This is the ultimate coming-of-age trilogy. The end.
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I had limited expectations, as "After You" was disappointing after the glory that is "Me Before You." Thankfully, I was not disappointed. This was a worthy addition to the series. The love story between Sam and Louisa isn't quite as swoon-worthy as the story of Will and Louisa, but the story of Lou's adventures in NY more than made up for that. If you are a fan of the series, I recommend this book; if you haven't read the first one, it's not likely to be as meaningful.
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I honestly believe that this should have never been a series. Me Before You was such a beautiful book and I loved it dearly, but it should have ended there.
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Because if anyone deserves a happy ending, it’s Lou . . . . 

No actual review. The fact that I - reader of never more than one book in a series - saw this one through to the finish (especially after HATING After You) should speak volumes. 

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
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