After I Do: A Novel

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We never get Ryan's POV 2 stars. We never get Ryan's POV. Besides, there is no fixing of marital problems whatsoever in After I Do. How can they get back together without taking care of their issues first? But wait, how is that even possible when they take a break for one year and they never friggin' talk to each other?

The view spoiler [letters hide spoiler ] are a drop in the bucket, no more no less. That won't solve anything at all. But, of course in a way it did fix things, didn't it? And he came. Of course he came. That's all very fairytale-like in my book. This kind of stuff is why I married you. I married you because you take care of me.

Because you make things seem OK when they aren't OK. Because you believe in me. You know I can handle things even when I feel like I won't make it through. I have given five stars to books that had no explicit sex in it at all, yet it was the superb writing and intriguing characters or storyline that made me fall hard for a certain read. Unfortunately this wasn't the case with After I Do.

Folks, don't start reading this book with the wrong perceptions. This is not a romance--which is fine by me, BTW. It reads like women's fiction and doesn't provide any romantic elements and it's told from Lauren's POV. After Lauren and Ryan agreed to take a one-year-break, they had sex with other partners. I just should have called it quits because I'm so…I don't know…incredibly frustrated.

Please bear with me when my thoughts are all over the friggin' place. So, let's get down to business. I know it's easy to be a bystander and hand out advice. I guess Ryan and Lauren don't need my counsel, yet I'm going to give it to them nonetheless. I didn't like the MCs who, given the fact that they are thirty-years-old and have been married for six years, came off as immature and annoying. Besides, I got the impression I was watching a bad ping-pong match. You know…left, right, left, right etc.

You said, you did…no, you said this or that and you did this or that. I did not, you told me… blah blah blah. I felt the disputes and everyday quarrels were incredibly silly and both of the main protagonists as well as their conflicts got on my last nerve right off the bat. She had problems with the way Ryan packed a toothbrush. Are you effin' kidding me? But, alas, I couldn't have been more wrong. I knew the premise was not the same but both couples had to deal with marital problems. Arouse, however, gave me a feeling of kinship and reading about a married couple must make me feel related.

Also, reading about a couple's marital problems must make me feel emotionally invested. I'm sorry but this whole "thing" felt a bit too childish to me, especially Lauren. I don't know…I just didn't feel "it". BTW, when they met it was too much about insta-everything and the proposal was cheesy.

Other thoughts as the story progressed What I liked were view spoiler [Ryan's letters. That's the thing…men are usually very rational, direct and that's exactly what I love about them among other things, of course. They might be somewhat plain about it but they bring. And why the heck did Ryan not view spoiler [talk about it? Letters hide spoiler ] are not sufficient, view spoiler [you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with your spouse hide spoiler ] before everything is going to lie in shambles.

And Lauren, of course, was caught up in her emotions and tried to figure "it" out. She rehashed the same things over and over and over and over in her mind. I set out to convince Mila. But in doing so, I've convinced myself somehow. After she view spoiler [logged into Ryan's email account she actually looked for approval from her sister and her best friend that she did nothing wrong. Yep, Ryan read her letters too and it happened off page. Well, I wonder what's so brave about that? Come to think of it, I also wonder what should have been so brave about Lauren's "self-discovery"?

Her mother told her she was brave for trying to stay married. In my book that means a couple works hard to save their marriage. You do it together and you don't hide in your little corner to lick your wounds. A very good example was when Ryan wanted to talk about their problems and how they should proceed.

Of course Lauren said she didn't want to talk about it now. There's this lovely proverb: Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. The crux of the matter was they should have started to discuss their issues a long, long time ago. Anyway, Ryan insisted, they had the talk and decided to split up for a year. Ryan and Lauren view spoiler [agreed that each of them could have sex with other partners.

Yet the first time she saw someone who looked like Ryan kissing another woman she practically freaked out, she was so incredibly hurt etc. Given the fact that a grown woman has a problem with her mom having a boyfriend yeah, let's call him her partner or her lover, shall we? Fact is, she seemed incredibly embarrassed to address her intimate problems, i.

To "solve" the problem she simply refused to have sex with him. Excuse me, but in what world is she actually living? I remember that she accused Ryan of not asking her what she liked. Fair enough. But when did she ever address her needs? When did she tell him what she wanted? When did she tell him her desires and fantasies? Guys, do. Or whatever the hell you want to call it. What do you like? She got comfortable, she did not make any efforts to keep their relationship exciting. She fell in a everyday rut. Since I never got Ryan's POV I am just assuming he did the very same view spoiler [which he kinda confirmed at the end.

Baba to Lauren: Ever thought about the fact that you are incredibly boring and that might have bothered your spouse? But, since I view spoiler [read your letters, that's definitely a double-edged sword. I guess there are several secrets for a happy marriage and we all know it's a daily challenge. Try and just go with the flow and enjoy what you've got.

Try and scale down your expectations but don't pass on them completely. Do have realistic and mutual expectations. This is a give and take after all. Stay active, make yourself and life in general interesting, have great sex, talk to each other often, early, and well. Be honest with each other and make compromises. Respect each other, show your affection and love, and first and foremost keep your little personal corners where you make yourself happy. Give the both of you space and air to breathe. You are married but it's not a prison where you have to spend 24 hours and 7 days a week with your spouse.

Life in general and marriage in particular are not always about sunshine and roses. It's not only about love; it's hard work. I tell view spoiler [him hide spoiler ] I'm not sure I ever had much of a life outside of Ryan. Looking at all those things Lauren "learned" during their separation makes me want to tell her that she should have learned them before she'd gotten married.

Given the fact that Lauren has a psych major yet has no clue how to fix her marriage is a bit disconcerting, TBH. Or this And I don't know that I want to find out just yet. That's just absurd. I thirty-year-old allegedly very smart woman has no idea how to meet people or specifically how to meet a man? It's not rocket science and you don't need to graduate from college to figure that out. As I mentioned in my intro expectations suck.

I'm very sorry this book did not live up to my expectations and it's official: I'm in a book funk and will be doing a re-read of a novel I loved to get back in the swing of things. Book goes back to Amazon for a refund of my money. I'm not willing to pay 7. View all 67 comments. Shelves: books-ive-reread. Not at all surprising: this book was still so fucking great. I want to read everything this author has written now. Nov 21, Gabby rated it really liked it Shelves: 4-star-books , new-adult , all-time-favorites , amazing-ending , contemporary , books-to-reread-in-the-future , favorite-male-characters , adult , emotional , inspirational.

This book follows Lauren and Ryan, a couple who meets in college and is together for eleven years married for six. We see them at their best and we see them at their worst, and the couple is struggling to make their marriage work. They just don't care about each other the way they used to. This book reminded me a lot of one of my all time favorite movies: Blue Valentine.

That movie and this book contain all of my biggest fears about marriage. The concept that someone will get bored of you, and you will eventually get sick of each other. It's something that slowly happens over months and then years and then you can't stand each other anymore and I think that's the saddest thing in the world. The one person who used to love and adore you more than anyone in the whole world can't even stand to be around you anymore.

What a beautiful thing to have been. What a sad thing to be. I cried multiple times while reading this and it was written so beautifully and so well, which is something I've come to expect from Taylor Jenkins Reid. Lauren and Ryan are so in love in their first years together and I could honestly feel it.

Their love was infectious and it jumped off the page and made me giddy. I instantly fell head over heels for Ryan, he was so charming and likable. I love Lauren's relationship with her family, it all felt so real. Her sister Rachel who she is so lose to and they are so alike they often forget they aren't the same person which reminds me a lot of me and my sister.

And her brother Charlie, who also goes through some major character development in this book and is one of my new favorite side characters ever. That's another thing I noticed about Taylor Jenkins Reid books: she writes amazing side characters. They always feel real and important and fleshed out and like they contribute something to the story. Like Gabby in Maybe in Another Life is one of my favorite side characters ever. Happiness is secondary. And ultimately, marriage is about children. They fight about everything like forgetting where he parked the car, financial problems, their sex life, where they want to go for dinner, and a lot of small everyday things that build up into something bigger.

They aren't honest with each other about how they feel most of the time and over a period of time they can't stand to be in the same house together. Watching them go from being insanely happy and romantic to not feeling anything at all towards each other is so depressing but also so raw and real. That's what is so sad and scary about this book: how real it feels. Is it about happiness or stability? Or selflessness?

I've never personally been married but this book brings all those fears of marriage I have right to the surface. Marriage is a huge commitment and it's all about compromise and even if you do meet "the one" you still might not be able to make it work. That's fucking terrifying. You never realize how close he is with the family until he is gone. That was sad but cute that they both secretly read each other email drafts. When Ryan said he met someone in the email my heart broke for Lauren a little. I thought for sure towards the end that Lauren might not want to get back together with him and that made me sad, but then her and David got lost at Staples Center and she realized they were in the same scenario her and Ryan were in at Dodgers stadium last year, and she would have rather been with Ryan.

I loved the side story going on of Charlie getting that girl pregnant, and he's going to move to Los Angeles and raise the baby. Charlie is a great side character, I love the way he cares about his baby and this girl Christina. It's so endearing. I fucking love the end when Lauren's Grandma is dying at the same time Charlie's girlfriend is giving birth and Ryan shows up at the hospital and holds her as she cries.

It was so beautiful and heart breaking and it was written so well. I love at the end when she gets a response from that advice column and she prints it out and keeps it in their memory box. At least this story got a happy ending unlike Blue Valentine that just tore out my fucking heart and left it for dead lol.

But damn this book was an emotional roller coaster and I actually felt so depressed. We can hate and love, miss and loathe each other all within the same breath. We can never want to see each other again while never wanting to let go. It hurts my heart but at the same time it inspires me so much. This book is written so beautifully , I highlighted so many passages I can hardly keep track of it all. I love Ryan and Lauren as characters and I loved seeing them grow together and apart. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an amazing author.

This is the 3rd book I've read from her and all of her books are so freaking great. Her books are primarily about romance, but they are always so much more than that. She dives deep into the concept of fate and marriage and soul mates and I really appreciate her books. Her characters are always so real and relatable and her writing style is gorgeous. I can't wait to read more of her books and I hope she never stops writing. View all 5 comments. Dec 01, Chloe rated it really liked it Shelves: adult-fiction , reads , best-audiobooks , audiobooks.

This is on sale only 1. Her books are fantastic, this is the third book I've read by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I keep wanting more and more. Now that I have only got one book left of this author's that I haven't read, I'm sad and I'm planning to read it later because I don't This is on sale only 1. Now that I have only got one book left of this author's that I haven't read, I'm sad and I'm planning to read it later because I don't know what I'll do then.

I devoured every word of this story. Her writing is so addictive and beautiful. I was hooked from the first page and I couldn't stop reading until the end. I really wish I could be inside her mind for just a moment and see what she thinks and what inspires her to write her stories! Marriage isn't easy,when you are with someone for so many years sometimes there are problems.

Lauren and Ryan feel unhappy with their marriage. They argue a lot and there are moments that they don't want to see each other. They decide it would be good to separate for a little and see if they can try to fix their marriage. The plot is amazing and I was intrigued from the beginning and wanted to see how this story would end. I had so many feelings and I was emotional most of the times. I try to think for both Ryan and Lauren and I tried to understand them and see their problems.

She makes me see things from a different point of view. I don't know if there is anything else to say to make you read it. This story is unique, realistic, heartbreaking and beautiful. View all 39 comments. Mar 13, Lucie rated it really liked it Shelves: chick-lit , emotional-healing. You know how in the beginning of a relationship, everything the other person does is just so darn cute and adorable??

But THEN, after a few years of marriage, you're baffled at their inability to pick a simple towel up off the floor? Lauren and Ryan have been together a little over ten years, married for six, and feel like they've fallen out of love. Miserable and desperate, they decide to do a trial separation for one year.

Or does it begin and end. Is life meant to be shared with just one person? Or should you move from one great love to another as you grow as an individual. You really care about these characters, and you want each of them to be happy, whether that's together or not. This story kept me guessing till the end and had several twists I did not see coming. This one will probably surprise you. Shelves: favorites , made-me-cry. And I know that even if it mends, it will look different, feel different, beat differently.

They decide to take a year long break from each other with no contact whatsoever. W " My heart is truly broken. It's been awhile since a story has consumed me this way. It's one of those that you can't stop thinking about, even when you aren't reading. This novel made me feel such a range of emotion. I think it's impossible to read this book and not reflect on your own life, family and relationships.

Lauren's story especially resonated with me personally because I was also a 19 year old college sophomore when I met my now husband, so I could identify with so many of her feelings. When you reach your thirties and look back, you realize that you have basically grown up together, and every step of adulthood has been a shared experience.

What I loved about this story was how real it was. More often than not, I really believe it's not a big event that causes a marriage to disintegrate, but ignoring small issues that snowball out of control. I also think it worked that Lauren and Ryan were equally responsible for the condition of their marriage, they both made mistakes. I can't say I loved the terms of their separation though. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around how that could ever work out.

That part just made me really sad. They really should have listened to her more often, she was the one with some of the best advice. Quote from Grandma: " You have that someone. That's all I'm trying to say. Don't give up on him just because he bores you. Or doesn't pick up his socks. I love putting myself though a good emotional wringer every now and then.

But, now I plan to read some mindless smut. View all 44 comments. It's no secret I really enjoy married couple stories and this one was no different. But I couldn't give it 5 stars because for me this was more Lauren's story. I felt like it was more about Lauren finding herself and becoming a better woman. Which is ok, but I really wish Ryan was more apart of it, I actually missed him while reading it. Also, the end came together just way too quickly. I'm not a fan of the year apart thing, I feel like as a couple you should be in each others face 4 Solid Stars!

I'm not a fan of the year apart thing, I feel like as a couple you should be in each others face and do whatever it takes to work it out. But that's my opinion. With that said, this was a raw, genuine and probably one of the most realistic novels I've ever read. The writing style was refreshing and I'll definitely be reading more by this author. View all 36 comments. They met while they both were attending UCLA.

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When every relationship first starts, the newness of it all is so exciting. You get those butterflies in your stomach when you're with teach other. Kissing till your lips are both swollen and sore, is something that you look forward to. Sex is always incredibly hot and you just can't seem to keep your hands off of each other. But what happens when that honeymoon phase is over?

How do you keep the love alive? Six years into their marriage, Lauren and Ryan have lost that spark for each other. They bicker over stupid things. They silently resent each other and never once try to communicate what is bothering them. Sex is but a distant memory. Months have gone by since they last had sex and neither makes the effort to do anything about it. What ultimately happens is that there is a blow out between them and then one of them says, "we're not in love anymore".

They both agree that the way to fix what is broken in their marriage, is to spend a year apart. Live as single people. Go out and date other people. I thought this was a stupid idea. Why couldn't they try counseling? Why did they have to take it to such an extreme? So Ryan moves out and Lauren gets to keep the house and their dog. I really had a lot of issues with Lauren.


I felt she was whiny and very self absorbed. But on the day that Ryan is moving out, and it hits her like a ton of bricks, I did feel for her. That's when I fall apart. I don't melt like butter or deflate like a tire. I shatter like glass, into thousands of pieces. My heart is truly broken. Just because I don't feel the love in my heart doesn't mean I don't know it's there. I know it's there. I'm leaving because I'm going to find it. I promise you that.

It was hard on me. Then she goes and logs into Ryan's email account to snoop, and I'm hating on her a little more.

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  • She wants to know what he's doing. Is he even thinking of her? Has he started dating? Well she finds a bunch of emails in his Draft folder. Emails all addressed to Lauren. For most of the book, Ryan is absent, and these emails are how Lauren and us readers, get a piece of him. We get to hear his side of things. What he's going through. He was much more diplomatic than Lauren. Ryan would point out some stuff he loved about her, and then he'd mention things that would make him so angry with her. He said that he missed her. But Lauren only ends up remembering the angry things he said, and she decided to write emails to Ryan as well, that she too, never sends.

    Both of them will experience single life and I don't know how I really feel about this. I know it was mutually agreed upon, but I know if I were in this situation, it would kill me just thinking about my husband being with another woman. I loved Lauren's family. They were always there to love and support her. Her grandma had her thoughts on the separation and I agreed with her. I really enjoyed this book and if it had ended differently, I know my rating would have been much lower. I think it is very insightful and anyone who is in a new relationship or has been in one for a while, would truly benefit from reading this book.

    Here is what I can tell you. All that matters in this life is that you try. All that matters is that you open your heart, give everything you have, and keep trying. View all 49 comments. But what happens after the vows are said and the cake is cut? After 6 years of marriage, they find themselves extremely unhappy, and resentful.

    They've lost their way Ryan and I are two people who used to be in love. Together they decide to take a break, 1 year apart with no contact. During this separation they are free to do whatever, inc 4. During this separation they are free to do whatever, including dating other people. And, after 12 months they will try again, to see if they can find what they lost. I've spent the last 10 years with my husband and we are coming up on our 6th anniversary - I could relate to so many aspects of this story.

    I found myself getting I bit emotionally overwhelmed. It was a lot, seeing how small issues can snowball into huge ones, how resentments can build and feelings change. Those emails It was heartbreaking to see these two struggle when they obviously cared deeply for one another. I found myself deeply invested in these flawed but ultimately likable characters.

    This is love and marriage. How is that a failure? It's a journey about life, love and learning how to communicate with the people you love. This book is well worth it's high price tag because it was truly an enjoyable tale of the good, the bad and ugly of marriage. This one year 4. Honestly, the first fifteen percent was just okay for me but thereafter the story takes flight and is a fast page turner of a read.

    As a married woman of seventeen years, I totally related to their conflicts and feelings and thought the author nailed all aspects of a couple drifting apart and getting underneath each other's skin. I hate it. And I hate that you love it. It's so pretentious, Lauren. Just eat normal food. Overall, a well written read that will evoke so many emotions and leave a smile your face. Maybe needing someone is about it being easier if they are by your side. View all 50 comments. Shelves: library-checkout. After I Do is the story of Lauren and Ryan, who have been married for six years, and together for eleven.

    When they first got married, they both thought their love for each other would conquer everything. As time went by, they both began to drift apart, to the point where they've fallen out of love. In an effort to save their marriage, Lauren and Ryan resort to the unconventional: a trial s "Just because you can live without someone, doesn't mean you want to. In an effort to save their marriage, Lauren and Ryan resort to the unconventional: a trial separation of 1 year in which they cannot contact each other, no matter what.

    My reservations were mainly about the fact that I'm not married, therefore how could I connect with the characters and their marriage problems? This book is a testament to Ms. Reid's fantastic writing skills, because I related to this book more than I thought I would, and I fell in love with their characters, and their faults. I loved that even though the book was from the point of view of Lauren, we still gained some insight into what Ryan was doing through his unsent emails to Lauren. Most of the emails "exchanged" broke my heart and caused tears to come into my eyes more than once.

    Ugly tears, even though I was pretty much expecting it hide spoiler ] And even though it wasn't a main part of the book, I loved all of the Los Angeles tidbits that were included. For example: -the whole issue with what street to take to get somewhere? That's an everyday thing here. It's across the street from my local Barnes and Noble, so it was an awesome shoutout to my hometown : -The dodger stadium issue: My dad and I once lost our car in that parking lot. It took us over an hour, and much bickering to find it, so I was literally laughing out loud at that part in the book.

    I never would have read it otherwise, so I am very grateful that you did. It's a beautiful story View all 56 comments. Shelves: best-of This is going to be one of those annoying gif-filled reviews. I hate to do it but this book elicited such a plethora of feelings for me, this way just works better. Lauren and Ryan have been been together some eleven years They got their first apartment together, struggled financially, eventually married, got their dream home Each and every day, they grew apart.

    Neither person willing to communicate their own personal needs, their grievances toward each other building So one day, they decide they're not even sure they love each other anymore. They choose to do a one-year separation with zero contact from one another. He moves out, she gets the dog, the house, and they can do whatever they want I knew this book was going to be tough. I just didn't know how tough I can't begin to list everything this book was to me. I seriously felt bipolar reading it. In one page I went from laughing out loud to crying. I think my husband thought I was losing my mind Men just don't understand apparently.

    I love being moved by a book First and foremost, this book was REAL to me. The characters weren't blown up to be superhuman, they just made mistakes. Mistakes I found myself thinking, "Yup, been there. Done that. It's real, that slow build or crumble from lack of communication or daily commitment in making things work. This was their way of trying to fix it. Albeit a bit extreme, it was their choice No talking or communication whatsoever.

    Maybe time will bring back that spark and drive to be with one another. The book is written in Lauren's POV but we also get Ryan's thoughts via draft emails he writes but never sends. Everything he wants to say to her, everything he feels inside but hasn't said and now it's too late. It seriously ripped me to pieces at times.

    Second, and the reason for my self-diagnosed bipolar disorder, was the hilarity of the secondary characters. Lauren's family was laugh out loud funny. The author did a superb job depicting true family quirks and I seriously ate it up. Her sister Rachel is the eternal singleton. Her brother Charlie was another comedic highlight. Lauren's lesbian BFF Mila was also hilarious What, do the two of you sit at home snuggled up in your matching pajamas talking about my sad life? I see it as a public service.

    Whose mother doesn't send everyone home with their own take-out container of leftovers? I'm just surprised she didn't use old Cool Whip cartons like my mom does. This kitchen scene was epic Will you eat it on the plane? I mean, it's a love story but it's not the growth of a love story like we usually see. The book starts in the early days of their relationship and takes it to it's near demise where we stay for most of the book.

    So it's not all hearts and flowers romance but more-so a story of lessons in life I've never read anything from this author prior but I shall rectify that immediately. The writing was flawless.

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    She pulls her readers into her story and you feel a part of it Something emotional. Those of you that aren't disappointed if it's not filled with gushy romance, erotic sex hardly no sex at all and I didn't miss it but instead a story that'll grab ahold of your heart strings and not let go until the very end. You'll laugh. You'll cry. And I truly hope you'll love We get a glimpse of their relationship milestones in 4.

    We get a glimpse of their relationship milestones in the first part of the book: How they first met in college, fall in love and then got married. But as years go by, we start to see them drifting apart and their marriage is strained. Even the tiniest issues would set an argument off. In an attempt to save their marriage, they come up with an unconventional plan; a trial separation of 1 year with no contact with each other. I think it would fall along the lines of women's fiction. This is not the usual story you read where the couple worked towards their HEA , but this is the story after their HEA.

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    This book definitely evoked a lot of buried emotions I had inside as some things hit close to home for me. What I really loved about this story was how real and honest it was. As much as we all dreamed of a perfect relationship, there will always be bumps and obstacles along the way. This includes my free writing sessions or any ideas that might come to me during the day. Once you have an idea, identify an appropriate genre for the concept and then take a look at the demand and other authors already working in that niche. Marketing is the key if you want others to be able to find, read, and share your work.

    There are lots of great resources out there for creating a killer marketing strategy and editorial calendar. I will be detailing my own book marketing strategy in a future post. When it comes to outlining your book, there are lots of methods to choose from. I tend to go the more traditional route, dividing the book into sections, and then those sections into chapters. Under each chapter heading, I create a bulleted list of the content that chapter will contain.

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    I then reference this list as I write. Instead of using a word document, I create a new notecard for each scene, listing the type of scene dialogue, action, suspense on the front and including a short summary of what happens on the back. I then organize these cards into chapters. The great thing about using note cards is that you can easily remove or move scenes around, placing them where they make more sense as you edit. You can also pin them to a cork board to create a visual breakdown of your book. Instead of using scenes, you could organize by points or discussion topics.

    Here are a few options for eliminating distractions and keeping yourself on track:. Just write. Anything will do. This is what you want.

    How to Write a Book: The 5-Draft Method

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    Step 2: Determine whether you’re an Outliner or a Pantser.

    Jan 11, Physical: Legal pads A variety of pens My writing journal Sticky notes in multiple colors Notecards in multiple colors Bulletin board Push pins Digital: Hemingway App: I write directly in Hemingway and use it to test the reading level of my work and simplify my language.

    At the end of the writing session, I copy and paste into a Google Doc. Grammarly ; During the editing stage, I copy and paste my work into Grammarly a chapter at a time. Use a to-do list application to set deadlines.