Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
Warning: This book is not a "romance" novel.
It has to be said, this book is not what I think of when I think of a romance. Sure, there is love in this book, but that isn't the primary focus. The focus is the psychological struggle that each character goes through. Will and Lou are fascinating characters that will stick with me for a long time. Their journeys are both staggeringly painful and inspiringly transformative.
I have to say, this book hit close to home in many ways. My uncle is wheelchair-bound with a severe case of MS and requires care almost round the clock. He has very limited use of his limbs and can't do basic things for himself like go to the bathroom, get dressed, or eat without help. Honestly, I have often wondered about his quality of life. I know what it is like to try to make conversation with someone who has done nothing for the past month except for watch movies in a small apartment. It is so difficult for everyone involved. It was painful for me to see this type of interaction in the story, compounded with the level of Will's despair and the amount that he has given up on life. I just kept making everything personal, making it even more difficult for me to read Will's story.
I also have a patient that is a quadriplegic who is in his 50s and has been a quad since he was in his early 20s. He is the same level of quadriplegic as Will, with only limited use of his hands and nothing else. This particular patient is incredibly inspiring because he went to college after his accident, got multiple degrees, and went on to be a very successful business man. He has made lots of adaptations to allow him to do the things that he does and, yes, he still needs to have nurses with him much of the time to help him with his basic needs. However, because of this patient's success, I found myself getting angry with Will that he said he couldn't possibly work in his condition. I wanted to scream at him at times.
I think the amount that I was affected by this book is really measured by how visceral my responses were to the story. I was near tears for much of the time and read the book with a sense of impending doom because I just knew, in my gut, what was coming.
I also was affected by Lou's story and what she went through emotional and psychologically during this book. I was with her with each up and down and really connected with her as a character.
Then why only 4 stars, you might ask? I think the author really made a big error by changing the POVs. I would have easily given this book 5 stars if we didn't have the chapters from Will's mother's POV and his nurses's POV. I think those shifts were pointless and really took me out of the story, emotionally. With a bit of editing, this book would have really been amazing, if still completely heart-breaking.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Hope you guys enjoy! <3
Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the author, book or booksellers listed.