Genre: Book Club/Contemporary/Romance/Chick Lit/Drama
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Check out the book HERE
After a motorcycle accident, Will Traynor is left as a quadriplegic, confined to a wheelchair. He stops working and becomes utterly isolated, staying cooped up in a house on his parents' property. Now two years later, Will has even less of a desire to live. He's given up. But his family has other plans. His mother hires Louisa "Lou" Clark to be his caretaker, giving her a sixth month contract. Little does Lou know that her contract coincides with the amount of time Will has agreed to postpone his planned assisted suicide.
When Lou uncovers this truth, she becomes convinced that she can change his mind, if only she can orchestrate the right string of adventures. She's determined to show him that even as a quadriplegic, his life deserves to be lived, not ended. Her attempts might point to a happy and potentially romantic ending for the two of them, but then again, sometimes even love isn't a good enough reason to simply keep existing.
Wow. Just wow. Even nearly three weeks removed from finishing the book, my mind is still reeling from the story. I couldn't put this book down when reading, flying through the pages, dreading the day when Lou's six month contract ended, knowing that only then would Will make his final decision.
The writing throughout this story is wonderful. For being such a heavy story at it's core, it's also incredibly entertaining and funny, which just shows that even in life's most dire situations, moments of lighthearted happiness can always be found.
Moyes finds an excellent balance between the dark and light in this story. Lou and her family's situation provide the bulk of the humor, but even the conversations between Will and Lou are sprinkled with black humor.
So trust me on this one, if your reservation to this book have to do with the idea that you don't want to read a sad depressing story, then your reasoning is completely and entirely wrong. This book is so much more than that (just as one might say a story about a cancer patient is so much more than the cancer...well the same thing applies for a book about assisted suicide).
The characters of Lou and Will counter each other so well. Both are strong stubborn people who become dependent on each other (one for his most basic human needs and the other for financial reasons). Essentially, they are two sides of the same coin. Neither have true life ambitions anymore, which allows them to play so well off each other. Lou becomes the only person to treats him like a person. She'll call him out when he's being a jackass and not shy away from trying to hurt his feelings because he's a quadriplegic.
Although the book is technically labeled as a romance, I view it as something much more greater than that. In my mind, it's not so much a romance, but more of a story about how sometimes in life, you're dealt a shitty hand of cards and it's up to you to figure out what to make of them and what's worth fighting for.
What made this book so strong is the way it tackles Will's belief that it's his right to die. The reader gets to see different perspectives to understand where each person is coming from. It makes it so that the reader can't just automatically judge the characters by their decisions (or sometimes lack there of).
Even now, I find myself thinking about whose perspective I agree with the most. Is it better to help a person you love end their life if its what they truly want or is it better to force them to live for selfish reasons? ...I just don't know.
This book will make you think about what you might do in this situation. It certainly will make you have second thoughts about judging other's decisions. This book should not only be read by people interested in the whole right to die/assisted suicide discussion. It's a wonderful story that deserves to be read.