I find all too much lately that insta-romances are in every romance book on the shelf. To find a book that was about so much more than just an intense physical attraction or the standard boy likes girl/girl likes boy but they can’t be together for the whole book because of no reason what so ever and then end up together, is so refreshing. I enjoyed this book beginning to end simply because the pace was well laid out and no “I love you’s” were rushed. The character development was gradual and let you connect with the characters and feel how they felt every step of the way. The fact that this book was so well put together and Jojo Moyes made you connect so deeply with the characters is what makes the ending that much harder. I cried, not ugly cried as the book is a bit predictable and I sort of got ready for it, but I did cry and was left thinking long after I closed the book. I also have to say I watched the trailer for the upcoming movie and I think they did a spot on job casting wise and I’m very excited to see it!
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.
I love Lou. She is an absolute doll and I couldn’t help but laugh every time she opened her mouth. She was so sarcastically funny and witty, but she was also so determined and smart. I loved watching her grow as a character through out the book and to see her finally spread her wings and reach new horizons by the time the book reached its end. Will was also an amazing character. I do not claim to know the beginning of how quads feel or what they go through mentally. But I did have a friend, who has since sadly passed away, but who was in a motorcycle accident and had been paralyzed from the waste down. He still had movement of his arms and upper body, so not to quite to the extent of Will’s paralyses. Watching him though I could see where every single thing was a struggle, the dependency, the insecurity, the depression. I felt Jojo Moyes captured the struggle of being quadriplegic so well that it was hard not to be able to fall in love with Will and his personality and understand exactly his decisions and yet hate him for them at the same time. Every single side character I completely adored as well. I am not sure how Jojo did it but she made this entire book so real and believable, like it wasn’t fiction at all. The different dynamics and family relationships, they could be any family out there.
One of my favorite scenes in this book was the one at Lou’s birthday dinner at her parents house which Will attends. The tension between Patrick and Will is so hilarious because it is so obvious that Patrick is jealous, yet neither Lou or Will has even admitted to themselves yet of any emotions. I think it is the first time in the book I knew I loved Will and even as a reader I saw him as more than just Lou’s charge but for who his character was and his witty, charming but sometimes obnoxious self. I loved Will and Lou’s relationship and how it grew and that it grew based on actual connection and in a more intellectual and compatible way then just the standard pretty face attraction. Although they both physically were attracted to each other, it wasn’t about that. It was about finding the person with in and falling in love with who they are and not what they look like or could do for you.
Life is such a fragile gift. It can be given and taken away so quickly. Our lives can change in an instant and I don’t believe any one is ever prepared for that possibility. Jojo made me think so long about just how unpredictable life can be and what would I choose if things like this happened to me. Or if this happened to someone I loved. There is no easy answer for these situations other than we all have the lives we want to live set in our heads, and if something takes that away from us and we can’t do anything to change it, we have to accept that some people will either manage or others won’t want too. We just have to be there for each other as much as we can and always try and show the good in life. I think everyone needs to be a bit more like Lou.
“I held him close and said nothing, all the while telling him silently that he was loved. Oh, but he was loved.”