Published by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking on December 31st 2012
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Louisa Clarke was a girl without ambition. Lou was quite content with her life working at The Buttered Bun, dating her boyfriend of the last seven years, and crowding in her house with her parents, grandfather, her sister and nephew. Her life was just passing her by as every day was the same old, same old.
When Louisa’s boss decides the close the restaurant, Louisa needs to find a job fast. She and her father are the only ones supporting the family and her father might soon loose his job too. With only one job as a waitress, and not a very good one, she isn’t qualified for much but is given an interview for the position of a temporary carer of a quadriplegic man, someone to be with him while his medical assistant is unavailable.
Louisa’s inexperience should work against her, but it is her chatty nature and odd dress that gets her the position. Will’s family is hoping that the quirky Louisa will distract Will from his depression.
Former CEO, Will Traynor used to live an active and adventurous lifestyle but an motor vehicle accident put an end to that, leaving him a quadriplegic. After two years, Will has had enough of the pain, the infections and humiliation of never being able to care for himself again. After a very close suicide attempt, Will has promised his parents six more months and then he wants to be taken to a hospital in Switzerland for assisted suicide.
Louisa and Will do no get along well in the beginning but as Louisa starts to win over the reluctant Will, she overhears what Will is planning to do. Now she knows she only has months to get Will to change his mind and does everything that she can to show Will that being confined to a wheelchair might mean the end of the life he has known, but he can still live a full life…and maybe with Louisa at his side.
This is not the type of book that I usually read. This is like all those Nicholas Sparks novels that I avoid like a rash where miserable disasters ruin the life of a perfectly happy people. Warning: This is not going to have a HEA for Will and Louisa. You only have to read the description for the follow up novel, After You, (hint, hint) to know that.
The basic premise of this story is two people to will try to teach each other how to live life. Will wants Louisa to get out of her boring life and live like he can no longer do and Louisa simply wants Will to accept his limitations and and learn to live his life differently but happily.
I was intrigued by the trailer that I was seeing posted several places on Friday and I would like to see this when it comes out later this spring. I thought I would get a jump on the story and get more insight into the characters as you usually do when you read the novel. This was mostly, a first person POV, with four chapters written from the perspective of others. We never did get to see inside of Will’s head, which I think takes away from what we could have learned.
Louisa is a bit of an odd duck and a little bit depressing. I would have anticipated from her clothing choices that she would be more wacky and free-spirited, but she had a lot of issue with confidence. She also has a boyfriend in this story, which I hadn’t anticipated from the trailer. This is a seven year relationship which seems to have no zing to it. Like everything in Louisa’s life, her relationship just trudges along at a standstill. The only thing that prompts Louisa to move in with her boyfriend is when Will offers her the spare room in his home when things get too crowded at home. Her boyfriend is jealous when he finds out the man Louisa is caring for is actually an attractive and intelligent man. There is such a lack of relationship, I am no even certain he is necessary for the movie. He doesn’t add or subtract from the development of Louisa except showing how dull her life is and there was plenty of other things to point that out. We do see that Louisa spends less time with him and more time and interest in Will.
The story is interesting but for once I did not feel that I got any deep insight into Louisa and certainly nothing in depth on Will. I could pick out from the trailer the important scenes which I followed from the novel.
This would definitely be one of the few times I would tell you to save your $11 from the purchase price of the book and simply wait a few weeks for the movie to be released. The casting looks very good and hopefully they will breathe a little more energy and a little less pathetic into Louisa.