**Spoilers within this review**
This book broke my heart. I have never before felt so many different emotions when reading a book. That is quite a big statement for me because i go through at least 1 book a week, but i kid you not, by the end i was literally sobbing. I cried so much that the last few chapters were actually hard for me to focus on, but at the same time i literally couldn’t put it down. I found it so tragic that even this morning i woke up with a heavy feeling in my heart. Trust me i know i sound dramatic; I’ve always rolled my eyes at people that get so over the top when reading fiction, but honestly do not judge until you read it.
Overall i enjoyed the book, it was well written with witty personalities that kept me interested. However, truthfully if i had known even a hint of the ending, I’m pretty sure i wouldn’t have read it. I love a good romance, having read so many; I’m open to a bit of heartbreak.. But this? Such a final, unchangeable, deep rooted, dark heartbreak!? No thanks! It left me feeling emotions i would rather have not inflicted upon myself. Saying that, it’s still a good book and if you have a less sensitive heart than mine, i would definitely recommend it.
Before reading any book i like to be almost oblivious to what is going to happen. Just a quick idea of the genre is enough for me to know if i will like it or not. The same goes for this one, i had no idea other than it’s about a girl who is with the wrong guy and then finds ‘the one’. There is so much more to this book than i first anticipated and definitely a deep rooted moral message depending on your perception of the ending.
There are many themes in the book that i will outline, as well as background themes that i enjoyed. Firstly the theme throughout that i loved was that of a very British dark/dry sense of humour. The book is also set in the North of England which added to its overall charm. It had me laughing and giggling from the heart. This humour sewed into the very tragic themes is what made this book readable for me. Without this I’m not sure i would have got through it, not because of the quality of it but because of my sadness towards it.
Another side of British life that i think was portrayed very well in the book is the stark contrast between the lives of the upper class in comparison to the struggling backdrop of many working class families. Many real issues were explored in the most non judgemental way possible. I liked this insight within the overall plot very much and found most, if not all of it to be absolutely accurate.
This book explores the impact of life changing events and had me thinking of the vulnerability of life itself. We take for granted the ease of our everyday lives and are oblivious most of the time to how quickly this can change. For Will, a male character who ends up severely disabled, all it took was a blink of an eye. An exact pin drop point in time that changed his whole world from him being a company owning, extremely successful, full of life young man to a wheelchair bound, paralysed, tormented by disease, shell of the man he used to be.
The book further delves into the life of somebody living with such severe physical disabilities; the daily struggle to survive and the unimaginable pain. Even faced with such an aggressive physical battle the aspect i found most unbearable was the mental state of Will’s character; his broken spirit, so vulnerable, ashamed and frustrated by what he had become. This side of his character tore my heart out repeatedly; especially because of the insight to the strong, full of life person he used to be.
The hardest and probably the main topic explored within the book is that of euthanasia. This was one i was not willing to accept until the very end. The book gives you hope literally until all hope is lost. I don’t think i need to say much about this topic as it speaks for itself and quite frankly i still feel upset thinking about it and how it all turned out. Will’s decision broke my heart into tiny pieces.
I haven’t said much about the female protagonist Louisa, but i will say i loved her character. I loved her good heart and need to help Will. I loved her commitment and drive to save him. Through her eyes i saw a love that isn’t about a physical body or even about Will’s place in the world. It was about the person inside the shell, about his heart and intentions. Louisa’s love for Will is my interpretation of what real love is. The need to love somebody against the greatest of odds, with the knowledge that they may not be able to show you near anything physical in return, but knowing you have their heart, and that alone being enough.
In conclusion this book was a romantic, funny, heart wrenching and tragically tear jerking read.