BLURB: “Lou Clark knows a lot 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 that 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 riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time”
REVIEW: Both my Mum and a very close friend of mine first read this book when it came out, and have been encouraging me to read it for years, but I always had too many books of my own to read! When the trailer was released for the newly released film adaptation, however, I decided I simply had to read the book before watching the film (I hate doing it the other way around and always avoid it if I can). I am so glad I finally decided to read this amazing, heartbreaking book. I simply couldn’t put it down and finished it in less than 24 hours. The book tells the story of Lou, a slightly eccentric and bubbly young woman who still lives at home, despite having been with her gym-bunny boyfriend for six years, and has constantly felt overshadowed by her cleverer sister Treena, who also has a little boy called Thomas. When Lou loses her job at the local cafe she is devastated, particularly as her family depends on her for much of her income, and hurries to find a new job to tide them over. Much to her surprise, she is appointed to help care for a quadroplegic man at his home, a job she feels she is nowhere near qualified for, and one she certainly doesn’t enjoy at first; Will, the young man in question, is both rude and disdainful of even Lou’s smallest attempts to cheer him and care for him, but the money means she has to stick with it. When Lou finds out about Will’s plans to kill himself, however, in a special care facility abroad, she finds herself determined to stop him and throws herself into planning new activities and events that she and him, along with his medical carer Nathan, can undertake together, in order to give him a new lease of life and hopefully dissuade him from ending his life. This sudden determination to help will leads Lou to become estranged from her boyfriend Patrick, despite them recently moving in together, and this becomes ever more apparent as Lou begins to realise that she has developed feelings for Will. The ending of the book is both heartbreaking and, in a sense, bittersweet, and I will not reveal the ending here. Safe to say I would recommend this book very, very highly, and can’t wait for both the sequel and to see the new film.