Louisa is the only member of her family who has a stable job. Her mother takes care of her deteriorating grandfather, her father is in danger of being laid off of his job, and her sister has a child and is going to school. When Louisa’s current place of work is shut down, she knows that she needs to find another job and fast. She finds an ad for a caretaker for a disabled man, and in her desperation Louisa applies for the job and receives it.
She first dreads the job because Will, the quadriplegic that she is taking care of is dull, mean, and quite morbid. She doesn’t think that she could ever possibly enjoy taking care of him. However, soon Will starts warming up to her, she learns more about his life before his crippling accident, and she starts to see him as more of the man that he used to be: successful, ambitious, and a model son. When his family comes to visit, she learns the horrifying secret that Will wants to go to an assisted suicide center. Louisa plans to make the possible last 6 months of his life the best 6 months of his life and change his mind.
Let me just say for starters that this book did not make me cry. Like at all. I didn’t even tear up. I loved the story and enjoyed it immensely, but I just didn’t feel that emotional pull. So this won’t be a gushing review of how much I cried while reading it and how I just felt for the characters. Nope, not any of that.
Anyways, I DID enjoy this book. I enjoyed both of the character’s backstories equally, and I read this book all in one sitting just so I could find out all of the character’s deep, dark, secrets (muah ha ha ha). All jokes aside, the character creation for this book was just amazing. I felt that about 80% of the characters could actually be real people, as if they were stepping off of the page. The one person that I didn’t feel this way about was Louisa’s boyfriend throughout the story. I just felt like he was silly and pretty unrealistic. Everyone else though was spot on.
I loved Louisa’s selflessness and courage to even create a plan to keep a suicidal man from killing himself. She kept creating activities and bringing an entirely new life to an otherwise sad story. I wish I had known her when she was a teen, she seems like a person who would be a great friend. I also love Will. Although he is very depressed for a lot of the book, it is interesting to see a side to how people react when everything is taken away from them. People complain that the book is written in the fashion of “You have a crippling accident, there’s nothing left for you until some special ‘functional’ person comes into your life.” I think that this shows what can be a very real reaction to getting into an accident. Usually we hear about the success stories, the people who have horrible diseases and decide to do good deeds and be happy until they naturally pass away. However, this can also be a very real reaction for a person, to just want to end it because they can’t do anything for themselves anymore. And I feel that this book addresses this side of the issue perfectly.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5