"Push yourself. Don't settle. Just live well. Just live."
Where can I even start with this review? Below is what I typed as my initial review on Goodreads as soon as I finished this book:
by Jojo Moyes (Goodreads Author)
If you have not read this book, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW!
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!
The above sentiment hasn't changed. I am writing this review, the next day, after completing the book. Maybe it's still too soon. Maybe it'll always be too soon. One thing I am glad of was seeing the sun come up this morning. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading this, silently sobbing in bed as I read and my husband snored away.
I don't really know how I feel about it. What I can say? JoJo Moyes is a fantastic author. She knows how to create characters that will stay with you for a long time. She is able to create such a strong emotional connection to a fictional story she created in her head and put down onto paper. Her story annihilated my heart but made compassion scream louder than any book I've read. This book will stay with me. I don't know if I'm emotionally stable enough to see the movie.
"You are scored on my heart, Clark. You were from the first day you walked in, with your ridiculous clothes and your complete inability to ever hide a single thing you felt."
I originally typed, "
I don't know which character I loved more" but that's a lie. Will. Will is the character I loved more. I had a love/hate relationship with Louisa. She spent most of her life taking care of others, putting her needs last which I admire but also makes me want to shake her. I admire her helping to take care of her family. I don't admire her staying in a dead-end relationship because she didn't want more for herself and/or didn't think she could do better. Unfortunately, I think that is a reality for way too many people in our society and I don't like characters that encourage that passivity.
Will helped her to see she can do better. She can do better in relationships. She can do better career-wise. She can do better in experience, laughter, love, and her future in general. Will would've been better. Will created a whole new world for her and she was happy to jump in.
This isn't to say Will was perfect by any means. Sure, he was cranky and he was a playboy before his accident. But, the crankiness is understandable when you're constantly in pain and/or mourning the loss of a life you used to have. I am angry, but also can understand why the author did this to us. She developed this character (Will) that is really so easy to fall in love with. She got us to join in on Louisa's hope that she is making a difference, that maybe, just maybe, she'll be able to change his mind. There's one portion of the book that Nathan, or maybe even Will, tells Lou that she should've known better... she should've known she wouldn't be able to change his mind. And it did matter. Those six months MATTERED to Clark (Lou/Louisa) as much as they did to Will.
"Time slowed, and stilled. It was just the two of us, me murmuring in the empty, sunlit room. Will didn't say much. He didn't answer back, or add a dry comment, or scoff. He nodded occasionally, his head pressed against mine, and murmured, or let out a small sound that could have been satisfaction at another good memory. "It has been the best six months of my entire life." "Funnily enough, Clark, mine too." And then, just like that, my heart broke. My face crumpled, my composure went and I held him tightly and I stopped caring that he could feel the shudder of my sobbing body because grief swamped me. It overwhelmed me and tore at my heart and my stomach and my head and it pulled me under, and I couldn't bear it."
Ugh. It wrecked me. This book, this story, just wrecked me. I'm not going to get into the politics of what happened and if it was ok, if it wasn't, etc. All I am going to say is that my heart hurts for Will and all he lost, as well as Louisa. There is always a silver lining, though and at least they found each other, even for just a short time.
That's all for me, folks. I can't write/think/obsess over this story any more. I encourage you to read it. It will definitely remind you... to live. To embrace life. To strive for more. To feel.