Synopsis: Lou Clark knows lots 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 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 a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
Let me start by saying that this book crushed me. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much reading a book in all of my life. I cried during – the first time about half way through, and then constantly for roughly the last 100 pages – and I cried after. For a good half an hour. Like, ugly cried.
I’ve heard some people say that they feel it’s unoriginal, predictable and, disagreeably, boring… Okay, I have to agree that it was a bit predictable, we all knew what was inevitably going to happen in the end. But let’s face it, nothing could have ever prepared us for the emotional turmoil that it was going to put us through, and I for one did not think it was boring in the slightest. I loved reading about the relationship between Lou and Will – it was so incredibly honest and realistic, not of the typical “mushy” romance that you would expect. They bickered and acted like real human beings and it was the portrayal of this that had me hooked from the beginning.
I found all of the characters to be extremely well rounded, even the supporting characters like Will’s parents and Lou’s family – can I just say, for those of you who’ve read it, one of my favourite parts was when Lou’s Granddad said “birthday cake”… ❤️
Lou was fun, quirky and interesting. FINALLY a female character who isn’t your typical girly girl, or tomboy. I loved that she has a unique fashion sense, it was so much fun to picture each of the outfits and told us so much about her fearlessness and confidence in herself.
Will… Where do I begin? I couldn’t ever imagine what it must feel like to be in that position. But he showed Lou what it meant to live. Most people think this is a story about Lou helping Will, but I actually found it more to be the opposite way round. Will makes Liu see that she is worth so much more than she gives herself credit for, and it’s this out of view that really struck a chord with me.
My ultimate favourite moment in this book was their trip to see the symphonic orchestra. The writing at this point was simply magical:
Oh, and the epilogue. But I can’t reveal any of that because it’s SERIOUSLY spoilers, but let’s just say that it was very difficult for me to read for all of the watery mess spilling from my eyes…
This is one of my favourite reads this year, and it’ll definitely be on my list of all time favourites. No matter what anyone says, this is so much more than your typical romance novel!
So there’s a sequel, “After You” – has anyone read it, and is it worth reading? I’m slightly apprehensive, as I don’t want it to not be as good and be disappointed…
I really want to see the film too now, but I’m scared to go on my own to the cinema as I know I’ll be a blubbering mess… Maybe I should just wait until the DVD comes out and watch it in the safety of my own room…
View Me Before You on Goodreads