Dev Rating: ***
This is a difficult one to review. On the one hand, the descriptions of quadriplegic Will are fairly detailed and realistic. He is a very charming guy, particularly once Lou and he begin to like one another. On the other hand, it is another quad-wants-to-die plot written by someone who read a news article about a man who had an assisted suicide and wanted to understand it better.
The story is that Lou, a charming young woman with a quirky sense of style, gets hired to be the carer for a quadriplegic man even though she has no experience at all. It turns out that she was hired more because of her cheery nature in the hopes that she will help bring him out of depression.
If you know me then you know that I find the quad-wants-to-die plot extremely tiresome. It reeks of ableism: "I, an able-bodied woman with no experience of disability shall write about a quadriplegic because I read about it in the news. What should I write? How about how miserable his life must be?"
I, also an able-bodied woman, have no authority to say that's not true. What I can say is that I've known quads, two of them being at the same injury level as Will and one higher. None of them have wanted to commit suicicde. They expressed to me how grateful they were to be alive and emphasized how they have grown from the experience. One told me that he had learned so much from it that his life was better than it had been.
I was reluctant to read the book knowing this was the plot, but I am actually glad that I read it.
For a more detailed review visit http://www.ruthmadison.com/monday-review-me-before-you//