According to Japanese legend, folding a thousand paper cranes will grant you healing. Evelyn Abel will fold two thousand if it will bring Luc back to her. Luc Argent has always been intimately acquainted with death. After a car crash got him a second chance at life—via someone else’s transplanted heart—he tried to embrace it. He truly did. But he always knew death could be right around the corner again. And now it is. Sick of hospitals and tired of transplants, Luc is ready to let his failing heart give out, ready to give up. A road trip to Oregon—where death with dignity is legal—is his answer. But along for the ride is his best friend, Evelyn. And she’s not giving up so easily. A thousand miles, a handful of roadside attractions, and one life-altering kiss later, Evelyn’s fallen, and Luc’s heart is full. But is it enough to save him? Evelyn’s betting her heart, her life, that it can be. Right down to the thousandth paper crane.
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Luc is dying. He's been dying for a long time. He's been through many hospitals, doctors, and surgeries, thinking they could fix it all. And they had ... for a little while. When he gets the worse news of all - that more surgery is necessary to have just a small chance at staying alive, he's ready to give up.
Until the girl who'd left three years before comes back to town. The girl he'd hidden his illness from. The one who he would protect still. She shouldn't have to deal with it. He wouldn't let her carry the burden. But he can't resist that goodbye. He can't stop himself from inviting her along on the road trip that could be his end.
What I loved:
Evelyn. She's such a strong, bright woman. I could root for her no matter what she was doing. Even her naivete at times is charming. She's been in love with Luc for a long time and she has demons of her own in her past. I admire how she refuses to give up right til the very end. She's determined to show Luc he has something to live for.
The writing style is quick and simple, not being bogged down in every single emotion like a story like this could be. The writers let the emotion come naturally instead of forcing it. By the end, I was bawling like a baby.
What was just okay:
I wasn't a fan of Luc. He's dying so he deserves some slack, but the guy is a jerk. He's pretty awful to Evelyn for large stretches of the book and then he's amazing to her. It was like his personality just changed.
Parts of the story - particularly in the beginning - dragged, but the pace was soon picked up.
Keep the tissues handy because this is a story that will tear your heart out and won't bother to put it back together for you. It packs a powerful emotional punch throughout the pages and you'll be a better person for having read it.
Everything changes when Evelyn finds out her mother wants to go back to her boyfriend in Arizona. Evelyn feels like she finally got away, and since her mother always treats her like the second choice, Evelyn is not sure if her mother will believe her about what her boyfriend has been doing to Evelyn. Unsure of what else to do, she runs to Luc for comfort. Luc invites her on a roadtrip to Oregon that he had been considering- Oregon allows euthanasia. Luc is keeping his heart condition from Evelyn, though she knows that something is going on. Evelyn is a lover of origami and suggests that he fold a thousand paper cranes.
Their trip takes many unexpected and lovely turns as they both learn more about the other and what it means to be alive. This book was absolutely beautiful and I loved it. Both Evelyn and Luc were so real and incredibly well crafted. The alternating viewpoints between the two was a perfect way to tell this story of young love and life. I absolutely could not put it down and loved every second of this book- it’s such a poignant and beautiful story. I’m not sure I can write how amazing this book is, but I highly recommend it.
There are some really big themes here- sexual assault, euthanasia/suicide, running away, etc.- and as a warning, it will absolutely make you feel some big emotions- heartbreak, sadness, happiness/joy. However, it’s really a fantastically well-crafted story and I wouldn’t change a word of it. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.