Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

Publisher: Harper Collins/Harper
Publishing Date: 01/25/2011
ISBN: 9780061706301
Pages: 420 pages

Summary from GoodReads:
The magical new novel from number one bestseller Cecelia Ahern. Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes and all that a girl could ever wish for. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gatehouse is a world away from Tamara's childhood. With her mother shut away with grief, and her aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin.When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core.

My Review:
I got this book as an ARC from NetGalley but then I realized I had actually already purchased this at the bookstore. I guess this book was released in Canada the same time as it was released overseas and it is now being released in America in January. To be honest I have mixed feelings about Ahern. I first started reading her books because I saw P.S. I Love You in the theatre and loved it. I didn't read that book because I have a thing about reading books after you've seen the movie. I know that the majority of the time the book is better than the film but I just feel like after you've seen the movie that you already know the main plot points and it's difficult to stay interested in the book. Anyhow, that's a different thing altogether and what I'm really getting at is that I enjoy some Ahern books while I really dislike others. I wasn't a huge fan of Where Rainbows end but I did really like Thanks for the Memories so when I saw The Book of Tomorrow I thought I'd try another Ahern novel. I'm glad I did because I really enjoyed this book. The novel is told in the point of view of a teenage girl, Tamara, who lived a privileged life but when her father commits suicide due to financial stress things begin to fall apart. Tamara is forced to move to the country with her aunt and uncle and her mother seems almost catatonic in a depressive state. Tamara meets many people along the way and she also comes across a diary that writes entries about her life a few days before they happen. Through the diary Tamara begins to change from a spoiled, rude teen to a more understanding, compassionate young woman. I have to admit that Ahern's writing style really drew me into the book and that has not always been the case when I have read her novels. During the first few chapters of the book I came across a few lines that made me laugh out loud. They are as follows:

"I think there should be the Real Life Oscars. And Best Actress goes to Alison Flanaghan! For walking down the main aisle of the supermarket just last Monday, face in full make-up, hair freshly blow-dried, despite feeling like wanting to die, smiling brightly to Sarah and Deirdre from the Parents' Association and behaving as if her husband hadn't just left her and her three children. Come up and get your award, Alison!"

This continues for a bit but you get point. The character has a lot of spunk and while she can be downright rude and at times I found myself wanting to yell at her,I also found that I couldn't help but feel bad for her. She had no outlet to display or talk about her grief and mourning. She has also been completely uprooted and placed in a place so unlike home. I have to say that I was really shocked with the ending of this novel. While you know that Tamara's aunt Rosalie is acting suspiciously I would never have guessed the ending of this book. I finished reading this book this evening and I couldn't put it down. I love reading in the bath and by the time I got out tonight, the water was freezing cold but the book was finished. Overall, I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. I usually don't publish these reviews this far in advance of the publishing date but as I stated earlier this book is already out in Canada and so I am publishing this post tonight.

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