Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Book of Yesterday ★★


I will start this review by saying that I had never read any Cecelia Ahern before reading this book, so I am not used to her writing style and I cannot compare to her other bestsellers. She is a very successful author, she of P.S. I Love You (made into an adorable film featuring the wonderfully rugged Gerard Butler) and Thanks For The Memories, but personally this book has put me off reading any more of her work. I have several of her books sat on my shelf (all purchased for about ten pence each from the library book sale) and I really am not inspired to read them, I shall explain why.

The Book of Tomorrow follows a teenage girl, Tamara, as her and her mother are forced to abandon their high flying lives in Dublin following the death of her father and the subsequent reveal of a huge mass of debt. Tamara and her mother, who it appears has fallen into depression,  move in with family who live in the gatehouse of an old country estate. Tamara being a typical teenager hates the situation and her new surroundings and finds it difficult to adjust. While out attempting to entertain herself Tamara then finds a book which reveals the next day's diary entry to her (written by herself) and of course in typical fashion, she tries to change events. 

My main problem with this book was initially a general confusion about the target audience, in the UK this book is marketed generally as adult fiction, however the book follows a teenager and her experiences. I believe in the US this book is also categorised as teen fiction. This is hugely confusing because an adult may find it very difficult to identify with Tamara without finding her annoying, and it distracts somewhat from the story Ahern is trying to tell.

That story is my other issue with the book, primarily in that it takes so long to get anywhere and then when the real plot does suddenly appear it becomes really quite predictable. The story itself is a generally a good idea, but it shouldn't have taken a third of the book for me to really get into it. I understand Ahern is trying to create this desolate boring image of life in the country for Tamara, but instead I simply found my mind wandering and longing for other works of fiction to read. 

I wont give it away but the story concludes with what is supposed to be a shock reveal of a deep dark family secret, but I found myself guessing what it was about half way through (and getting most of it right) and so the writing which was supposed to be gripping, instead just dragged on for a couple of hundred pages more then I felt it should have.
I will give Ahern something though, I loved her characterisation of the Nuns, it really did make them sound oh so fun to be around :)

All in all, this is only getting two stars, and really it should get one. The story itself was a great idea but I feel it was weakly executed which is a shame because I had been looking forward to this book. Let's hope some of her other work is more impressive!

Rating: ★★

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