|My First Book for the Chick Lit Challenge!|
I chose Cecelia Ahern's The Book of Tomorrow as my first book partly for the title - I found it fitting for the beginning of a new year and the start of this Challenge. Sounds kinda kooky, I know, but that's what I thought :) I've also had it since the trade paperback came out in October 2009 and felt it was high time to pull it off the shelf. For those of you who may not know who Ahern is, she's the author of P.S. I Love You (yes, the book the movie was based on...if you've seen the movie and haven't read the book, get on it! The book is so much more detailed.) Fun fact: she was twenty one when she wrote it. So cool. Since Ahern's other novels fit the criteria for chick lit I decided to give The Book of Tomorrow a whirl.
Here is the snippet from the back of the book (I don't like giving too much away in a synopsis, and honestly, this is so much easier :) don't you agree?)
"Tamara Goodwin has always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow. Until a traveling library arrives in her tiny village, bringing with it a mysterious, large leather-bound book locked with a gold clasp and padlock.Honestly, I'm still not sure what I thought of the book. I went through a few thoughts and emotions while reading it. First of all, I didn't realize the protagonist was only sixteen. I know I read a few young adult novels, but I think what threw me off is that I wasn't expecting the main character to be so young. I quickly got over that and then found myself frustrated with the time it took to get to the main point of the story - the so-called book of tomorrow. It finally showed up about 60 pages in and at that point I was already intrigued by the main character, who, by the way, is named Tamara, and the mystery surrounding this book.
What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core.
A mesmerizing story about how tomorrow can change what happens today..."
Once the story really got going, I realized that it was going to be a sort of coming of age story, with a mystical twist, which Ahern is known for. At the beginning of the novel Tamara is a spoiled sixteen year old girl whose world gets rocked and as the story progresses, it gets rocked a few more times. There are some twists and turns that were really interesting, but this was another thing that had me sort of iffy about. At first I thought it was going to be more like The Forgotten Garden (AMAZING book!!!), then I thought it was more resembling The Thirteenth Tale (good, but odd) and a bit of Her Fearful Symmetry (totally weird and I really didn't like it), and even though I've never actually read it, I feel like it had a touch of Jane Eyre too. Any of this making sense? :)
I found I was trying to work out the big twist for a good part of the end of the book, and I think Ahern needs commending for the shocker at the end. Parts of it were, perhaps, more obvious, and I did figure out two parts of the puzzle, but for the most part I was completely surprised. The writing was great, apart from this annoying repetitiveness when Tamara keeps talking about phrases that are redundant like "very dead."
Overall, I did like the book. It wasn't really as "chick lit" as I thought it would be, but that's ok. I would still recommend it for those who like Ahern and books with a fantastical element to them. I think it was a decent first pick for this challenge, but I hope the next one I choose is better.
Stay tuned next month for my next Chick Lit Challenge Book Review. Wonder what I'll pick...