The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern
Genre: Chick-Lit, Adult
Published: 2010 by HarperCollins
This is a story about how tomorrow can change what happens today…
Tamara Goodwin has everything she ever wanted and she never has to think about tomorrow. But suddenly her world is turned upside down and she has to leave her glamorous city life for a new one in the country. However, Tamara is soon lonely and longing to return home.
Then a travelling library arrives in the village, bringing with it a mysterious leather-bound book locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What Tamara discovers within its pages takes her breath away and everything starts to change in the most unexpected of ways…
Let’s say this was the second time I attempted to read this book and I only made it through because I was reading along with somebody else. Otherwise, I probably would have marked this book as a DNF. As it was, it got a second star only for the last 10% which had a little more, action, but still did not redeem any of the characters or the story. This is my first Cecelia Ahern book and it’s not giving me a great impression, so I believe it will also be my last.
Let’s start with the main character Tamara Goodwin. The name Goodwin is incredibly ironic because there is nothing “good” about this girl, she is spoilt, selfish, downright mean and pretty stupid at times. Whilst the story is narrated from Tamara’s perspective, she is a more changed and mature person. However because most of the time we fall into the Tamara of the present you can’t really see this “new” Tamara and even by the end connecting the narrator and Tamara herself is an impossibility. The two do not form any resemblance and Tamara shows little change as a character that makes it impossible for me to like her. Not at any point in the story did I like her, and the fact that she seemed to garner several love interests for an incredibly horrible girl is absolutely abhorrent. What is so attractive about this girl?!
“Yes, Tamara. Now that’s enough questions. You know curiosity killed the cat.’ She smiled briefly before leaving the kitchen.
‘Boredom killed the fucking cat.’ I shouted at the closed door.”
What kind of person talks to their aunt like this? She never changes and whilst her aunt was neither a likeable character or sane, it still didn’t mean she had to be treated this way. Her aunt reminded me of a Meerkat a lot, because she seemed to scurry around and she was always looking out for something. She was suspicious and she certainly wasn’t a likeable person. Along with most of the characters in the story, none of them seemed to be likeable.
There was only one who I actually liked and that was Sister Ignatius who had a more developed character than Arthur who I liked at times, but lacked any real personality or characterisation to his character.
Sister Ignatius was friendly and a little strange, but she was kind and true and she never lied. Out of all the bundle of the characters she was the only person that remotely had redeemable qualities as a person and she brought a touch of humour to the book. She probably is the reason this story even gets a rating.
“Write what’s up there,’ Sister Ignatius pointed at her temple, ‘and what’s in there,’ she pointed at her heart. ‘As a great man once called it, “a secret garden.” We’ve all got one of those.’
‘No, Bruce Springsteen.’
Besides disliking the characters, the plot was slow and dull. We get such a focus on this book from the title and the synopsis and then really it takes very little action in the whole story. I felt that as a whole the plot would have developed from more of the book and if Ahern had taken a stronger hold of this idea and really allowed it to drive the book. This was what I was expecting and totally what I didn’t get, which really annoyed me!
Not only was the plot slow and cumbersome, but there were numerous plot holes and loops that just didn’t make sense and it became really annoying to follow and spot them out. When reading this as a read-along I think these plot holes became more obvious and only served to damper the little enjoyment I got from this book.
To me, reading this book was certainly more of a chore than an enjoyment and it was not my book. I don’t read a lot of chick-lit as it is, but this has really pushed me away from the genre. Personally, I’ll be steering clear of this book and Ahern in future and would be happy to drop this book down at the charity shop and see the back of it.
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Let me know what you think!