Thursday, February 3, 2011

Review: The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

Tamara Goodwin is a spoiled rotten, selfish, boy and clothing obsessed brat of a teenager. She's also just had her world rocked off its axis. Her father committed suicide and left a mountain of debts that mean she and her mother have to go live in the back of beyond with her Uncle Arthur and Aunt Rosaleen, whom Tamara has dubbed the Deliverance Duo. Cut off from her friends, shopping, her enormous house, and elaborate expectations, Tamara is determined not to make the best of things. Even worse, her mother is retreating into grief and sleep, leaving Tamara at the overbearing and obsessive mercy of Aunt Rosaleen.

In an effort to escape the claustrophobic feel of the house and her ever-watchful aunt, Tamara starts to explore the local castle's ruins (of much more recent vintage than she thinks), befriends a nun who lives nearby, meets some local teenagers, and flirts with the mobile library driver, on whose bus she discovers a blank book that starts to reveal to her, in her own handwriting no less, her own near future. The book is a diary and each entry is dated the day she is reading it but it is written as if it has already happened. What she does with this knowledge and the ways in which she is able (or not) to change the outcome drives the plot for the most part.

I found it incredibly hard to care about Tamara. She was such a snotty, whiny, mopey character and was fairly stagnant throughout the book, only gaining a little clarity about others at the extreme end of the book. Unfortunately, for me, that was too little too late. My good opinion once lost... The rising tension and slight gothic air made the book more interesting but many of the secrets Tamara discovered were so heavily foreshadowed (sign-posted?) that they were not a surprise when they were revealed taking away the impact they should have had. The actual book of tomorrow as a plot device sort of petered out only to reappear later and that felt more sloppy than intentional. Ultimately I was disappointed in the book, having expected something much different from the jacket copy but I suspect that Ahern's many fans will overlook the weaknesses here and thoroughly enjoy this slightly fantastical bit of chick lit.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book for review.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry this was disappointing; it is in my Feb reading pile, so we shall see.


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