REVIEW: The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

The Book of Tomorrow

My experience of this book did not start well. I read the first chapter and then put it aside for a week or two, always choosing to read any of the other books rather than this one. Why? Because I couldn’t stand the main character! I thought she was an annoying, stereotypical spoilt-little-rich-girl who only thought of herself. It also didn’t help that she had the same name as an ex of mine – Tamara – a name I use to like, and who knows, I may have been more forgiving of the spoilt-little-rich-girl if I hadn’t had that bad ex experience. However, I did give the spoilt-little-rich-girl/Tamara and The book of tomorrow the benefit of the doubt and forced myself to keep reading and they both taught me not to judge so quickly.

The book of tomorrow may not be the best book I’ve read all year, but after a couple of chapters I found it quite addictive and in fact, my original shunning was turned on its head as i virtually abandoned other books to read this one (especially on the bus- its great bus reading 🙂 )

The book of tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern is narrated by Tamara Goodwin, a 16-year-old girl who lives in Ireland in a giant house with wealthy, distant parents, and engages in drinking and other typical teenager behaviour with a couple of ditzy promiscuous friends and randy teenage boys.  Or at least she use to, before her father downed a bottle of pills with a chaser of booze and Tamara found him dead in his office. Tamara is very blunt about the tragedy and how much it “sucks” that her and her mother now have to sell their house and move in with her hick uncle and aunt in a small Irish town. When Tamara first moves into the gatehouse next to the old burnt-out Kilsaney castle, she sees no upside to the situation and complains about everything. But soon Tamara starts to notice how strange and controlling her aunt Rosaleen is, how silent and non-confrontational her uncle Arthur is and the general secretiveness of the household.

In a chance encounter she meets Marcus, who drives the library book-bus, and while hanging out and flirting with him she spies an interesting book to borrow….one with no title, no author and a lock. Marcus tells her to take it anyway, and after another chance encounter with local nun Sister Ignatius, gets it unlocked, only to find that it’s blank – the book isn’t a novel, it’s a diary. After Sister Ignatius encourages her to write in the diary, Tamara takes it to the old Kilsaney Castle ruins, a place she’s formed an affinity for, and prepares to write her first entry. However, on opening the pages of the book Tamara finds there is already an entry written in her own handwriting and with tomorrow’s date. Confused and curious she reads the entry which details events that will happen that day. When she finishes reading and finds that the day unfolds exactly as it said it would, she is even more confused and despite Sister Ignatius suggesting that she probably wrote it and forgot about it, or wrote in her sleep, Tamara knows she didn’t write the diary. When the next entry appears in the middle of the night as she watches, Tamara believes the entries are appearing for a reason – to warn her of what is to come and help her make different decisions. She uses the diary everyday and slowly unravels the mysteries of her family, Kilsaney Castle and her mother’s worsening condition.

The book of tomorrow is an interesting blend of genres: 1 part YA, 1 part mystery/thriller, 1 part family drama with a dash of fantasy. It covers issues such as grief, family secrets, growing up and fate. It is not the deepest novel, but was more in-depth and emotional then I expected from the first couple of chapters. Not a book that everyone would like, but I would recommend it to people who enjoy novels about skeletons in a family’s closet and how different people deal with death.

I give The book of tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern:

3 ½ / 5 stars

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