Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

The book's synopsis from the publisher's website:

The Book of Tomorrow: A Novel Born into the lap of luxury and comfortable in the here and now, spoiled, tempestuous Tamara Goodwin has never had to look to the future—until the abrupt death of her father leaves her and her mother a mountain of debt and forces them to move in with Tamara's peculiar aunt and uncle in a tiny countryside village.
Tamara is lonely and bored, with a traveling library as her only diversion. There she finds a large leather-bound book with a gold clasp and padlock, but no author name or title. Intrigued, she pries open the lock, and what she finds inside takes her breath away.
Tamara sees entries written in her own handwriting, and dated for the following day. When the next day unfolds exactly as recorded, Tamara realizes she may have found a solution to her problems. But in her quest to find answers, Tamara soon learns that some pages are better left unturned and that, try as she may, she mustn't interfere with fate.
The Book of Tomorrow truly is an enjoyable read, even though the heroine is a spoiled rotten teenager. Tamara is, at least to my surprise, very likable and I couldn't help but root for her. I suppose that it might have something to do with the charm with which Cecelia Ahern writes :) Her characters play their roles effortlessly and despite the book being fairly short, in the end you will quite possibly feel that you know them all very well.

I think what I liked the most about the book is its modernized gothic atmosphere. Despite the plot taking place in the 21st century, it feels that the readers are all of a sudden transported to an undiscovered, unknown and shrouded in secrecy place to try and help Tamara solve a mystery of a lifetime. The novel even has its own Mrs. Danvers (Tamara's aunt, Rosaleen) which makes this whole mysterious quest for answers even more delicious. The only two things that I might complain a little bit about is that it did take a little bit of patience to get into the story and that Tamara's language is quite crude at times when it comes to sexual nature, especially considering she is only sixteen.

The Book of Tomorrow is the second book of Ahern's that I had the pleasure to read, and even though it's geared more toward the Young Adult audience than her previous novels, it can easily be enjoyed by both young and adult readers. If anything, this book fills a little bit of a void in the YA market which nowadays is flooded with paranormal romances. I'd even venture as far as saying that The Book of Tomorrow is a breath of fresh air with a heroine that's just a normal girl that has to deal with an awful tragedy and deals with it she does. Pretty remarkably, in my opinion. Tamara is inquisitive, unafraid to face difficult truths about herself and also mature enough to try and do the right thing, even if she stumbles along the way. Cecelia Ahern wrote a really fun and intelligent book and if you're looking for a change of scenery in your YA stories, give The Book of Tomorrow a try.

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern will be published by HarperCollins on January 25th, 2011 (next Tuesday).
This book was provided to me by the publisher for review.

One more very important thing and good news for the fans of Cecelia Ahern.  

HarperCollins is currently offering a low price e-book edition of one of her  titles, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.  It’s being offered at $1.99 through all major retailers, and it includes an excerpt from the new book. The price goes back up to $9.99 on 1/25, so hurry up!