Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Group Review: The Book of Tomorrow

The Book of Tomorrow: A NovelSummary:  Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she’s ever wanted. Born into a family of wealth, she grew up in a mansion with its own private beach, a wardrobe full of designer clothes, and a large four poster bed complete with a luxurious bathroom en-suite. She’s always lived in the here and now, never giving a second thought to tomorrow.


But then suddenly her dad is gone and life for Tamara and her mother changes forever. Left with a mountain of debt, they have no choice but to sell everything they own and move to the country to live with Tamara’s Uncle and Aunt. Nestled next to Kilsaney Castle, their gate house is a world away from Tamara’s childhood. With her Mother shut away with grief, and her Aunt busy tending to her, Tamara is lonely and bored and longs to return to Dublin.


When a travelling library passes through Kilsaney Demesne, Tamara is intrigued. She needs a distraction. Her eyes rest on a mysterious large leather bound tome locked with a gold clasp and padlock. With some help, Tamara finally manages to open the book. What she discovers within the pages takes her breath away and shakes her world to its core.


Alice's Review: I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern.  Saying she is one of my favorite authors is an understatement.  She has the awesome ability to write for the heart and she definitely delivered in this novel.  Ms. Ahern captivated my attention from the very beginning.   She also completely surprised me. 



For starters, I wasn’t expecting to like Tamara as much as I did.  She starts off as a self-proclaimed spoiled brat and yes, she totally acted like one.  But after a tragedy she could never imagined takes place, she is forced to look at her selfish ways and change.  Everything.  With the help of a fascinating cast of characters and a magic diary, Tamara goes on the adventure of her life without leaving the tiny village with its very own decrepit castle.  Right away Tamara finds a kindred soul in this castle, it’s as beat up and broken as she is.   

I really enjoyed all the characters, especially Arthur, Tamara’s uncle.  You can tell how much he loved Tamara, how his silence was there to protect her more than anything else.  I loved her creepy Aunt Rosaleen and the way she was like a ghost, always watching.   And that’s what started my wheels turning.  I can’t remember the last time I was genuinely surprised at an ending in a novel.  I didn’t see it coming at all.  Ms. Ahern didn’t give anything away, all things were discovered to us along with Tamara. 

The other character that I wholly loved (pun intended) was Sister Ignatius.  I have this odd fascination with nuns.  My favorite calendar is my Nuns Having Fun calendar.  On my desk at work I have Nun-chucks and Nun Bowling.  I have a newspaper clipping of a sneaker wearing nun playing softball hanging in my closet.  Yes, I’m odd and I’ll admit, maybe it’s more of an addiction than a fascination.  Sister Ignatius is exactly the kind of nun I would be if I ever was a nun.  She’s an artistic, funny, smut novel reading awesome creation.  She was the perfect friend for Tamara in her new life.

I loved this novel so much because it made me think of my own book of tomorrow.  I made me wonder what I would do.  Actually I wouldn’t have to wonder at all, I know I would open that thing in a heartbeat.  I would want to know what was going to happen to me.  I’d rather have regrets for things I did than things I didn’t do.  Plus, it’s a great way to stay out of trouble. 

I loved the idea of Tamara knowing what her future held.  It’s like receiving a cheat sheet on life.  I loved that she had the ability to either keep it that way or change it.  I loved that what I thought was going to happen, didn’t, that it was better than I could ever imagine.  Most of all, I loved watching Tamara change, watching her mature.  Ms. Ahern did a wonderful job of maturing Tamara without changing the core of who she is. 

Now go.  Go on and get your very own copy of The Book of Tomorrow.  You can’t borrow mine.


Part of Alice's & Julie's List Swap Challenge

Final Take:  5/5


Jenn's Review:  I didn't have any expectations for this book having not read Cecelia Ahern before. I saw the film P.S. I Love You and thought it was good, not brilliant. Not necessarily a reflection on the book, of course (I would never judge a book by its movie!), but it made me want to read one of her books.


This is much in the same vein as
P.S. I Love You. A death causes, this time, a teen to reexamine her life and her priorities along with what she knows to be true. There's a little bit of magic in it too, ala Sarah Addison Allen, with a diary that predicts the future a day in advance.


This was a bit of a slow start for me because, once again, the protagonist was not very likable. Tamara did not sit around and whine about her situation (much), however, she is a shallow girl who is forced to find depth. I wasn't crazy about the nonchalant "typical" teenage girl antics, but I did appreciate her desire to save her mother from herself and her quest for the truth ~almost-redeeming qualities.


While the plot has plenty of twists and turns to propel the reader forward, I did see all of them coming, save one. However, that didn't lessen my love of the storyline one bit. I do wish the existence of the diary had an explanation of some sort that made it seem less like a plot device, albeit a clever plot device, and firmly tied it to the characters and their story.


It is a charming read, despite its minor drawbacks, and I will happily read more of Cecelia Ahern's works in the future.

Final Take: 4.0/5

Thank you to Harper Collins for making this available for us to review.


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Don't forget to come back tomorrow to read our special interview with the
Cecelia Ahern.

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2 comments :

Vanessa@Luxuria January 25, 2011 at 9:15 AM  

Great to read your review which is really timely for me as it's the next book to start on my reading list. So pleased it got such good ratings (I can be rather influenced by reviews and whether I start or continue a book or not!)

Zara Mohammed February 1, 2011 at 6:27 PM  

I have just finished reading Ahern's Book of Tomorrow and was fascinated by her descriptions of Rosaline, they were absolutely spot on!

:)

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