Friday, June 10, 2011

Surprising- (and Pleasant-)ly Down to Earth

After my mad May frenzy, I calmed down a bit, secure in my ability to finish all my library books once and for all.  Next on the list was Cecilia Ahern's Book of Tomorrow, which I have to date renewed... wait for it... 7 times :) (it's considered new, so each renewal is only two weeks).  No more though, I am DONE :) (not that it was such an accomplishment, don't get me wrong).  You all know Cecilia Ahern, even though I haven't reviewed her books yet, I don't think.  She's a bit on the chic lit side, but only because I don't think many men are reading her books.  They have a bit of romance usually, they are *all* about relationships, they end happily enough for the most part, have some serious-ish soul searching thrown in, and to top it all off, never fail to sprinkle a little fairy dust.

The Book of Tomorrow is no exception to all that.  It starts off angsty, with the suicide of the main character's father, and continues with her realization that she is, in fact, not a very nice person.  But it's not dark, just maybe a bit obvious.  On the plus side, the main character is sixteen, so she's allowed to be an idiot, which makes her naive amorality a little more believable, and definitely more funny.  Since the tagline of the book was something about knowing what tomorrow will bring, and would you want that, I was afraid the plot would descend into that sort of philosophical morass, but it stayed surprisingly fresh of such uncomfortable questions.  Though the diary tells Tamara some notion of her future, it never gets her in trouble.  Instead the book morphs into a sort of mystery, with Tamara exploring her own and her mother's hidden past.  And in that respect, it becomes surprisingly compelling.  While I don't think I would have had any patience with Tamara drawing herself further and further into the trap of using "magic" for the wrong reasons, I was genuinely curious to find out what in fact were the real relationships among the shadowy figures populating the novel's backstory and how they relate to those in  the foreground (;))

I guess in the end I was a little disappointed (I think the ending was a lot more obvious to all of us than it was to Tamara), but overall, I don't think Cecilia Ahern did a bad job at all with this, more mysterious, storyline.  I almost don't remember what she usually manages to fill out her books with, but I have a feeling it involves a lot more discomfort and tension than this little number.  In that sense, this book definitely compares favorable to some of her other recent ones... I suppose it is less emotion-wrought than her other ones, which could be viewed as a  bad thing, but of course does draw the reader in, if annoying at the same time.  This book didn't have that same level of shut-up-already-it-ness as a lot her others, but it also is slightly more boring I think.  I'm not really complaining about this, it was a nice little story in its own right.  And if it wasn't that romantic either, well it had something, and I don't know that I was expecting more.  So basically, didn't disappoint, because not many expectations :)

Verdict: 3/5

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