Saturday, November 28, 2009

Review: "The Book of Tomorrow" by Cecelia Ahern

Tamara Goodwin has it all: good looks, nice clothes, a car waiting for her on her 17th birthday. That is until her dad decides to take his own life and her world collapses around her. Tamara and her mother, who is lost inside of a deep fog, move in with her Aunt Rosaleen and Uncle Arthur who live in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly Tamara's life is drastically different. With nothing to do, Tamara takes an interest in the travelling library and Marcus, the handsome boy who runs it. Tamara is drawn to a thick book which is padlocked in the non-fiction section. With the help of Sister Ignatius, the nun who Tamara has befriended, she opens it and finds that this is "The Book of Tomorrow". Every morning Tamara wakes and finds a diary entry, in her handwriting, dated with tomorrow's date and telling of tomorrow's events. This isn't the only strange thing that happens. Tamara's Aunt Rosaleen is doing mysterious things and keeping unusually close tabs on Tamara. Tamara is determined to get to the bottom of her aunt's secrecy, and with the help of her new friend Weseley, they start on a journey that will lead her to the answers that she's been looking for.

I'll admit that I didn't like Tamara at the beginning of the book. She was a spoiled brat who didn't care about anyone but herself, who was too busy mourning the loss of her old lifestyle to care about anyone else around her. She'd had everything handed to her on a silver platter up until this point in her life and she didn't see any reason for that to stop. As the book continues on, I thankfully began to like her. The spoiled brat disappeared and was replaced with someone on a quest for the truth, no matter how painful that truth may be. Towards the end of the novel Tamara turns into an intelligent girl with a new sense of compassion for those around her. Ahern managed to not make this transformation cliche, and instead made it a natural progression.

I ended up really enjoying The Book of Tomorrow. Mystery and intrigue were present in spades, and the build-up to the revelation of the secrets at the end was wonderful. Although I found the beginning of the book a little slow, by the end I was racing to see what would happen next and what the mystery and secrecy was all about. The conclusion was absolutely satisfying: although the ending is not a completely happy one, it does leave room for the reader to hope that everything turns out okay for Tamara and her mom.

Thank-you to Deanna at HarperCollins Canada for this review copy. You can browse inside The Book of Tomorrow here or check out the reading guide here.

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