Thursday, February 10, 2011

BOOK OF TOMORROW by Cecilia Ahern

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

16-year-old Tamara Goodwin is a spoiled selfish brat.  She has everything and appreciates nothing. When her life is turned upside down but the suicide of her father, Tamara has to start growing up. After the suicide, Tamara and her mother lose their home as a result of her father's death. They must leave Dublin go to live with relatives in a small gatehouse on the grounds of a crumbling castle.  As Tamara comes to terms with her new life, she starts to discover small mysteries around her new home.  Her mother never comes out of her room as she is crippled with depression so Tamara is left to figure things out on her own. During Tamara's explorations of her new home, she discovers the local traveling library. She grabs a book that catches her eye and only notices later that the book is locked.  When the book is unlocked, it turns out to be a blank journal. Before Tamara has the chance to use it, however, the book starts to fill itself in---with Tamara's handwriting and an account of the NEXT day.  This magical preview of the day to come allows Tamara to start asking questions and exploring and learning more about her and her mother's past.  Each day, Tamara gets another sneek preview of tomorrow and each day she unravels a bit more about the mystery surrounding the castle and her own past.

This book immediately reminded me of Kate Morton's THE DISTANT HOURS.  It follows many of the same themes but in a more "young adult" format.  Tamara is a very unpleasant and spoiled individual who is completely unlikeable. However, when she first cracks open the journal about 100 pages in, the story really gets going and Tamara starts to become more interesting.  While this book skews much more towards a young adult book than adult fiction, it can be a pleasurable read for both.  I found Tamara's story and the mysteries uncovered by the journal very compelling and I couldn't wait to see what would happen.   It is a great story about families and the secrets we can keep.

*PARENTAL ADVISORY*  There are instances of underage drinking, drug use and sex in this book.  While nothing is especially explicit, it is worthwhile to note that these things are in the book.  However, I don't feel there is anything really inappropriate for older teenagers. Tamara deals with many of the same issues that most teens her age do. I also appreciate the fact that she seems to learn from her mistakes.

BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. A surprisingly enjoyable read that works for both young adults and adults.  While it starts out a bit rocky, the book really manages to find its voice about 100 pages in and provides the reader with a great mystery about one girl's family.

1 comment:

Bookfool said...

I absolutely hated this book because I thought Tamara *didn't* learn from her mistakes. Funny how we both got something totally different out of it!