Tuesday, 25 July 2017

A Review of The Book of Tomorrow

Also awesome cut-out cover!
The Book of Tomorrow is a novel by Cecelia Ahern, who has written many books for adults and the Young Adult book Flawed. Tamara Goodwin lives in luxury with very rich parents. However, her father dies, leaving behind only debts and bad investments. Tamara's charmed life in Dublin is no more, and she and her mother move in with her Uncle in the countryside. When a travelling library comes to town, Tamara finds an unwritten notebook that writes out what is going to happen to her tomorrow.

I may overuse the term "fairy tale" in my reviews, but this book feels like a modern day fairy tale, a medieval riches-to-rags that just happens to be set in our modern age. I love books with that sort of feel, and I really liked this one.

Magical realism is an odd genre to me. Sometimes, I'll read a magical realism book and think 'this is just fantasy.' It seems like the term people give fantasy books when they want them to sound more serious, which plays into the weird stigma of fantasy fiction and the people who read it. But this is one that absolutely falls into the 'slight magical elements, but still very much a normal world' part of the genre. The other odd genre related fact about this book is that I've seen it in the adult section of stores, so often. The main character is a teenager, and there's nothing that disqualifies it from being enjoyed by young adults. Was it just to keep all of Ahern's books on the same shelf. Not that everything with a teenager in it has to be YA, or that adults can't enjoy reading books about teenagers...

As a diarist myself, I love that the book centres around a journal. I like the idea of a journal that tells you what you will do in the future. I liked Tamara's character development. If you don't warm to her immediately at first, keep reading. I've also got to point out how this book becomes almost a mystery story over it's course. Some of the twists are easy to see coming, but there are quite a few, so at least one will take you by surprise.

I didn't like the running joke Tamara made about her name - "good win, like hot sun" - she believes it's a statement of the obvious, that all wins are inherently good. I could understand her not knowing Pyrrhic victories, but she's from Ireland, she must have experienced at least one day when it's freezing cold but the sun is out.

There is sexual content, but no explicit sex. I've read worse in YA than how the sex was described in this book.

I recommend this book for teens and adults who are after a good magical realism book, with hints of a good mystery.

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