Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: The Book of Tomorrow

Summary: From the author of the New York Times bestseller P.S. I Love You comes an "engrossing new novel . . . filled with family secrets, intrigue, and magic aplenty" (Booklist).
Born into the lap of luxury and comfortable in the here and now, spoiled, tempestuous Tamara Goodwin has never had to look to the future—until the abrupt death of her father leaves her and her mother a mountain of debt and forces them to move in with Tamara's peculiar aunt and uncle in a tiny countryside village. 

Tamara is lonely and bored, with a traveling library as her only diversion. There she finds a large leather-bound book with a gold clasp and padlock, but no author name or title. Intrigued, she pries open the lock, and what she finds inside takes her breath away. 

Tamara sees entries written in her own handwriting, and dated for the following day. When the next day unfolds exactly as recorded, Tamara realizes she may have found a solution to her problems. But in her quest to find answers, Tamara soon learns that some pages are better left unturned and that, try as she may, she mustn't interfere with fate.-- Harper

For many years I've wanted to read a novel written by Cecelia Ahern. I was pretty sure that her books would appeal to me -- chick-lit but also kind of smart. So when I recently discovered THE BOOK OF TOMORROW, I thought it sounded like a good one to start with. Not only did the story about a young teen girl who was undergoing some very major life changes appeal to me, but I liked the idea that some elements of "magic" were also included.

I enjoyed THE BOOK OF TOMORROW and I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another book by Ms. Ahern. I enjoyed her writing as well as her character development, and I definitely appreciated how she incorporated so much magic into the story. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by all of the family secrets and the twists and turns that the story took. And I especially liked Tamara's character and how much she learned about not only her past, but also about life in general. While much of this book did keep me captivated, I will admit that I found some parts of this novel to be kind of slow-going. I thought the second half of the book was much better than the first.

What I really liked the most about the novel was the premise of the story -- that Tamara has a journal to write her thoughts; and when she opens it, she discovers that her journal entry for the next day is already written. I'm not a big fan of supernatural books, yet I thought this concept as well as the execution was pretty well done. I thought Tamara's initial reaction to her journal was spot on, and I liked how her reactions evolved over time. I also liked the many lessons she learned as a result of having this magical diary -- namely that there are some things in life that you just have to accept and can't ever change.

I found it interesting that THE BOOK OF TOMORROW is being marketed as an adult fiction one. I' m not saying that the book should be read by the young adult audience because there were a few adult situations as well as swear words; however, I have to ask why wasn't this novel written/published with teens in mind? The protagonist of the story, Tamara, was only 16 years old and handled many universal issues that teens deal with on a regular basis. In addition, many of the "magical" elements of the story would definitely appeal to young adults. And finally (and maybe most importantly), the book had some wonderful messages about life and growing up that I think teens could benefit from hearing. It certainly seemed like a YA novel except for a few small scenes!

THE BOOK OF TOMORROW would make an interesting discussion book for book clubs. I wasn't able to find a link to any discussion questions, but I don't think your group would have any problems finding things to discuss. Some of the topics you might want to explore include loss, grief, secrets, honesty, acceptance, and fate. In addition, it might be refreshing to discuss such a young main character as well as her "different" family members.

I recommend THE BOOK OF TOMORROW is you like magical books and ones that give you a little bit to think about. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book.

Giveaway alert: I have a copy of THE BOOK OF TOMORROW to share with one lucky reader courtesy of Harper Collins. To enter, just fill out the form below before February 7th, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. ET. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing address only. Good luck!

16 comments:

Pam said...

I have this from ALA! I want to read it now.

holdenj said...

Can't wait to read this! Glad to see the review and giveaway!

Beth F said...

This sounds like something I would really like and could share with my niece.

bermudaonion said...

Now I understand the title! What an interesting plot. The book sounds great!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I have this so I'm not entering, but it TOTALLY seemed YA to me. I think though that Ahern is generally marketed as adult, so this book got thrown in with the others.

Rebecca Rasmussen said...

I have been waiting to read this one! Guess I'll have to wait a little bit longer :)

Journey2Goal said...

Looks like an interesting book, might have to read it!

Beth Hoffman said...

This sounds good! I will have to add it to my list.

marthalama said...

I've wanted to read this. I was not sure whether or not it was YA. It seemed to be marketed as Adult but the description seemed much more YA. I still really want to read it, thanks for the giveaway.

diaryofaneccentric said...

I thought P.S. I Love You was only okay, so I hadn't any real desire to read more of her books. But the supernatural aspect of this book intrigues me, so I'll keep it in mind.

Amy said...

I have never read a book by Cecelia Ahearn either, but have always wanted to. I am not much for fantasy and magic but this sounds like an intriguing story and I'm interested in what happens with Tamara.

I love the cover of this book, too!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Hmmm...for some reason that author sounds familiar. I love the premise of the story. A little bit of supernatural can be fun. It IS strange though why a story about a 16 year old isn't marketed as YA. Hell, adult situations and curse words never stopped them before!

Shelly B said...

I reviewed this one earlier this week and enjoyed it too! The twists and turns were what kept me going. Definitely think it is more YA than adult, but who am I to say?

Jess - A Book Hoarder said...

I am currently reading this and had the same thoughts about it being adult fiction. I even double checked that I wasn't mistaken about that, it just seems like it would be a perfect book for a teen if some of the words and situations were changed. Or as Sandy said...it's never stopped them before.

Jooparelli said...

Sorry if I entered twice! I couldn't remember if I had or not..

Cathy said...

Thanks for the great giveaway! I love your site:)