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The Book of Tomorrow: Book Review


The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

Reviewed by tvnz.co.nz's Steph Zajkowski


I have to admit I cringed when this book slid out of its brown envelope onto my desk.

Because the cover art of ornate font with swirling gold, overlaying a purple background immediately made me wonder if I was being called upon to review a self discovery / spirituality book.

Instead The Book of Tomorrow deceives, its frivolous cover disguising fiction, albeit in my oft referred to category of "an easy read."

But first a bit of info about the author, Cecelia Ahern. Many readers will be familiar with her number one bestseller (which she wrote at 21) PS, I Love You.

She's since has successive novels that have been bestsellers, and according to her bio, she is also the co-creator of popular TV2 series Samantha Who.

Oh and she's the daughter of ex-Irish PM Bertie Ahern. Obviously Cecelia is a veritable powerhouse of talent so who am I to question her dodgy cover art, (which mimics the book's central prop as it happens).

Now back to the novel - this summary is straight off the back cover: Tamara Goodwin has always got everything she's ever wanted. She grew up in a mansion, living a privileged life as the only child of doting parents. She's always lived in the here and now, never giving a thought to tomorrow.

Then, yep, you guessed it, tragedy strikes. Her dad is gone and Tamara and her mum have to move in with relatives in the country and adjust to a whole new way of life (and relative poverty).

It's all reasonably formulaic stuff up until this point, but a tantalising hint of something more promising beckons when Tamara chances upon a large leather bound tome, locked with a gold clasp and padlock (purple with gold print presumably).

What she discovers within its pages might just give her a chance to change her life...

About now, I was feeling parallels with The Time Traveller's Wife, one of my favourite novels. The waft of mysticism and intrigue was in my nostrils.

Alas my enthusiasm was premature, as Cecelia's story stalled somewhat after this point.

Plot holes which had begun as cracks started to open up:  soon I had worked out who was doing what and why.

One of the main characters gives away one secret so early in the piece that you would have to be blind not to pick up on it.

So when the end of the story came, even though it wrapped up the threads into a neat knot, it all felt a tad underwhelming.

And as I was reading, I pondered on whether this book was aimed at mainstream literature or if I was reading Young Adult fiction instead.

Despite it sitting happily on prominent front shelves at airports all over the world, I would recommend it for younger readers.

I will happily pass this on to my daughter, as I think the teenage set will probably relate to it more than I did.

Rating: 7/10

Title: The Book of Tomorrow
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: HarperCollins
RRP: $36.99
Available: Now


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