*E-galley provided by HarperCollins through NetGalley*
This is the first book I have read by Cecelia Ahern, and I had heard mixed reviews of it beforeh*E-galley provided by HarperCollins through NetGalley*
This is the first book I have read by Cecelia Ahern, and I had heard mixed reviews of it beforehand, so I didn't really have any high expectations. Maybe this was a good thing; I don't know, but either way I was pleasantly surprised right from the beginning.
Even though the narrator Tamara is in her teens, the book is categorised as adult fiction (at least it was on NetGalley). I think it is a sort of cross between YA and adult that will appeal to a wide audience. I certainly enjoyed reading it, and I think my 16-year-old self would have too.
Ahern has done a wonderful job of setting the mood in this novel. It has a gothic feel to it, with a castle in ruins, a strange woman across the road, oddly-behaving family members and secrets looming in the distance. One particular chapter really made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and I experienced that familiar feeling of being watched together with Tamara.
Many of the reviews I have read mention how Tamara is a spoiled brat and several people say they had trouble connecting with her. I didn't have that problem; I actually liked her from the beginning. Yes, she used to be the little rich girl who would get everything she pointed at, but when the book starts she has already changed. And she keeps on changing for the better throughout the story. She may have the occasional relapse into her old ways, but I forgave her that because after all she has essentially lost everything she knew and loved. At least she knows that the way she used to behave was wrong and she is trying hard to be a better person. I admire her for that.
The rest of the cast is also very interesting. Aunt Rosaleen was perfectly creepy and mysterious, and I would have hated having to live with her. If she had not been hiding something I would have been very disappointed. Arthur seemed like the classic henpecked husband, but he did show some backbone from time to time. I loved Marcus the bookbus driver, and Weseley was a real nice guy too. But my favourite character was Sister Ignatius, the quirky old nun who tends bees and reads Mills and Boon books.
The Book of Tomorrow is full of mystery and unanswered questions, and I enjoyed seeing every secret slowly being unravelled. I have only a few complaints, none of which are big enough to ruin the experience for me:
– The subplot with Marcus was never really resolved, but I guess that's life sometimes; you can't work out everything with everyone. – The diary was put aside a little too easily despite being such a big part of the story. – The ending was satisfactory, but felt a bit rushed.
Incidentally, Tamara has the same birthday as me. I know it's irrational, but it made me feel like there was some sort of connection between us. Imagine if I had been able to read this ten years ago; we would have been BFFs before the end.
Best: The gothic mood and the magical element.
Worst: The last few chapters felt a little rushed.
Bottom line: An intriguing and mysterious story with a sprinkle of magic that will appeal to young and older readers alike....more
If ever there were two series that were perfect for a crossover, the Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls are it. It makes so much sense that Hale anIf ever there were two series that were perfect for a crossover, the Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls are it. It makes so much sense that Hale and Macey would cross paths at one point, and they make an awesome team. I loved their easy banter and how well they worked together. It was also great to see how much Hale cares about Kat. I have only read the first GG book so I don't know who Abby is yet, but I can't wait to find out. This novella was fun and cute and intriguing, and I really hope it won't be the only time these characters meet.
Great for fans of one or both series, or for anyone who want a sneak peak at either....more
First off I have to say I haven't read many YA books dealing with mythology, so although the theme seems to be a popular one these days, it was new toFirst off I have to say I haven't read many YA books dealing with mythology, so although the theme seems to be a popular one these days, it was new to me - and I found it very interesting. I actually wouldn't have minded more info on the semis and their history, but at the same time I appreciate that there are no info dumps to slow the story down. And it is by no means a slow story - there is always something happening to move it along and it never gets boring.
In the beginning I alternated between wanting to high five Maggie and smack her across the head. She's a smart, sassy girl but like any teenager she could be a bit of a brat at times, especially towards her mother (or maybe it's just me getting old...). I would have liked a little more information on Maggie's powers earlier in the book, because I didn't understand the reasons behind some of her actions at first. But as the story progressed and I learned more about what was happening to her and why she did what she did, I understood her a lot better and really felt for her. It was great seeing how she stood up for herself and how courageous she was.
I loved the relationship between Maggie and Mac. Mac is mysterious and quite aloof; he pushes all of Maggie's buttons, and is hiding some pretty serious secrets. And he's Irish, which is never a bad thing. In fact, he ended up being my favourite character.
First person narratives aren't my favourite, but O'Neil's writing style is very entertaining and flows easily so I never had a problem with it. The book is fast-paced and full of action and the last quarter was impossible to put down. I'm already looking forward to the next book so I can learn more about the mythology and see how Maggie and Mac develop further as characters.
Random thoughts: - I don't care if he's 14 years younger than me - Mac is hot. - Bink is so adorable and Libby is just the right amount of awesome and weird. - I'm so glad I'm done with high school!
Bonus tip: Make sure you read the copyright notice at the beginning. It made me very curious about what was to come!
Bottom line: A fun and action-filled start to a new YA series that will appeal to fans of mythology and sassy leading ladies....more