The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia AhernI got this book on Friday, read it on Saturday and Sunday! It’s a really nice YA & Adult Fiction book. It’s obviously written by a 16-year old, but the story is interesting for adult readers too. There is only some low-key boy interest, a bit of the supernatural, and, I promise, no vampires.

This book will be released in the US on January 25th. To celebrate, the publisher has reduced the price of one of Ahern’s previous books, Thanks for the Memories for a short time (in e-book version). See below my review for details.

The Book of Tomorrow: What it is about

At the start of The Book of Tomorrow,  16-year old Tamara Goodwin and her mother are moving in with her aunt and uncle in their cottage in the countryside. Tamara is used to luxury all over, as her father was a successful property developer. She lived in a six-bedroom house with a swimming pool in the garden. But her father killed himself, leaving large debts and now Tamara and her mother are broke.

While her mother is in an almost catatonic state staying in her room all the time, Tamara goes to explore. The cottage is the gatehouse to a castle that burned down in the last century and now is a ruin.  As she is too young to drive and there are no bus services to the village, Tamara is more or less forced to stay in the vicinity of the cottage and to explore the ruins and the castle grounds.

She is determined to find out who lives in the bungalow behind the cottage and why she isn’t allowed in the garage. Her aunt Rosaleen does not want to explain. Rosaleen is also trying to stop Tamara from seeing her mother too much, and isn’t at all worried about her mother’s unresponsiveness. Tamara, meanwhile, is getting really worried about her.

She finds a notebook that has a pre-written entry in her own handwriting, dated the next day. With this information, she is able to foresee and sometimes change the future, as there is a new entry every day. When aunt Rosaleen’s behaviour becomes stranger and more dangerous, she uses the book to solve the mysteries.

The Book of Tomorrow: What I thought

I  loved reading this story! I was almost glued to the book and finished it in two (weekend) days. Tamara is a believable 16-year old rich girl and her story has the form and style of what you would expect from someone that age. But the writing is good. I’m tempted to call it literary fiction but I’m not sure.

I liked it how Tamara grew in the book. At first, she was a grumpy teenager that did not want to be part of her new life and fled the cottage as much as she could. Later on, she took an interest in her surroundings and the people she lived with or met and became a more pleasant, more mature person.

Tamara had to deal with the grief of losing her father, with her worries about her mother who wasn’t getting better, with not being in the company of her friends (brand name clothes and her friends used to make up a large part of her identity). She also struggled with finding a way to talk and behave with the few boys she met and how to undermine her aunt’s authority in order to achieve her goals.

I didn’t like one of the last chapters in the book, where everything Tamara (and the reader) have discovered is explained in more detail by a different protagonist. I found this unnecessary and felt a little patronised. I think maybe I could have done with a little bit more detail, but I didn’t need that whole story. This darkens my memory of the book, which is a pity, as the rest was very engaging.

I think most people that enjoy a good story involving a teenage girl will like this book. The magic isn’t overwhelming or focussed on very much. It’s just there and Tamara makes use of it. The story’s themes are grief, isolation, family relationships and family secrets.

Rating: 5/5

I got this book: from the publishers for review

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 312

First published: 2009

Genre: YA, contemporary fiction

P.S. My 13-year old son liked the cover!

Extra: I since have also read The Time of My Life.

Downloading Thanks for the Memories

You can downbload the e-book of Cecelia Ahern’s earlier book Thanks for the Memories for $1.99 until January 25th. After that, the price goes back up to $9.99. If you’re interested, you can find it on AmazonBarnes & NobleSony, the Apple iBookstore (just search for Thanks for the Memories and it comes right up), and other e-book retail sites.

Now you’re thinking: Leeswammes reads so much, has she read this book by any chance? And yes! I read it 2 years ago and gave it 3 stars (OK, but not brilliant). Here is my review (not on my blog, but from Shelfari, where I move about as JudithAnn):

Joyce has an accident and receives a blood transfusion. Justin, for the first time ever, donated some blood not long before.

Soon, Joyce starts to have memories that are not hers, knows languages that she did not know before, and is an expert in architecture and art, although she’s never studied it.

She realises something odd is going on. Justin, meanwhile, keeps meeting this woman (Joyce), that seems familiar, but he can’t place her.

The book is all about releationships, with friends, husbands, family and unknown people.

It’s a good read, but I wasn’t terribly drawn to keep reading.


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

25 Responses to The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

  1. Miel Abeille says:

    I have an ARC of this! I have been toying with reading it. It seems like a quick read, perfect for a chilly weekend.

    Thank you for the review!

    • leeswammes says:

      Mine was an ARC too (“uncorrected proof”). Yes, it’s a very good book to read in a weekend lazily on the sofa.

      You mean you don’t read every ARC you get? I do, at least, if I requested it. In fact, I’m planning to read every book I own, but then my TBR pile is only about 30. So far this month I’ve read 9 books of my own unread pile. And I pledge to read them all by the end of the year (wish me luck).

  2. Joanna says:

    I love the sound of the journal with tomorrow’s entries – sounds like a great idea. I’ve always wondered what Ahern’s books are like since she published p.s. I love you. Maybe I’ll start with this one. Great review.

  3. Cindy says:

    She’s quite prolific, is Ms Ahern. Will look out for this book.

  4. Julie says:

    I liked this one too! Have a wonderful week….

  5. Alex says:

    I’m always intrigued by book that make people read them in one sitting! I’m definitely keep an eye out for it!

  6. I have read one of Ahern’s previous books and remember liking it. Books with a “supernatural” element like the protagonist’s ability to see the future don’t always work for me but it sounds like this one was well done – maybe I will give it a try. Thanks for your review.

    • leeswammes says:

      Colleen, thanks for visiting my blog. The supernatural element was just right for me. There was the book, but there wasn’t any attempt to explain it and it wasn’t made into a big thing. That worked just right I thought.

  7. What a great review. So happy to see that you liked this one.

  8. Shan says:

    This is the first book by Cecelia Ahern that I read (I hadn’t been much interested in any of her other books) and I really enjoyed. I’m not big on supernatural elements and hesitated at first to read it, but like you said it was just right for this book.

  9. Suzanne says:

    … going to check this one out based on your review…. I’ve not read any Cecelia Ahern yet.

  10. Nadine Nys says:

    As always, great review, Judith. I never read anything by Ahern, and because I also try to read away my TBR-list, I don’t think I will read her now.

  11. Leslie says:

    I was hoping this would get good reviews. The description of the story sounded like it was one I would like but I was afraid it would be a little too YA. I’m keeping it on my TBR list.

  12. Thanks for giving me a heads up about your review and your blog

    I like the way at the end of the post you give info like # of pages and what genre – extremely helpful

  13. Chinoiseries says:

    Great review, you actually convinced me YA can be appealing still to those a little older😉 Also, like the cover a lot too.

  14. Uniflame says:

    I have started in PS I love you from the same author but I am having trouble coming through. I am halfway but it gets so boring at a point. I have seen this book too, but I didn’t know if I wanted to read it because of PS I love you. I do love the story but the book is just too long and therefore it drags. How is that with this one?

    • leeswammes says:

      Uniflame, I didn’t find this book dragging in the sense that nothing is happening, but there were some things happening where I thought, okay, that wasn’t really necessary for the story in general. They were not boring, but a bit unnecessary. I did like PS I Love You, though!

  15. Tes says:

    Judith! I’ve just bought this book…and I’m really happy about it. It’s so engaging🙂

  16. Pingback: REVIEW: The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern « Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog

  17. I’ve only read one of her books (The Gift) and didn’t get on with it but I know lots of people who love her. I have One Hundred Names on my shelves so will probably give her a second chance!

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