“What if we knew what tomorrow would bring? Would we fix it? Could we?”
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 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.
By now it should be pretty clear to you that I love Ahern's style of writing. She uses the perfect selection of words and sprinkles them with just the right amount of magic to end up with one dazzling, breath-taking story. She did it with If You Could See Me Now, she did it with The Gift- and yet again, she did it with The Book of Tomorrow.
The story starts with us being introduced to our protagonist, 16 year-old Tamara Goodwin, who is possibly the most pampered, spoilt, brat you'd ever encounter in your lifelong traversing through YA fiction. At least she was, until this story happened. She has always had a wealthy life, where point- and she'd get what she wanted. Despite being so well-endowed, Tamara just wouldn't appreciate all the good life had to offer her. Instead, she always took it upon herself to make the lives of everyone around her miserable. She never appreciated what her parents did for her, nor did she care for others around her. She simply took what she wanted and lived life.
All goes well until one day, Tamara's father takes his own life- and then her life starts spinning off-kilter. Tamara and her mother are left alone to fend for themselves and as if things weren't bad already, they learn that they are drowning in debt. It so happens that the only people willing to take Tamara and her mother into their home is her aunt and uncle whom- surprise- they never really cared for. Despite their initial reluctance, they finally make it to the tiny countryside village and so the story takes off.
If you've read the synopsis already- and guessing by the title of course- you'd know that this book revolves around a book. The Book of Tomorrow. Tamara chances upon this mysterious book that shows entries for the following day in her own handwriting- and what's more, things start happening exactly the way they were written in the diary. What happens next-whether Tamara would be able to save herself and her depressed mother from being forever stuck in a house where they are apparently not very welcome and how the diary helps/not helps her- forms the crux of the story.
Characters, plot line, writing, this book satisfied me in every possible way. I was hooked to it from the minute I started reading it and the desire to know what exactly happened to make Tamara's life turn out to be the way it was only increased form page to page. But I should mention here that the pacing felt a tad bit slow at the beginning. The author could have made things move a bit faster. And Tamara. Oh, Tamara was such an unlikable little brat. I did feel bad for her at most points, but then she'd do or say something extremely stupid/hurtful and I'd be back to hating her.
What I loved most about the story is not because of it's characters, however well-done they were. Come to think of it, I don't think I liked any of the characters at all. Wow. Yes, I didn't. But what made this book work for me is the story itself, and the way the author drew me into it. Toward the end, things picked up so fast that my nose was practically glued to the letters as my eyes whizzed by devouring them. Definitely a great story.
All that being said, I should also mention that this book might perhaps not be for everyone- the language used by Tamara for one, not a typical 16 year-old's choice of words, but of course, it should be more than clear to you now that Tamara is not the typical mid-teen girl. Also, I don't know why this book was classified as chick-lit, because this is hardly it. YA, yes, fantasy and romance, yes, but with a touch of darkness as well. Read this if you want to try something that's classic Cecelia Ahern- and dive into it with an open mind.
“All families have their secrets, most people would never know them, but they know there are spaces, gaps where the answers should be, where someone should have sat, where someone used to be. A name that is never uttered, or uttered just once and never again. We all have our secrets.”