9 October 2012
Book Review: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern
The answer lies in a file buried in Constance’s office: a list of one hundred names. There is no synopsis, no explanation, nothing else to explain what the story is or who these people are. The list is simply a mystery.
But before Kitty can talk to her friend, it is too late.
With everything to prove, Kitty is assigned the most important task of her life – to write the story her mentor never had the opportunity to. Kitty has to not only track down and meet the people on the list, but find out what connects them. And, in the process of hearing ordinary people’s stories, she uncovers Constance’s – and starts to understand her own…"
I'll start this off by saying I am a bit hit and miss with Cecelia Ahern books - there have been a few that I have liked, but others that I just haven't gotten at all, and I've found some of them a bit of a struggle to get on with. I don't necessarily like magical books, and this is something Ahern does a lot in her novels. I wasn't sure whether this was going to be another magic book, or if it was going to be a 'normal' story but I have to admitted I was curious about the concept and wondered where the author could take it, and how exactly these one hundred names were going to be linked together! One thing I do have to mention is the cover - once again Ahern's publishers have gone for something fairly simple but it's gorgeous, and I love it, the silver, purple and white works so well, it's beautiful.
Kitty Logan is the main character of the book, a journalist whose career is in tatters after writing a story that was proven to be false, and ruining someone's life because of it. From the sound of this, it doesn't sound like Kitty is someone who we are supposed to be sympathetic to, but Ahern seems to write her to be a naive young journalist who went after the story for her big break, encouraged by those higher up the chain than her and then vilified when it all went wrong. I liked Kitty, she was very honest, and clearly devastated over the death of her close friend and editor Constance. Kitty is clearly ashamed of what she did, and I found her reactions seemed pretty realistic, wanting to separate herself from what she did whilst living with the guilt of it.
The whole idea of the one hundred names in the book was strange to me, and I was curious to find out what link these names had, and how Kitty was going to be able to find out the link of so many people in such a short period of time given in the book. In fact, this storyline doesn't seem to go much past the 6 or so characters involved in this in the book and when things are finally 'resolved' or sussed out by Kitty, I couldn't help but think we'd been left with more questions than answers. I felt a little bit like it had still been left up in the air, and nothing had been fully settled, and if I'm honest, I felt a big disappointed by the lack of definite answers given by Ahern. I kept waiting for this big shocking moment where everything would fall into place, but it just didn't happen and by the end, I have to be honest and say it did hamper my enjoyment of the book as a whole.
It is a touching book, and the individual stories within that Kitty manages to touch upon are very written and thought out, and certainly make the reader think about their own life, and how your actions can and do impact upon the people around you, but there wasn't the ending that I was hoping for. There didn't seem to me to be any magic in this book, and it was all the better for it, but it isn't anywhere near the best book I've read this year. In fact, I wonder if it didn't have Ahern's name attached to it if it would do as well as it undoubtedly will do, as parts of it felt very ordinary and it lacked direction in some parts. I found it quite uplifting in parts, especially those involving some of those on the list of one hundred names, and it was well written, with Kitty being a good, strong leading female character but it didn't blow me away and I wish things were left with a more definite ending than the somewhat indecisive finish we were left with!
You can buy One Hundred Names as a hardback or an eBook now.