9 December 2013

Book Review: How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern

"She has just two weeks. Two weeks to teach him how to fall in love – with his own life.

Adam Basil and Christine Rose are thrown together late one night, when Christine is crossing the Halfpenny Bridge in Dublin. Adam is there, poised, threatening to jump. Adam is desperate – but Christine makes a crazy deal with him. His 35th birthday is looming and she bets him she can show him that life is worth living before then. 

Despite her determination, Christine knows what a dangerous promise she’s made. Against the ticking of the clock, the two of them embark on wild escapades, grand romantic gestures and some unlikely late-night outings. Slowly, Christine thinks Adam is starting to fall back in love with his life. 

But has she done enough to change his mind for good? And is that all that’s starting to happen?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy How To Fall In Love as a paperback or an eBook now.

I always like to be honest in my reviews, so I have to start by saying I do tend to find Cecelia Ahern's books a bit hit and miss. Some of those that I have read I loved, others have been a bit 'meh' and I haven't liked others at all - in fact, her most famous book 'PS. I Love You' is one that I really didn't like, but a previous festive offering called 'The Gift' is one of my favourite books. I think the problem for me is that I don't like books that have something magical in them, I don't really have time for it and Ahern tends to put a lot of that into her book. However, I really liked the sound of her latest book 'How To Fall In Love' and decided I wanted to give it a go, and I am pleased that I did, I really enjoyed this one!

Christine Rose seems to stumble upon people who need help more than ever, and none more so that when she meets young Adam Basil on a bridge in the middle of the night. He's threatening to jump and Christine is determined to talk him down. She does, but has to promise Adam that she can make him love life again before his next birthday... in just 2 weeks. Adam, though, is really down on life, and sure that he won't feel happy again. Christine is determined that she will succeed, but is fearful of what might happen if she doesn't succeed. She knows failure is not an option, but Adam is quite sure she won't be able to succeed. Christine tries her hardest, but is she going to be able to Adam fall in love with life again before his time runs out?

In order to really enjoy this book, you have to really allow yourself to get totally lost in the story and really love both Adam and Christine. If you don't, then you're going to struggle to support Christine in what she is doing, but I honestly doubt people will have a problem in liking either of these characters. Christine is very kind and warm-hearted, almost to a fault but she just loves to help people. In fact, she's quite good at it, and despite a horrific experience only a short while ago, she is determined to help Adam, even though she knows she is really up against it with him. Adam, too, is incredibly likeable and you wonder what it is that has made him hate his life so much he feels he can throw it all away. As things become clear in the book, we can see that there is immense pressure on him, and you do feel very sorry for him, and hope that Christine can work her magic and make him see the good in his future.

While there isn't anything overtly magical in this book as there is in many of Ahern's previous ones, the things that happen have to be more than mere coincidence. Christine seems to run into those in need of help rather frequently, and her job lends her to helping others too. Christine is also a big fan of 'help yourself' book, often turning to a self-help book to help her with Adam too. This is linked in to the story, through Ahern naming all of her chapters 'How To...' which I thought was an amusing touch. It's quite an emotional novel, there's a lot in there to pull at your heart-strings, and you do feel very emotionally invested in the story, even as you turn the last page. I was willing a happy ending as I don't think I could have handled anything but, simply because I had grown to love these characters through Ahern's writing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and was pleased that I could enjoy one of Cecelia's books again! I thought the story and the characters were brilliantly written, and you really did care about them and what was going to happen to all of them. I found Ahern's writing very easy to read, the narrative was enjoyable and I found it was easy to put the book down and pick it up again and get completely involved once more. For me, this is definitely one of Ahern's better books, and I would definitely recommend it those who both love her books, and those who have perhaps been a bit put off in the past like me by her love of the magical. How To Fall In Love is a beautiful love story, and one that will fill your heart with hope.

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