Review: ‘How to Fall in Love’ by Cecelia Ahern

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This is a good-looking book. It’s a lovely shade of blue, my favourite colour. It has foil on the cover, and I’m a bit of a printing/production geek after our uni book project. The little Lovebirds practically sang to me. And of course they made ‘Cecelia Ahern’ (sans capitals) bigger than anything else so that fans can find the book quickly. Effective: it was the first thing I spotted in Waterstones that day and apparently I had bought it within half an hour of it being on the shelf.

I have read every Cecelia Ahern novel except One Hundred Names, which I gave to my sister for Christmas last year in the hope that I would get to borrow it in January and read it myself. She still hasn’t finished it, so it has been a couple of years since I’ve read one of her books.

I wonder if this is the reason why I was slightly disappointed. You see, when asked my favourite authors, I would normally name Cecelia Ahern as one of them. In my head, P.S. I Love You, Where Rainbows End and The Gift in particular are all lovely, romantic reads. Like the others, How to Fall in Love has an interesting, slightly unusual concept: the protagonist comes across a man on a bridge, about to jump and take his own life, and convinces him that she can show him life is still worth living before his next birthday – two weeks later.

The blurb makes no effort to disguise what is going to happen:

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 is that all that’s happening… ?

Why bother to hide the fact that she’s not just going to teach him how to fall in love with life? We know by now that with Cecelia Ahern we should be getting a good old love story, and we read on because that’s a nice thing to be reading about.

Unless it’s written like this. I don’t know if my tastes have changed dramatically over the past couple of years (I don’t think so) or if the book was rushed (likely, to meet demand) but parts of the writing really reminded me of Twilight, seeming immature or just poor. I didn’t take to the main characters as I did Emma and Dexter from One Day, for instance. The subplot concerning Christine’s friend is left largely unresolved.

On a positive note, fun supporting characters in the form of Christine’s sisters and father lifted the book a little. There was also a nicely written musing on tomorrows.

I’m really disappointed to be a downer on this book, because I know how much I loved her other works. However, I might have to reread a couple to see if it is me that’s changed! Either way, I really didn’t fall in love with this book.

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2 thoughts on “Review: ‘How to Fall in Love’ by Cecelia Ahern

    • wakeupyourluck says:

      I would recommend The Gift if you get around to reading any, because that one really moved me. I’m going to read it again now. This book… I don’t know if it’s the novel, the narrator, or just the mood I was in when I read it, but it just didn’t seem up to par!

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