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The Book of Tomorrow: A Novel Hardcover – January 25, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 174 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Sixteen-year-old Tamara Goodwin’s life is upended when her wealthy father commits suicide after realizing he can’t pay his debts. Tamara and her devastated mother are forced to move from a Dublin suburb to the countryside to live with Tamara’s aunt and uncle, Rosaleen and Arthur. Tamara chafes under Rosaleen’s domineering personality when her aunt tries to keep Tamara from seeing her depressed, isolated mother. Frustrated, Tamara ventures out of the house, exploring the ruins of the castle Arthur cares for and meeting the locals, including a sprightly nun and a handsome young man who drives around in a traveling library. Tamara comes across a book in the library that captures her attention. Its pages are initially blank, then they start to fill with Tamara’s own thoughts from the following day. Realizing she is able to not only read the future but change it, Tamara uses the diary to unravel the mystery at work in her new home. A veritable modern-day Gothic, Ahern’s (The Gift, 2009) engrossing new novel is filled with family secrets, intrigue, and magic aplenty. --Kristine Huntley


“[Ahern] takes a more gothic turn in her latest, recasting herself as a lost Bronte sister for the Facebook set. . . . Lovers of stories involving crumbling castles, nefarious family secrets . . . will be ecstatic.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“A veritable modern-day Gothic, Ahern’s engrossing new novel is filled with family secrets, intrigue, and magic aplenty.” (Booklist)

“Ahern’s tale-spinning prowess keeps the reader riveted.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061706302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061706301
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,320,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Book of Tomorrow by Cecilia Ahern is told by Tamara, a spoiled rich girl whose life has just been turned on its head. Her money-oriented father has just committed suicide, leaving Tamara and his mother with a mountain of debt. They sell their fancy Dublin mansion and go to live with Tamara's uncle Arthur and his paranoid, micromanaging wife, Rosaleen. As Tamara deals with the loss of her father and all her creature comforts, her mother's catatonic grief, her strange relatives, and her absolute boredom, she discovers a blank diary that describes what will happen tomorrow. As she reads the diary and acts on what happens, she uncovers a dark mystery involving the Kilsaney castle nearby.

Before I write about the actual book, I need to give a moment's appreciation to the cover. I think it is beautiful. And yes, I am quite familiar with the adage to not judge a book by its cover, but it does make a book more appealing. This one is my favorite cover of 2011 (Okay, so 2011 hasn't been very long, but I love it!).

The actual book was an entertaining, albeit fluffy, ride. I read this book over a period of two days. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. The plot was interesting, full of unexpected twists. One of my biggest pet peeves in a book is predictability. In a book where a diary tells you the events of the next day, The Book of Tomorrow could easily have fallen into this trap. However, the story succeeded in being entertaining and unexpected.

The characters didn't quite live up to the plot. Some of them were well developed, but a few were flat and seemed almost out of place in the book. I found Tamara to be delightful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm writing this review mainly to warn off readers like myself -- readers who come to chick-lit curious about the genre but uncertain what to expect. I googled "best chick-lit" and came across this title. Is this really the best of the form?

Unfortunately, Cecelia Ahern's best work in this book is her delineation of her main character, Tamara, a bored, snotty, foul-mouthed 16-year-old girl with whom you'll want to spend very little time. Beyond that, everything falls flat. Plot? Practically nothing happens for about 200 pages except that Tamara notices a few things are weird. Characters? Stock. Ever meet the surprisingly lively nun who potters about the garden and endlessly smiles with a mischievous twinkle in her blue eyes? How about the villain -- a plain girl who's jealous of the pretty girl? The love interests are cute boys whose tolerance of Tamara's abusiveness reduces my interest in them, too. Magical realism? The plot device that gives the novel its title is an empty diary wherein is daily (and prophetically) written Tamara's acts of the following day rather than the preceding day. Things like "I saw a dog." Sure enough, she sees a dog. Its presence in the story is random; the thru-line seems to be Tamara's determination to find out whether her aunt is causing her mother's near-terminal lethargy, which doesn't require any magic.

By the end I was skimming very swiftly. There is nary a character, an exchange, or an event in the book that I'll revisit in my imagination.
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Format: Hardcover
Well written and hard to put down. After each chapter that I finished, I was left wanting to read more, wanting to figure out what was really going on. Is this family she's staying with crazy? Is Tamara crazy? And where did this magic come from? There are many aspects to the story that make you go ah-hah when the pieces start to fall together and I love moments like that. The little bits of information the author slips in and ties it all in at a later moment - those are the best. Ahern certainly has a way with writing and many pieces of the ending were a surprise, yet made complete sense. The book is funny, it's sad, and overall it's charming.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I initially jumped at the idea of reading this book, based on this synopsis from the back cover, " Lonely and bored, Tamara's sole diversion is a traveling library. 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 - for what is written inside is not only impossible and magical...it's her future." Sounds like a perfect book to me. What I discovered however lacked the motivation to get me through reading one boring page after another.

So many times, I set this one aside trying to find a reason to pick it up and finish it, much like a meal I know I should eat, but because it lacks in flavor, I find it difficult to attempt a second time. However, pushing through each chapter was lacking in what drives a reader to continue reading. I found it lacked in virtually every area.

The book begins with the suicide of Tamara Goodwin's father who left the father piled in debt and now is being forced out of their home when it's foreclosed on. Rather than face his responsibilities, he took his own life, leaving Tamara and her mother, who lived in an opulent and luxurious lifestyle now forced to living with her aunt and uncle who don't seem to care much other than it's their duty to take family in. Her Uncle speaks in mucus snorts, nods and grunts and her Aunt is so completely consumed in her OCD world, that Tamara is forced to find something to do outside of the home. She is snobby, spoiled and is very vocal on her displeasure with how her life turned out. Your typical spoiled rich girl losses everything and now has to deal with life, type of story.
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