Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review ~ One Hundred Names - Cecilia Ahern

One Hundred NamesARC paperback received from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 4th July 2013

Publisher: Harper Collins

Everyone has a story to tell...Journalist Kitty Logan's career has been destroyed by scandal, and she now faces losing the woman who guided her and taught her everything she knew. At her mentor's bedside, Kitty asks her - what is the one story she always wanted to write? The answer lies in a file buried in Constance's office: a list of one hundred names. There is no synopsis, nothing 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...

My Opinion
When this came in the mail I did groan slightly, I really didn't want to read it after previous books by Cecilia Ahern are still left on my shelf unfinished. Her writing is really not for me - or so I thought - so I was hesitant to start reading this. The premise did catch my attention though so I took a gamble on it and even though it took a while for it to win me over by the end I think it just about did it and I was glad I stuck with it.

One Hundred Names did have some interesting and thought provoking sections about life stories and how you view yourself which were developed throughout the novel with increasing intensity as the plot moved on. Like I said, I went in with a preconceived idea about this book and didn't expect to like it so it was a nice surprise to find that I found it an interesting concept with some beautifully written sections. 

I could feel for Kitty and although I didn't agree with her situation and sometimes she was slightly irritating I liked how her character developed. She transformed nicely and by the end I could engage with her. As well as this the people she talked to were my favourite part. They were created brilliantly and I could really engage and connect with them as I found out about their life with drip-fed information - which was also something I liked, there wasn't much info-dumping. We were given the information in small chunks which kept you reading as you wanted to know more.

The main thing that kept me reading this book was the mystery about what linked all the people and what the story was about. From past experience I could guess the main theme and as much as I wanted some secret society, scandal or big cover up I knew there wouldn't be due to Cecilia's writing style. Ahern did a good job of concealing the real story until the end though and the last few chapters were definitely my favourite; the relationships in those sections really worked for me.

Although I liked the build up when the big reveal happened I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed. I knew it wasn't going to be something big, but rather something subtle with a meaning but I couldn't help but wish for the link we are lead to believe is there. As well as this I couldn't help but feel some stories are left incomplete and didn't give me full closure or a proper resolution - especially Kitty's. Some character's stories ended brilliantly, like Birdies but others I wanted to know more.

The only other thing I didn't like was I did find some bit were incredibly slow and did drag on with excessive description. I found myself skimming some paragraphs or even chapters as I felt the information was too much, slightly predictable or not necessary. 

Overall though I'm glad I gave this book a chance. I'm not sure I will be rushing out to buy or try Cecilia's other books but it's definitely taught me not to go into reading a book with preconceived ideas. This was a simple read with some great moments and likeable characters that was an easy read to relax with on a sunny day.


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