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This is the latest book from Cecelia Ahern and once again it hasn't disappointed. For those who have not read any of Cecelia's books before it is good to know that Cecelia writes a kind of modern day fairy tale for adults. I suppose you need to try and keep an open mind as some of her stories have rather unrealistic plots but if you allow yourself to accept the story for what it is they can be an enchanting read whilst exploring themes and issues many of us face during our lives.
The main protagonist in the The Time of our Lives is a woman named Lucy. She is nearing 30, living in a tiny, messy studio flat, working in a job she has no passion for with people she does not like and trying her best to avoid her family and friends in order to not have to explain how she got to this point in her life.
As her family's concerns for her continue to grow they arrange for Lucy to meet with her Life. This taking the form of a 30 something year old man. Life wants Lucy to acknowledge that she has lost her way and subsequently ignored her 'life' after her long term boyfriend left her a few years earlier which then led to her being fired from her job. The lies she then told so she would not have to explain to friends and family through her embarrassment and sadness results in a whole web of lies that she cannot seem to escape from. Life is here to help her fix that and provide her with a wake up call.
The book is a fun read. It is easy to relate to Lucy as a character and it is nice to see how the relationship between her and Life develops throughout the story. The book is an alternative and interesting way of understanding how important it is to try and ensure you are looking after you and your 'life' rather than ignoring your problems and hiding from them. The book is amusing but has a touch of sadness in parts. It explores not only the relationship between you and your own life but also makes you think about the relationship between you and your family. It is about taking the time to look after you.
I don't believe in long book reviews, people need to read the book for themselves. I'm just writing a short review on a book to give people a taste for it!
I love Cecelia Ahern's books and Time of My Life was no exception.
The main character, Lucy Silchester, is a busy women, like most of us. No time for herself let alone friends and family. After a while she starts to receive letters in the post...from her Life! Life is not impressed and wants an appointment with her. Through the book we are taking on the twists and turns that have lead Lucy to the point in her life she is at today. It becomes evident that Lucy is going to have to change not just for her sake, but it won't be an easy task. The journey she goes on is one that we will all recognise and one that many of us should think about taking part in.
I'd say at the start the first thing you have to do is just accept the fact that peoples lives contact them. It's just part of the book and it's accepted by those in it so you have to accept it too! Once you get over this, the book itself is a really nice read.
I enjoy a book when I feel like I am part of what is going on and can relate to the characters, I'm not sure of a single women out there who wouldn't relate to Lucy! Sometimes you just need n easy read, nothing to complicated, sad or taxing. It was a really nice, easy read. Perfect for when you want to relax with a feel good book snuggled up in bed! I give it 4/5!
== The Plot ==
When Lucy Silchester returns home from work one day there is a gold envelope lying on her carpet. Inside this envelope is an invitation - to a meeting with Life. Her life. It turns out she's been ignoring it and it needs to meet with her face to face.
Although this sounds peculiar Lucy has read about this in a magazine, but she's much too busy skipping out on her friends, avoiding her family and despising her job to make the appointment.
Lucy is surprised to find that her life is not what it seems. Firstly, her Life is a man who works in office block not far from where she lives. Lucy soon discovers that some of the choices she's made - and stories she's told - aren't what they seem either. From the moment she meets her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory - unless Lucy learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.
Lucy Silchester has an appointment with her life - and she's going to have to keep it...
== My Opinion ==
I am a huge fan of Cecelia Ahern so I was excited to hear of a new book! I was going to buy it before Christmas but having spent all my money on Christmas presents I decided to wait. I used some of my Christmas money to download it to my kindle yesterday morning and I have just finished reading it now. I really enjoyed it though it is not my favourite of Aherns books. I did enjoy it so much that I spent most of yesterday and today reading it though. This was partly due to having extra spare time to read, as well as the fact that I wanted to know what was going to happen!
I love how Ahern always brings a sprinkle of magic to her books yet they never seem far fetched or out of the ordinary. She writes in such a way that the magical element is totally believable. It should seem strange that the main character in this book met her Life in the form of a human being, yet it seemed like the most natural thing in the world, and I'm still secretly hoping that I'll get my very own gold envelope to invite me to meet with my own life!
The book is written in first person from Lucy's point of view and although it was interesting from the beginning, I found it took 4 or 5 chapters before I was completely hooked. That's quite a lot for me, as if I don't fall in love with a book in the first 2-3 chapters I tend to give up on them. However, the start of the book wasn't boring and I had high expectations as I've enjoyed many of her previous books, so I wanted to keep reading.
I really liked reading about Lucy and the people in her life. I felt like I got to know Lucy as the book went on and I empathised with her at some of the decisions she has made in her life. I also really enjoyed reading about her Life and learning about his take on Lucy's life choices. It made an interesting twist and I think it would be very entertaining to be able to sit down and have a conversation with my own life!
We meet a number of people in Lucy's life and although they all have an important role, I felt that some characters were better developed than others. This meant that I felt closer to some of the characters than others. As I got to know Lucy through the story I was willing everything to go well for her and her Life. Although, I really liked Lucy, I felt differently about some of the characters than she did, as I am an 'outsider' to her life and the story.
The book is split into 30 chapters, plus an epilogue and I felt the chapters were just the right length. I was happy with the ending, although some of it was slightly predictable in parts. I appreciated the moral in the tale and it has made me think a little more about my own life and how the decisions I make affect me and those around me. It also made me reflect on some of the relationships I have with my family and friends and has given me something to think about. I like it when I continue to think about a book after I've finished reading it.
I don't think this book has as much going on as some other books by Ahern, which makes it slightly less exciting, however, for me it was still thoroughly readable and contained an enjoyable and meaningful message. Although the message was an important one, the book does not come across as too serious; therefore it is very easy to read. Definitely one I'd recommend!
== Other ==
Hardcover: 392 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (13 Oct 2011)
'The Time of my Life' is currently available on Amazon for £6.46 in hardcover or £7.99 for your kindle. I have just checked these prices out and was disappointed to discover that on this occasion my download cost me more than the actual book would have done. However, it was more convenient for me and I am not a fan of reading hardcover books anyway.
== Overall ==
The book is well written and the main character is developed well. This is not my favourite book by Cecelia Ahern but it is still worth a read, whether you are already a fan or would like to read a chick-lit with a difference. I've given this book 4 out of 5 stars as it isn't quite as good (in my opinion) as other books by this author or in the same category.
Thanks for reading! bluejules