Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review: One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern


Title: One Hundred Names
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Source: copy received for honest review through TLC Book Tours

Plot Summary from Goodreads:

Journalist Kitty Logan's career is being destroyed by scandal - and now she faces losing the woman who guided and taught her everything she knew. At her terminally ill friend's bedside, Kitty asks - 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 not only has to 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 starts to understand her own.

My Review:

Despite her impressive repertoire of novels, I've only read one other of Cecelia Ahern's books (PS, I Love You).  It was many years ago, but I remember being very emotionally moved by it (and, bonus: it was better than the movie version (but when is it not?)).  Since then, I've had a ton of her books on my TBR list, so I figured now was a great time to jump into one of her newest releases with One Hundred Names.

I was unsure of how to feel about Kitty (our journalistic protagonist) for much of the novel.  I wanted so badly to like her--she's down on her luck, trying to track down this story for her recently-deceased friend, all while attempting to rebuild her trashed career.  However, she also has this predatory streak about her that annoyed the bejesus out of me at times.  She's so intent on finding the big, scandalous story that she sometimes makes her interviewees feel terrible about themselves in the process.

However, my warm-fuzzy feelings about Kitty won out.  In the end, I felt that she was truly a decent person who was simply overtaken by the media's need for bigger, better, and more.  Her moments of overly-voracious story hunting eventually served to turn her into a more human, relateable character.

Of course, this made the moral of the story feel rather obvious to me, but I am happy to report that there is much more to the conclusion than that.  (I originally thought I had the ending all figured out before the halfway point--which as we all know, can be a GIANT LETDOWN.  I was overjoyed when I realized that was not the case.)  While the reveal about the origin of the 100 names is not scandalous or jaw-dropping, it is incredibly uplifting, and that makes it worth the wait.  Plus, there are a few details tantalizingly left hanging, which doesn't always make me a happy reader--but in this case, it was done well, and I was happy indeed.

One Hundred Names is the epitome of a "feel good" novel, but one with some real substance behind it.  Between this and PS, I Love You, I think Cecelia Ahern is definitely leaving her mark on me!

As always, much thanks to Trish and TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour!
Check out the other blogs on this book tour HERE.  And connect with Cecelia Ahern on her website and Facebook.


14 comments:

  1. So, the book P.S. I Love You was really good? I liked the movie--it made me cry (but when doesn't a movie? I'm a huge cry baby). I will have to add it to my wish list!

    Anyway, to your review, I've been really curious about this one. It's not my usual reading fair, but I'm finding myself more and more drawn to books like this lately. I am glad to hear you liked it!

    Reply
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    1. It's been a while since I read it, but I remember loving the movie and then loving the book even more. The book is VERY different, from what I remember.

  2. Ahhhhh I love when you have something big figured out and then the author gives you that extra so it's not a letdown. Yay!! Great review.

    Reply
  3. Iiiinteresting. I've not read any Ahern, but you have piqued my curiosity.

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    1. She's got a lot more books than the 2 I've read, but so far I like her...I did hear a lot of people say she tends to have a "magical" element in a lot of her novels, which is not really my thing, but I haven't encountered much of that in the 2 I read.

  4. Another author I haven't read yet...le sigh. I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

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    1. Ah yes, the list of unread authors is ever-growing. :)

  5. I loved both The Book of Tomorrow and The Time of My Life by Ahern so I was excited to review this one too! The protagonist was initially pretty dislikable, but I agree that she was a nice person at heart and I was pretty fond of her by the end of the story. I did guess at the bit reveal pretty early on, but I still enjoyed this as a feel good read :)

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    1. Good job guessing the reveal! I had no idea and was really pleasantly surprised by it (very unique idea). Haven't read those other 2 that you mentioned, will add to the TBR!

  6. I'm intrigued by this list of names and what connects them ... guess I'll have to read and find out!

    Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

    Reply
  7. Thanks for a good review. I put this on my wishlist, not knowing anything about it really, and now I am satisfied that I will enjoy it when I am able to get it.

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    1. Oh good!! Would love to hear what you think once you get around to it.

 
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