Roar – by Cecelia Ahern

30 06 2019

As a dedicated Cecelia Ahern fan of course this jumped to the top of my reading list!

It’s a book of 30 short stories, each about a woman, none of which is given a name. A lot of the stories have a moral or political message, it’s a pretty feminist book, but the ones I enjoyed most were those that had the slightly fantasy flavour that some of her novels had.

For example, “The Woman Who Ate Photographs”, where the woman develops a secret habit of eating old photos, each of which fill her with the memory and feelings from that moment!

One of my favourites was probably “The Woman Who Wore Pink”, which speaks of a world where everything is completely split into blue and pink, right down to the chairs you sit on in a coffee shop – not segregated, they can be at the same table, but everything is allocated and everyone wears a coloured wristband to identify their gender. Just a really interesting idea to dig into for a few pages.

I don’t tend to read short stories much, but it was a nice change to read these bite size snippets rather than one continuing story. I don’t think I’d do it often as you get way more flow in a full blown novel, but as I say a nice break, especially as the previous book I’d read had taken so long!





Perfect – by Cecelia Ahern

22 04 2017

I told myself I’d wait for this to come out in paperback, I was definitely going to wait. I went into Waterstones, WHSmiths, just to see if it was there, I wasn’t going to buy it, just to look. But then someone told me it was going cheap in Tesco and that she’d read it in one afternoon…. so I went straight there and bought it!

I’ve been waiting for this book since the second I finished Flawed, which was left on such a cliffhanger! I was worried I couldn’t remember a lot of the detail but fortunately she recaps very well so it’s very easy to pick the story back up.

At the end of Flawed, Celestine had gone into hiding from the authorities, and this book follows her as she tries to find somewhere safe, and then works out a plan to help prove that the system itself is Flawed. There are plenty of twists and turns, I’ve been picking up the book whenever I can to see what happens next! I don’t really want to litter this post with spoilers so all I’ll say is if you’ve read Flawed you’ll love this (and probably be desperate to read it anyway!), and if you haven’t, go and read Flawed first! There’s a link to it in the second paragraph up there Ꙟ.

Some of my favourite quotes which give nothing of the plot away are below:

  • “It can take a lifetime to build up a friendship – it can take a second to make an enemy.”
  • “When you’re a teenager, what makes you different can be the worst thing int he world. The older you get, the more you realise that it’s your weapon, your armour, your strength. Your gift.”
  • “Whenever I’m confused, I look at what I know.”
  • “Every person has a space for every person they meet – sometimes the capacity is deep, sometimes it is shallow. […] People who are loved can eventually be hated in equal amounts. […] If the space is there for us, a we have to do is alter the feelings. […] If they hate us this much, they could love us equally.”





Lyrebird – by Cecelia Ahern

25 03 2017

If you read this regularly you’ll know I’m a big fan of Cecelia Ahern. The last adult book she wrote wasn’t a favourite of mine but this one is back on form, back to the days of things that are slightly unreal, not fantasy, but not quite normal!

Lyrebird is actually Laura. She’s lived a very sheltered existence to the point that no one knows she exists, she doesn’t even have a birth certificate. When she was 16 her mother died and so she went to live in a run down cottage on the land her father owns. Ten years on she’s discovered by a team making a documentary about her father and his brother and the life they lived on their farm when they visit after her father’s death.

What I haven’t told you is that Laura is a bit unusual. She makes noises. Perfect imitations of any sound she’s ever heard – from her Gaga’s voice to a chainsaw to someone running their hand over their stubble. Obviously the documentary team are intrigued, and with her father gone they try to find a way to support her in her future – they plan to make a documentary about her life and her extraordinary ability.

A really interesting idea, great mix of characters and a wonderfully told story! Definitely one to read!

Favourite one-liner from the book: “Why can’t people just be really good at something? Why do they have to be the best at something?”





Flawed – by Cecelia Ahern

3 10 2016

Cecelia Ahern published another book, so of course I had to read it!

The difference this time is that this is her first “Young Adult” novel. This is a concept I’m struggling to get my head around – Wikipedia defines “Young Adult” as age 12-18, but as someone in my 20s, I’d like to think that makes me an adult who is young?! Anyway, I loved hunger games and that’s technically young adult, so I wasn’t going to avoid it just because I’m “old”.

As all of these books seem to be set in a dystopian society. As well as a criminal system, they also have the concept of people who are “flawed”. These are people who have made done something immoral. If someone is flawed, they are branded as such, and wear a red armband to show who they are. I’ll let the book explain further:


“For bad decisions, it’s their temple.
For lying, it’s their tongue.
For stealing from society, it’s their right palm.
For disloyalty to the Guild, it’s their chest, over their heart.
For stepping out of line with society, it’s the sole of their right foot.”

“They are not imprisoned; they haven’t done anything illegal, but they have carried out acts that are seen as damaging to society.”

They live a life of reduced quality. They live by a curfew, they can only eat plain food, they have to sit on certain seats on the bus, and they can only ever have 2 of them together in one place, any more and there must be a “perfect” person. Even sat in a row, you couldn’t have more than two sat together.

We meet Celestine, who is dating the son of the head of the Guild and totally believes in the system. And yet, she has a moment where she helps a Flawed, which itself is a crime, and she is taken away to be tried. I don’t want to go much further because it would give away some of the major twists, but just to say that I couldn’t put it down as it progressed.

I cannot *wait* for the sequel!

Some of my favourite quotes below:

  • “The trouble with being punctual is that there’s nobody there to see it.”
  • “I’ve learned that to be courageous is to feel fear within, every step of the way. Courage does not take over; it fights and struggles through every word you say and every step you take. […] It takes courage to overcome, but it takes extreme fear to be courageous.”
  • “Piano always seemed to stress me out. I played it for other people. I played it for Angelina in class, I played it for my parents when I practised. […] I never played for myself.”
  • “If you make a mistake, you learn from it. If you never made a mistake, you’re never the wiser.”
  • “I had enough friends so that I wasn’t a weirdo, but not too many so that I was popular. I was average. I worked so hard to be average.”
  • “If you can’t solve a problem, there is an easier problem you can solve: find it.”

flawed





The Marble Collector – by Cecelia Ahern

7 05 2016

Another trip through an airport, another early paperback!

Sabrina is a mum with a young family, and her Dad, Fergus, is in a home/hospital sort of place following a stroke that’s left his memory damaged. The book is set over one day for Sabrina, who tells us her side of the story, whilst Fergus writes from all ages from childhood through to the day Sabrina is living.

It was hard to follow in places – with each chapter you had to remind yourself who was talking, and if it was Fergus, then work out when on earth it was!

I wouldn’t say this was my favourite of her books, but still a good read as Sabrina spends a day trying to work out and investigating what secret it is that her dad’s been hiding from his entire family for his whole life – marbles!

Favourite quotes from this book:

  • “The eye directs the brain, the brain directs the hand. Don’t forget that. Always keep an eye on the target, Fergus, and your brain will make it happen.”
  • “When you’re dead you’d think you’d want to just enjoy being dead without having to worry about the people you left behind. Worrying is for the living.”
  • “The best way to be the best you can be is to be dead.”
  • “Perhaps it’s true that you never know yourself until someone else truly knows you.”

the marble collector





Girl In The Mirror – by Cecelia Ahern

27 05 2015

I’ve always prided myself on having read every novel Cecelia Ahern has written, but I hadn’t ever gotten around to the two short stories she released about four years ago.

These definitely were a step away from her usual light chick lit, here’s a brief bit of blurb for each story.

Girl in the mirror
This was a lot darker than the usual, a story about a grandma who has all the mirrors in her house covered in dark fabric, and finding out the reasoning behind that. It got pretty creepy, probably best not read before bed!

The Memory Maker
Another experimental thing going on here in that the main character was only ever referred to as “he”, and the story jumped all around in time, so got pretty confusing in places. It was about a guy who had created a machine able to put memories into peoples heads. I think of the two I preferred this one, but they were definitely both a bit odd!

girl in the mirror





The Year I Met You – by Cecelia Ahern

13 11 2014

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book written in the second person before! I’d thought a while ago how books are always written in the first or third person, but never second – that is not the case.

Jasmine has just lost her job, and her neighbour over the road has just had his wife leave him. He works on the radio and is generally very offensive – Jasmine hates him for something he once said about people with Downs Syndrome, which her sister has, and this book is written as if she is speaking to him.

We follow her year of gardening leave, working out what to do with her time, figuring out what to do at the end of it when she’s allowed to work again, a headhunter called Monday, her relationship with her neighbours who she never really knew before, and her relationship with her sister.

Feel good as Cecelia Ahern’s books always are, this is definitely another one.

I actually got this book much earlier than expected, I normally get the new Cecelia Ahern books when they come out in paperback, and this isn’t due until next summer. But last month I was in an airport, and exclusively they sell books in paperback that are only hardback in shops – expensive, yes, and still bulky in size, but it was very exciting to get it so early. Just means a long long wait for the next one now!

the year i met you