I’ve loved Cecelia Ahern’s books for years; they just have a touch of sparkle which, for me, makes her stand head and shoulders above most other chick lit authors. Whilst some of her books are not as good as others, they all have her unique style, and I was keen to read her latest.
How To Fall In Love follows Christine, a self-help addicted recruitment consultant who has recently left her husband, realising she didn’t love him after just a year of marriage. Her life is entwined with Adam’s when she walks past the Ha’Penny Bridge one night and sees him posed to jump off. Christine has her own reasons for being strongly anti-suicide and, unlike most onlookers who just watch on with distant concern, she gets up on the bridge and speaks to Adam, guiding him back from the edge. But in her attempt to stop his suicide she makes a promise she is bound to keep; that she will help him fall in love with life again, and show him why it is worth living. Not only this but she has to do this all within two weeks; before his 35th birthday, otherwise he will attempt suicide again.
Cecelia Ahern never seems to fail to find such original and ingenious premises for her stories; they are never straightforward boy meets girl. This story is no different. The challenge is set and it’s a great way to plunge two strangers’ lives together in a way which would never occur under normal circumstances.
Christine quickly realises that the deal she made is in no way trivial; turning around the views of a man with such serious issues that he was prepared to take his own life is not something to be taken lightly, particularly when she has a crazed ex-husband of her own to deal with.
It’s not only Adam’s mental state that she has to deal with, but the tangible problems he faces too. His father is terminally ill, and soon Adam will be required to step up and take his father’s place as director of a large multi-national company. A company which Adam doesn’t want to run. On top of this, he recently found out that his girlfriend and the love of his life has been cheating on him with his best friend. So, in order to turn Adam’s opinion around, Christine needs to help him shirk his duty as company director and win back his cheating girlfriend Maria. She turns to her trusty self-help books and together they embark on a number of adventures and challenges to help Adam enjoy life again.
How To Fall In Love was an enjoyable read, but not particularly memorable. Having finished it over a week ago but only just got around to reviewing it, I’m already having trouble recollecting the details. The story is fairly predictable (the title gives away the ’twist’ somewhat) but it’s still a an enjoyable journey and, like with all of her books, there were lines which made me laugh out loud and part which were truly touching (the scene early on with the ‘Christine’ egg was my personal favourite!). What Ahern does do extremely well in this novel is encourage us to appreciate the little things in life. She inspires hope, where sometimes it feels like there is none.
If you’re trying Cecelia Ahern for this first time, I wouldn’t recommend this – she’s done better (PS. I Love You and If You Could See Me Now are my favourites). But if you’re already a fan, you’re sure to enjoy her signature style.