Saturday, January 10, 2015

Book Review - How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern

From the book cover: She has just two weeks. Two weeks to teach him how to fall in love – with his own life.

Adam Basil and Christine Rose are thrown together late one night, when Christine is crossing the Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin. Adam is there, poised, threatening to jump.

Adam is desperate – but Christine makes a crazy deal with him. His 35th birthday is looming and she bets him that before then she can show him life is worth living.

Against the ticking of the clock, the two of them embark on wild escapades, grand romantic gestures and some unlikely late-night outings. Slowly, Christine thinks Adam is starting to fall back in love with his life. But is that all that's starting to happen?

My take: I'm a huge fan of Cecilia Ahern. But somehow, I found a bit annoyed with this one. Yes, the story line is much darker than the ones she usually writes- it deals with suicide and the human psyche. As with all of her previous books, the cover made me fall in love with this book even before I started it. 

The story is narrated in the first person by the protagonist- Christine whose job ideally is to help people with their jobs. She has a recruitment agency where she goes out of her way to help her clients. 

Her life starts spiraling out of control when she comes face to face with a man- Simon, who shoots himself in an abandoned building. This incident acts a trigger for a set of following events and she leaves her husband that very night. However, misfortune awaits her again when she is confronted with Adam in the same month under similar circumstances.

Fed up with his life, he is ready to jump the Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin when she sees him for the first time. Unable to bear the guilt of Simon's attempted suicide and due to her natural instinct to help people, she makes a deal with him. To make him fall in love back with his life before his 35th birthday, which is in two weeks.

The rest of the book shows the unlikely friendship and relationship between the two. And the reasons as to why Adam chose to do what he wanted to. Being a successful guy who was in his thirties, I found it difficult to believe that he would be ready to end his life with something as petty as a heart break. True, that was not the sole reason, but this was a little hard to digest. 

The first half of the book seemed dragging and Adam came across as needy most of the time. This may not have been the intention of the author, but this was the feel that I got from the book. Christine, on the other hand, seemed to be a bit clingy for someone who made it her mission to help people. She is going through a hard time herself and has her own inner demons to battle. 

Abandonment issues, family problems, cyber bullying are all subjects that are dealt with in a subtle way. Unlike her previous works, where she adds a touch of magic to her stories, this one had none of that. The book picks up towards the end making me feel that the story could have been made crispier. 

There are lot of other characters including that of Christine's friend- Amelia, Detective Maguire who investigates the suicide incidents, her own bizarre family and Barry- her husband. The book is sprinkled with humor in a lot of places and this made the story a little less bleak  and a bit more livelier. 

Needless to say, I was a tad disappointed with How to fall in love. I find it difficult to believe that this was the same writer who gave us P.S. I love you, If you could see me now, A place called Here, Love Rosie and so many more. If you read this book without any said level of expectation, it is likely that you may enjoy this one. Or if you are like me, a fan nonetheless, you will end up reading it anyway.

I was in a dilemma regarding the rating as it was an okay read for me. The story line was promising but I do wish the protagonists were more believable and easier to like. I guess, I shall give this one a two point five. The beautiful cover of this book definitely scores some marks there. I would say read it and then decide for yourself whether you like it or not. In case you do pick it up, let me know your thoughts.


Linking this post to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge


  1. I picked up Where rainbows end last month and I liked it alot. After completing it I researched about Cecelia Ahern to find out a list of her works. How to fall in Love, If you could see me now and The year I met you are on my reading list.

    1. Yes, Where rainbows end aka Love, Rosie is one of her best works to date. I have read all her novels till date except The year I met you. Some of her books works for me, some don't. This one, unfortunately falls in the second category.

      Do let me know your thoughts once you are done with it. Your opinion may be totally different to mine.

    2. I am done reading with this. I felt this story was inspired by random bollywood potboilers ( i can name several of them) sans the magical touch. What is falling in love without magic. My next pick is A place called here.

  2. I did end up reading this in the same state of mind, it was not much of a fairytale-magic-touched Cecelia style one but since I am a huge fan of her, ended up liking it anyway. But readers who are not fans won't like it much. Compared to Where Rainbows end, this one's a tad disappointing. I just read where rainbows end for the nth time again :D

    1. Ah. Where Rainbows End! That is one book that I can read over and over again and not get bored! This book is a stark difference compared to that!

  3. I am a huge Cecelia Ahern fan myself. And I was waiting to pick this one up. Will let you know what I think after reading.

    1. Hopefully, you won't be as disappointed as me!


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