Sunday, September 14, 2008

PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

I loved the movie PS I Love You. Love it. The dialogue was snappy, the emotions were real, and it was just real period. Which is why I decided to read the book it was based on, written by Cecilia Ahern, an Irish author. 

I try not to compare things to the source material, but it was so hard here. Having seen the movie first, I kept waiting for those moments I loved to pop up in the book, but they just weren't there. This was the same experience that I had reading the book The Wedding Date was based off of. Both movies are very loosely based off of their source material, and I had a hard time getting off the ground with both books. 

Holly Kennedy just lost her husband after a long battle against a brain tumor. She is having a hard time adjusting to live without Gerry, but she receives a new lease on life when she finds letters her husband left behind. Each month she is to open a new letter with an inspiring message. These letters are his final gift to her, a gift to keep her from merely existing after his death. 

The premise is absolutely lovely and inspiring, but there are some writing issues I can't get past. Ahern rambles as an author, not only showing the reader what a character is like through his or her actions, but telling us in the next paragraph. Most readers are capable of inferring information and don't need to be told as well. And when the reader is told, the reader is told frequently. 
Holly secured her bedsheet onto the washing line with a peg and thought about how she had bumbled through the remainder of May trying to get her life into some sort of order. Days went by when she felt so happy and content and confident that her life would be OK, and then as quickly as the feeling came it would disappear again, and she would feel her sadness setting in once more. She tried to find a routine she could happily fall into so that she felt like she belonged in her body and her body belonged in this life, instead of wandering around like a zombie watching everybody else live theirs while she waited around for hers to end. Unfortunately the routine hadn't turned out exactly as she had hoped. She found herself immobile for hours in the sitting room, reliving every single memory that she and Gerry had shared....

And so on and so forth. Each sentence says the same thing, how Holly wishes to move on but is unable to. I wish the book would move on as well, because it was very hard for me to pick up most of the time. I didn't really care if she moved on or not, because I couldn't get into her character. I'm told there is a depth to her, but for most of the book I see memories of a party girl who loved shopping. 

The book also jumped point of view a lot, and many times I found it difficult to figure out whose head I was in. There were a lot of characters, too, so this was not an easy task at all! 

My grade is a C-. If you want good Irish chic lit,  head for Marian Keyes. 

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