Sunday 5 May 2013

Book Review - One Hundred Names

Title: One Hundred Names
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 11 Oct 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0007350469

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
I can't really remember how I got into Cecelia Ahern's books but I've read every one she's ever written. She's not my usual type of book, as you know I focus on YA edging toward paranormal and fantasy, but something about Ahern captures my heart from my mind. So when I heard another book was coming out I knew I had to request it. It took a while to come through the library as it had a waiting list on it. Then when I did get it i didn't have time to read it. Then this afternoon I decided to pick it up. It was nowhere near the top of my pile but it was calling to me. 
I liked the idea behind this book, it intrigued me and I wanted to see what the author would do with it. Kitty Logan has been involved in a scandal at work, she's been kicked off the TV news program she was working for and she's being plagued by abuse. But her mentor and lifelong friend Constance still has faith in her, she's the editor of the magazine Kitty works for and they start to talk about the stories they would love to write. Constance is terminally sick but tells Kitty of a file she has stored at home. Kitty goes to retrieve it, but before she can get back to ask what it's all about Constance has died. Kitty becomes obsessed with solving the 'list' and working out what Constance was trying to do.
The file contained a single list of 100 names, Kitty must find out who these people are and what connects them all in time to write an article as a tribute to Constance.
One of the reasons I thought this was intriguing was because 100 names is a rather big amount, especially for a 420 page book - that's a lot to get through in a fairly short space and I wanted to see how and why.
I will admit that the start of this book was quite slow for me, it sets up the situations and some of the characters which drags a bit, you are thrust into their lives and have to get to know them. As they are strangers to me at the beginning of the book I did wonder why I cared, but as the story developed I got to know each one better and it made it all worthwhile. 
The book doesn't speed through 100 names I am pleased to say, instead 6 names end up playing a dominant part and you get to know them better. Out of the six 'Birdie' was my favourite, a seemingly boring old lady that actually has an enchanting past. But they all had a unique angle and point of interest. And with Kitty linking them together anyway you feel like you are part of a great adventure. 
The intrigue of wondering how they are linked on this list is what keeps you hooked throughout, I tried to work out many different ways but couldn't come up with a conclusion, but I smiled when it is revealed. 
Very well written, the characters start to feel like old friends the further you get through the book. Although I did occasionally get confused with some of the names, it never lasted long, as if aware it could be a problem Ahern drops casual hints throughout linking to each of the character to help keep you on track.
This is not my favourite of her books but I did really enjoy it and I like the message behind it, it made me think a bit about how we see other people. Maybe we do all have a story waiting to be discovered. 
I still remain a fan and look forward to seeing what Cecelia Ahern will do next, her books are always original and unpredictable and I think that is what I love the most. 

My Rating


Thurman Vanderhoofc said...

Thanks for posting this.This is awesome!!

Katie Edwards said...

I love Cecelia Ahern's books, and this was really lovely, an indulgent comfort read. Have you read The Book of Tomorrow? That's my favourite.

barmybex said...

Yeah, she's one of my favourite authors. I've read all of her novels. My favourite is 'A Place Called Here'.