Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern: Review

Title: Love, Rosie
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: Harper Collins
Buy this book: Amazon / Book Depository

Best friends since forever, Alex and Rosie have shared their hopes, dreams - and firsts. But one awkward moment at eighteen, one missed opportunity, and life sends them hurtling in different directions. Although they stay in touch, misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck seem to be conspiring to keep them apart. Can they gamble everything - even their friendship - on true love? 

Love, Rosie was originally published under the title Where Rainbows End, but I could only find the movie tie in edition. I'd decided to pick this book up because I'd seen the trailer for the film and really wanted to see it. I'm one of those people who always feels the need to read the book first, so when I saw it on special I decided to take a chance. I had hopes that the book would be as funny and romantic as the trailer looked. Unfortunately it ended up being a reading experience that was similar to The Maze Runner for me. It wasn't what I was expecting at all and worked to put me off seeing the film. But, from what I'd seen from the trailer, it looked like they wouldn't be sticking too close to the story in the book.

I didn't realise before buying the book but, the book is told entirely through letters, notes, emails and instant messages between the characters. That was surprising and took a long time for me to get used to. It's used so that they can quickly summarise events and span a long period of time. The problem with that format is that everything needs to be explained in these letters. It's all telling and no showing, which never works well for me. It also means that the letters never come across as sounding authentic, they don't read like something you would actually write to someone. That format also makes it hard for me to connect to the characters or feel like I ever come to really know them or how they are feeling.




Something else I didn't know before starting the book, and something I really wish I'd known, was that the book takes us from the characters childhoods, right up until they are in their 50s. The movie trailer made it rather obvious that it's not going to span anywhere near that length of time, and for good reason. In that time so much happens, and all very quickly because we jump forward years at a time. It starts to feel like too much, with so much happening to the characters so suddenly it starts to feel a bit rushed. It also makes it confusing to work out the time the book is supposed to be set in. They use instant messenger whilst at school, something that wasn't around till the 90s. So if they were 16 in the 90s, does this mean the book goes up until the 2030s. Or are they supposedly in their 50s at the end, which would be 2004, and Ahern just didn't really think about the time frame. That probably shouldn't bug me as much as it does, I just really wish the time was made more clear throughout.


They needed a pep talk from this guy!
Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were children, but once they become teenagers the line starts to blur a little. Through reading their exchanges with others it's obvious to us that they both have feelings for each other, but neither manages to express it to the other. They have a ton of near misses but they never quite manage to tell each other how they feel. That would have been okay for a little while, but over the course of fifty years you start to get a little bored of it. The characters became so unlikeable because they were just both such idiots. Rosie was too much of a push over, allowing people to walk all over her and never going after what she really wanted. Alex was just ridiculously irresponsible and an awful person, the kind of person who'd marry someone even though they don't love them and are actually in love with someone else. And what is with everyone in this book having no idea what contraception is? It's just filled with unplanned pregnancies and sham marriages. I was bored by the end of it, I wanted to slap them both and tell them to get their shit together. They were in serious need of a Finnick Odair style sugar cube talk,.. if we see something sweet we better grab it!

Something nobody in this book does... EVER!
The story got to be far too repetitive, with characters literally going and making the exact same mistake all over again. I couldn't root for these two to be together because they were both really stupid, irresponsible and unwilling to help themselves. The same storyline gets repeated and there is no need for it. This should have spanned a much shorter length of time. I have already been to see the movie version and they changed a lot. They only set the story over twelve years and they managed to make Alex a much more likeable character. It's another example of where they do a better job with the film.

I'd had this idea that Love, Rosie was going to be a really romantic, sweet story. I thought it was going to be filled with funny, cute, aww moments. I couldn't have been more wrong. To me at least, this book was not romantic at all. Maybe it would be for an older reader, or someone who married the asshole, or had a failed marriage or is still hoping to find someone. But to me it was just really frustrating to have to read about two ridiculously stupid characters as they waste away 50 years of their lives by being dumb. Really dumb. Ridiculously dumb. I hate them both.


2/5 Butterflies

Love, Rosie suffers from a plot that is dragged out far longer than necessary. The plot gets repeated by the halfway mark and so it gets a bit boring. The characters inability to help themselves and their poor decision making made them very hard to like. I couldn't really root for a romance when I just wanted to hit them both. But my biggest issue with Love, Rosie is that it wasn't cute, funny or romantic. It was a rather depressing read, I finished it feeling completely deflated and unsatisfied with the whole thing. I can't imagine wasting my life in the way that they did, how utterly depressing. In my opinion, save your time and just go see the movie. The movie isn't amazing but it is funny, entertaining and a lot better than the book. 


22 comments:

  1. Aww... so sorry to know that you didn't like it. I have been looking REALLY forward to reading the book because the movie trailers seem SO AWESOME and I, too, am one of those people who stick to the sacred Golden Rule of Reading, Read the Book First! I was really looking forward to it but now you've got me worried... :( Hope you have a much better experience with the movie! The movie seems awesome so far!!! <3 :)

    ~Fari
    A Recent Post:
    My Annoyingly Long List of Bookish Pet Peeves! (Part One XD) @ My Little Corner For Books

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    1. The movie trailer is what made me want to read the book two. But I've seen the film and it's so much better. It's also a lot different. So I don't know if you even need to read the book before seeing it.

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  2. I don't know if it's just because I'm writing this in the middle of the night, but I found this review hilarious. I could really feel your frustration!!! I saw this book at work but I wouldn't have read it anyway because I anticipated an overdose of Aww. Even though I turned out to be wrong, I don't think I would've liked this either! Aw. Haha. Very entertaining review. Sorry you didn't like it, though! =(

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    1. Me too! But I must admit that I had a lot of fun writing my negative review. It's nice to just get some of the frustration out. I'm also happy that you found it funny, at least someone gets my sense of humour ;)

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  3. I don't always say this... but I think the movie would be better. I think they're not doing the 50 year thing. I read somewhere that the movie will do 12 years instead of 50 so that's more tolerable and less miserable, I guess. I still want to read the book though. - Joy @ The Bookshelf Intruder

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    1. Yes, they stick to 12 years and it works a whole lot better. I couldn't imagine them trying to stretch it out over 50 years in the film, it would get really annoying.

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  4. I GOT SO ANGRY AT THE TIME SPAN THING AS WELL! I mean, goodness gracious, did it really have to lead into their old ages. Gah, that got me so angry in the end because they just never learnt. The movie was so much better and to be honest, I'm so glad that it didn't drag into their 50s. The movie ended where the the book should off--with the events fast forwarded about 20 years, jeebus. Fantastic review, Charnell! You've put down all my thoughts x

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    1. I don't know why she thought dragging it out that long was a good idea. It just made me hate the characters and how stupid they were. They needed to just speak up and tell each other how they felt. They wasted so much time and for no good reason at all. I was not impressed. So happy with the decisions they made for the film adaptation.

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  5. Ouch with this book, ouchie! Definitely not giving this a try any time soon, if ever. Thanks! :)

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  6. Oh no! I can totally understand why this didn't work for you, how disappointing! This may be one of those rare times where the movie is actually better than the book.

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    1. It definitely was a time where the film was better, thank god!

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  7. Ohhhh dear. I want to see the movie though. I read this when I was like 14/15 and enjoyed it - I don't remember much about it, but I know I liked it. So scared of a reread right now lol R x

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    1. It just really didn't work for me, it wasn't cute or romantic! I loved the film though :)

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  8. Eh, this doesn't sound like a book I would like! I can't believe it spans such a long period of time - it would be frustrating to have that much of their lives shown to you, especially as books are usually just a snippet of what is happening to the character. I also don't like the sound of it being repetitive... in total I think this is one of those books I am going to skip. I hope you like the movie a lot more than the book.

    http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/11/transformed-blog-tour-giveaway.html

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    1. It's so repetitive that it made me start to hate the characters. I didn't get why they kept making the same mistakes over and over again. I highly recommend skipping the book and just watching the film.

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  9. Oh, so sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one, Charnell! The trailer of the film looks really promising, and I enjoy the actors. I like the fact that the book is told in letters/emails/etc, but didn't know that it was paced from childhood up until the characters were in their 50's. That kind of puts me off. I think I'll still plan on reading this one, but maybe I'll just watch the movie without bothering to read the book first. Thanks for a wonderful review, Charnell - hopefully your next read is much better.

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    1. The book span was far too long, it gets very frustrating! I just came to really despise the characters after they kept making the same mistakes over and over. I'd recommend the film, but not the book.

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  10. I hadn't even heard of this one, but it sounds like I won't be reading it. That's an insane time period to cover!! And I can see if they just keep doing the same dumb things over and over again that it would drive me crazy too. Not to mention the whole technology thing and what year it is, etc. That's something that can stay in the back of my mind an entire book and bother me. Great review…looks like I'll be seeing the movie without reading the book (and I'm the same way, I like the read the book first if there is one). Great review! ~Pam

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    1. I have no idea why the author wanted it to span such a long time, but it did not work for me. Watching the characters repeat their mistakes over and over again just got old pretty fast. It also made them very unlikeable.

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  11. Huh. I have no plan to actually pick up this book(I've yet to read an Ahern book). But even if I had a thought about you've definitely made up my mind for me. Does not sound like a book I would enjoy either. It kind of sounds like it had a One Day vibe, which I loved, one of my most favourite books. But I guess it clearly doesn't deliver there. Great review! I might think about seeing the movie next year if I come across it on Netflix. But definitely a no for the book.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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    1. No, it doesn't! I read One Day and enjoyed that a lot more. I would recommend the film but not the book.... EVER!

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