Adam Basil and Christine Rose are thrown together late one night, when Christine is crossing the Halfpenny 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 she can show him that life is worth living before then - GoodReads.comI've always loved Cecelia Ahern because she writes using very simple language about things that many of us can relate to. Her stories are on-point and just the ticket.
Based on the title of the book, something I randomly picked out in Book Xcess in Starling Mall in Uptown (for RM17.90) (you can get in on Bookexcess website too), I initially assumed that the book would be a love story. (Sorry, I am a chic lit gal) Ahern also has a strong line-up of chic lits and romance novels...of sorts.
But as with all her other stories, this one has a little bit of a twist. It delves a little into the helplessness of human beings, on mental and emotional health, on human coping mechanisms and, of course, love.
Initially finding it a little hard to believe that anyone would actually fall in love with another person who is with such fragile outlook in life, as I continued reading the book, it finally made sense why someone would go all out to try to get someone to fix his or her mental blocks. I personally found it a little off-putting that so many people the protagonist met with had the urge to off themselves. More so with a handsome man who lost his girlfriend. What are we, 18?! Sorry, 18-year-olds, it's just an analogy. But how many grown-up men would end their lives just because their snotty (but, OK, hot) girlfriend left him for his best-friend?
The little bit of humor, in bits and pieces, however, kept me reading and it took Ahern a while to actually piece together the personality of the protagonist, or explain why she is the way she is. Throughout 3/4 of the book, Christine was written as a wreck herself. The thought of her wanting so desperately to fix a suicidal Adam just didn't make sense.
For example, her inability to let Adam out of her sight just because he might decide to commit suicide, something he tried to do when she met him. Eerie and weird. She brought him along wherever she went just like a mother would, she would vulture around him, look at his phone, listen out for his breathing in case he died, asked his house manager to never let him out of her sight while Christine tended to personal matters...sounds a little far-fetched and odd. Off-putting too, sometimes.
There were also some loopholes that needed some explaining...which remained missing to the very end. The behavior of her ex-husband, Barry, was bizarre and unexplained, and I personally thought that detective Macguire was, despite being gruff and dismissive of Christine, had a lot more personality to show for. Dick Basil, the unapproachable, rude, obstinate, mean, emotionally abusive and horrifying man of a father, had more explaining to do because...he died and left everything to the son who didn't want the massive business he had built all his life. Why?! And all of a sudden, when Adam received news that he had been given the business after all, despite not wanting it, he was all-of-a-sudden happy about it. What When How Why?! LOL
However, even with a few complaints here and there, it was an enjoyable read. It was simple and to-the-point and made for an easy read. The falling in love was sudden, but kind of sweet towards the end.