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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
The Time of My Life: A Novel - Cecelia Ahern As with all genres and narratives, Chick Lit has one or two main character archetype—one being the quirky, relatable girl who can’t catch a break and the other being the workaholic, stressed career woman who just needs to learn to take life as it comes (from the very studly ne’er-to-do-well). In either case, we’re supposed to like and sympathize with the main character, and it does feel particularly harder with the second archetype. But that’s the whole point of the latter’s journey; that even though we might not necessarily like her at first, there ought to be something that endears her to the reader.Lucy Silchester, our main character, ought to fit into the secondary category. She is, by all accounts, not a horrible person, but a pretty unlikable one: she makes fun of her coworkers and friends behind their backs, she frequently ducks out of gatherings early, and she’s convinced that her ex was cheating on her. Surely, her family’s admission that Lucy has to go to this meeting with the representation of her Life will change her for the better. By the end of the book, I’m not entirely convinced that Lucy’s even improved herself. It’s stated repeatedly that Lucy’s big problem is that she continuously lies about her life to everyone she knows, and that’s why her Life’s so shabby-looking. Which…no, not exactly. Yes, her constant lying is an issue, but why isn’t her Life going “Hey, you know you’re pretty awful to your loved ones, right?”Let’s talk about the whole premise overall. This whole meeting’s one Life isn’t completely fleshed out. I don’t think that I would be as bothered if Ahern had explained exactly how this works. Lucy’s Life aka ‘Cosmo’ apparently has his own life and interests but he’s entwined with Lucy but because comedy purposes they don’t have anything in common and *head implodes* And then it’s discussed numerous times that even though one of these meetings is fairly rare, other people know about the fact that “Hey, there’s this person who’s your Life that you may meet one day.” (And can we please kill the whole thing of “Hey, this really big concept like Death or Life or Heaven or [insert here] is run just like a bureaucracy!” It’s very rarely done well.) I hate to be told that I don’t have to think about the concept too hard, but when it’s the driving force and it’s not fully explained, yes the concept is going to bother me.And it never feels to me that Lucy nor ‘Cosmo’ fit each other. I don’t mean as romantic soulmates, but I never felt like Lucy needed ‘Cosmo’ in her life. This is extremely problematic with Lucy’s anvil-dropping last paragraph about how “There’s someone out there who’s rooting for you!” She spends 80% of the book ragging on how ‘Cosmo’s’ so shabby and terrible looking and yet they never have a moment of connection. I also don’t feel why Lucy has such urgency to change her life, especially since we never get to see what ‘Cosmo’s’ life is like away from Lucy. I get the fact that Lucy has to let go of her ex, Blake, in order to move on with her life. But what I don’t like is that her admittance that “Oh, btw, he left me instead of me leaving him like I told you all,” makes everything magically better. I’m actually still wondering why Lucy has friends if they all think she’s a horrible person for allegedly breaking up with Blake and all of the other things she does. And actually, Lucy’s character is really inconsistent—one second, she’s dismissive of everyone around her, and the next, she’s flirting with new love interest Don on the phone.The writing isn’t terrible, but the lack of explanation of the plot, and even what was occurring in one scene at times is extremely confusing. I couldn’t tell if I was too bored to keep up with what was going or if Ahern forgot to clarify things at points. Not to mention, there’s a lot of plot points that feel extremely contrived. For example, when Lucy is confronted with a Spanish-speaking office member when she can’t actually speak Spanish. I would have been fine with a number of language-related mishaps until Lucy is forced to blurt out the truth. Instead, we get a life-and-death situation that forces the truth out of Lucy…and then we find out that oh, wait, it’s not really life-and-death, so nevermind! I would have preferred the series of mishaps, honestly.It’s an interesting premise, but the story is so bland and Lucy is such a terrible character that I can’t really root for her. (Especially with that last paragraph. I honestly rolled my eyes at that speech.) There’s better chick lit books out there that you could check out, with stronger premises and heroines.