Saturday, 21 June 2014
How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern
They say lightning never strikes twice.
Great, begin with a cliched phrase that belongs to the world, has no copyright and betrays a lack of creativity.
Well, it's true that people say it; it's just untrue as a fact.
I think we are supposed to laugh. In any case, tell us something we already know. Not very gripping and certainly not the way to hook the reader. With this type of fiction, the so-called chick-lit genre, it is more important to establish the tone and attitude before introducing the story that is conflict and character. All I can say is that I'm glad the masses are finally tiring of this.
What comes next is what looks like a copied and pasted encyclopedic article about lightening and the odds of striking things. NASA-funded scientists discovered that cloud-to-ground lightning frequently strikes the ground in two or more places and that the chances of being struck are about forty-five per cent higher than what people assume.
The tone, like, totally, changes, girl. Like, really.
Anyway, after that comes paragraph 3 with some different tone and a weather report. The narrator says she found herself somewhere she had never been before and then goes on to explain that that is not a metaphor for a new psychological space, but that she is in a new geographically new place. Really. Talk about over explaining.
Despite the narrative mood swings, scientific information dumps, weather reports and back story, there is a scene buried in chapter 1, in which the narrator tries to talk some guy out of killing himself, but it is all telling and poor Simon, the suicide guy, sees no way out of this novel other than put the gun to his head and pull the trigger. Fortunately, for the rest of us, all we need to do is close it to be rid of it.
First thing said:
Verdict: Epic Fail