Tuesday, 29 October 2013

How To Fall In Love

How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern
Hardback, 400 pages

Expected publication 7th November 2013 by HarperCollins
Shelves: adult-fiction, arc-or-review, better-than-expected, books-i-own, chick-lit, mental-health, read, read-in-2013, realistic-fiction, really-good, suicide
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

She has just two weeks. Two weeks to teach him how to fall in love – with his own life.

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. 

Despite her determination, Christine knows what a dangerous promise she’s made. Against the ticking of the clock, the two of them embark on wild escapades, grand romantic gestures and some unlikely late-night outings. Slowly, Christine thinks Adam is starting to fall back in love with his life. 

But has she done enough to change his mind for good? And is that all that’s starting to happen?

How to Fall in Love is a book that, thankfully, has a really exciting blurb on the cover. I openly admit that having read one of Ahern's other books (The Gift) I wasn't overly eager to pick up more of her books, but thanks to the description of this one, I overcame my apprehensiveness and I could not be happier that I did! 

I am immediately sold to any book which features characters that are emotionally or mentally troubled, so what could be more appealing than this one? Christine, our protagonist, hasn't had an easy time since she met a man called Simon, a man who she believed she had talked down from suicide until he suddenly shot himself in front of her, leaving him in a coma. From that night, almost everything changed for her as she began to live with a feeling of guilt and as she also decided to change her home life, leaving her husband. What happens next is the main focus of this story - As Christine is walking through Dublin, she approaches the Ha'penny Bridge and sees a man, Adam, about to jump. Christine felt as though she failed with Simon and so she wasn't going to let Adam go. Christine and Adam make a deal, Christine has up until Adam's next birthday (only two weeks!) in order to make him love his life, otherwise, he is free to do as he wishes. 

There is a lot of things that I could go into detail about in this book, because there are a lot of things that happen in the two weeks that Christine and Adam have together. A lot of things that they do are in an attempt to try and get Adam's ex-girlfriend, Maria, to fall in love with him again. Adam planned to become engaged to Maria, but  was devastated when he found out that his girlfriend and best friend were having an affair. Christine also helps Adam to try and manage his life, sorting through issues with both the family business and family feuds. Christine herself also faces some inner battles, issues with her ex-husband and still finds time to help her friend both cope with a loss and a life-changing revelation. 

From the first time that Christine and Adam meet, we know that their relationship isn't going to be easy or 'normal' - Christine has agreed to turn the suicidal Adam into someone happier. There is a slight awkwardness between the two of them, a natural awkwardness, something that you would expect to be there, something that feels so real and which adds a sense of authenticity. There are some truly beautiful moments between the couple and it is hard to pinpoint a favourite scene of mine because all of their time together did seem precious,  though I did particularly enjoy the more light-hearted and fun times that they had as they began to relax into each others companyThe two characters as individuals were well formed, their personalities were both very level and they both seemed very genuine, but when the two characters were together, they both sparked to life - the chemistry between them was incredible, they complimented each other and definitely had one of the best relationships that I've read. 

How to Fall in Love is a very appropriate title for this book, this story itself has multiple chapters with 'How To' titles and I really enjoyed the format. At the beginning, Christine is a firm believer that there is a 'How To' self-help book for every topic and for every person - she uses those books as emotional crutches and as guidance for her everyday life and of course, she turns to them when she is trying to help Adam. As Christine helps Adam with each step of his changes, we notice that she is altering both of their lives and the chapter headings cleverly reflect that. The book title is appropriate to both the characters inside and to me, as I most definitely fell in love with both the charming characters and heartwarming story.

How To Fall In Love is undoubtedly one of the best chick-lit books of 2013 and one of the best I've ever read. I absolutely devoured this book, though I never wanted it to end. This is a perfect book to pick up and become lost in - you will find your mind wandering off into the captivating Dublin setting with these two characters, willing them on along their journey. I completely, wholeheartedly fell in love with Christine, Adam and their emotional story and I'm sure that they will stay in my mind for quite some time. Needless to say, Ahern has certainly taught me 'How To Fall In Love'.


  1. WOW! That's a really good grade! I might give this one a try though i'm no big Cecilia Ahern fan. Thanks for the review.

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