Title: One Hundred Names
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Source: copy received for honest review through TLC Book Tours
Plot Summary from Goodreads:
Journalist Kitty Logan's career is being destroyed by scandal - and now she faces losing the woman who guided and taught her everything she knew. At her terminally ill friend's bedside, Kitty asks - what is the one story she always wanted to write? The answer lies in a file buried in Constance's office: a list of one hundred names. There is no synopsis, nothing to explain what the story is or who these people are. The list is simply a mystery. But before Kitty can talk to her friend, it is too late. With everything to prove, Kitty is assigned the most important task of her life: to write the story her mentor never had the opportunity to. Kitty not only has to track down and meet the people on the list, but find out what connects them. And, in the process of hearing ordinary people's stories, she starts to understand her own.
Despite her impressive repertoire of novels, I've only read one other of Cecelia Ahern's books (PS, I Love You). It was many years ago, but I remember being very emotionally moved by it (and, bonus: it was better than the movie version (but when is it not?)). Since then, I've had a ton of her books on my TBR list, so I figured now was a great time to jump into one of her newest releases with One Hundred Names.
I was unsure of how to feel about Kitty (our journalistic protagonist) for much of the novel. I wanted so badly to like her--she's down on her luck, trying to track down this story for her recently-deceased friend, all while attempting to rebuild her trashed career. However, she also has this predatory streak about her that annoyed the bejesus out of me at times. She's so intent on finding the big, scandalous story that she sometimes makes her interviewees feel terrible about themselves in the process.
However, my warm-fuzzy feelings about Kitty won out. In the end, I felt that she was truly a decent person who was simply overtaken by the media's need for bigger, better, and more. Her moments of overly-voracious story hunting eventually served to turn her into a more human, relateable character.
Of course, this made the moral of the story feel rather obvious to me, but I am happy to report that there is much more to the conclusion than that. (I originally thought I had the ending all figured out before the halfway point--which as we all know, can be a GIANT LETDOWN. I was overjoyed when I realized that was not the case.) While the reveal about the origin of the 100 names is not scandalous or jaw-dropping, it is incredibly uplifting, and that makes it worth the wait. Plus, there are a few details tantalizingly left hanging, which doesn't always make me a happy reader--but in this case, it was done well, and I was happy indeed.
One Hundred Names is the epitome of a "feel good" novel, but one with some real substance behind it. Between this and PS, I Love You, I think Cecelia Ahern is definitely leaving her mark on me!
As always, much thanks to Trish and TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour!
HERE. And connect with Cecelia Ahern on her website and Facebook.