Feb 17, 2010

A Place Called Here, Cecelia Ahern

My 1st review for the New Year, and my 2nd review for this Irish author, Cecelia Ahern.

Let's just start with why I've chosen this book. Having finished The Sorceress, waiting 'til May to get my hands on the next one of the series certainly left a big empty hole in me. I loved the book so much that I decided to wait for 2 weeks before reading another book (I was afraid that my love for it might ruin my next reading experiences). And when I finally did, I chose one that was popularly praised: Shiver. But ... well, let's just say I didn't get it, no matter how I wanted to like it and how I was supposed to love it. So I dropped it halfway through (but with an intention to try it again later). Thinking I was still affected by The Sorceress, I turned to something more action-packed and myths-filled than Shiver: The Lightning Thief. I saw the trailer for the movie and really loved it. Sadly, this time I gave up after 3 chapters.

And then I saw this book. The cover was pink and beautiful, so I thought: "Why not begin the New Year with this cover? Maybe I'll get some luck this time". Besides, Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors.

Turns out, I did get lucky. This book is not action-packed, nor is it myths-filled. It's very simple, but something in Cecelia's writing kept drawing me in. So I kept reading it, and I love it.

Sometimes when you search for the epic, you might as well settle with the simple and the obvious.


Sandy Shortt, who is neither sandy nor short, is obsessed with finding things. Since her childhood not-friend Jenny-May Butler went missing, she's been wondering: where do all the lost things and the missing people go??? That's when she started asking questions that no one can answer, and that's when she started finding things. If one of her socks goes missing in the washing machine, she'll mess up the whole house to search for it. If she can't find her brand new toothbrush in the middle of the night, she'll go out under the rain to look for it in the car.
When Sandy grew up, she started her own missing persons agency. She spends her life looking for lost people, including Jenny-May, who was the reason that started her obsession.

Somewhere along her journey, Sandy realized that in a lifetime searching for people, she's forgotten to search for herself.

Somewhere along her journey, Sandy found herself lost. Lost in a place where there were her lost socks and the people she spent her life searching for.

That's the place where all the missing things and people go.

That's the place called Here.

My review:

This book, like every other Cecelia's books, has just a slight touch of a fairytale. Here, magic is just the background. What truly beautiful is the journey of finding one's self, and finding the others'. Even though the plot may sound confusing at first, it is slowly and gradually developed through out the book. Knots are tightened and all solved in the end, pleasingly.

The characters are wonderful. Sandy is strong and different, even difficult. She's 34 years old, so she's not our usual 18-year-old stereotype (it's kinda funny because I always love young and romantic protagonists, but Cecelia writes mostly about the thirties, and I still love her books). Sandy has this kind of obsession, which may be annoying sometimes. When she loses something, it bothers her a lot that she can't put her mind into anything else beside searching for it. I don't want to spoil the plot, so let's just say she loses a lot of things, LOL.

Another character I love is Jenny-May. Throughout the book, she is missing. So we don't get to know her much, but she's such a mystery. She literally haunted Sandy, therefore haunted the whole book. As I read on, I felt haunted too. I yearned to know more about her, to discover everything. Why did she go missing? How is she now? What is she doing? And most importantly, where is she?

The story continued, and I love mostly every characters. Each one of them holds something, some knots, some keys, some evidences. The whole book was built strongly. There's no loose spot, that's what I like about it. My own questions were all answered in the end.

The thing about this book is that it touched me to my soul. When I read it, I realized that sometimes, people go missing. Maybe not literally, but if we don't hold them tightly enough in our arms, we may lose them right before our very eyes. And no matter how we love someone, time and fate might take them away in a blink of an eye. I think we all know that, but sometimes we just forget. I know I did. I forgot to tell someone I loved them. I forgot to tell someone I was sorry. I forgot to sometimes give someone a little smile.

I forgot to visit my grandpa, and he passed away when I didn't expect it the most. So I couldn't tell him goodbye. I regrets it all the time.

Sometimes, we might forget things like that. Important things. Sometimes we do things that we regret. And sometimes, it's too late. I don't hate losing things, but we all hate losing people.

Guess what I did right after finishing this book :D

I grabbed my Canon, and I filmed my mom and dad. Just those casual (even silly) moments, but I know I'll caress.

I recommend you all do so :D

But please, try this book. It tells many things, things that we forget and don't realize until it's too late. It's simple but it's really, really good. And it's got depth, which many young adults lack nowadays.

My ratings:

Plot: 9 (very original, very outstanding, very different. I have never thought about where the missing socks go, LOL).
Character: 9
Writing: 10 (deep and attractive, I told you ;) ).
Cover: 10 (take some times to look at it carefully. Recognize all those blue objects? Very meaningful cover).

In conclusion: Get out now. Buy it. Read it. And don't forget to think about it :D

Happy reading, and Happy New Year (New Reading Year, LOL).

Love you all.


  1. This does sounds good.I did like Shiver though. Too bad though

  2. wow, great review. Sounds touching