Things are not going well for Kitty Logan. The story that was supposed to make her career has turned into a scandal and her beloved mentor is dying. When her friend passes away, she leaves Kitty with a mission: to write the story she always wanted to write. Unfortunately, all Kitty has to go on is a list of one hundred names. She’s on a tight deadline and isn’t sure she’ll even be able to find the right people, much less meet all of them and find out what connects them. Solving this puzzle for her mentor is a challenge, but one which might just help Kitty solve some problems of her own.
Before reading One Hundred Names, I already knew I loved Cecelia Ahern, having had wonderful experiences with both The Book of Tomorrow and The Time of My Life. This book lived up to all the expectations those books had created. What gets me started reading each book by Ahern is the fascinating premise. It’s hard not to get excited about a book with a great hook! Although in this case the big reveal hinted at by the description was a bit predictable, I didn’t feel like that took away from the novelty and beauty of the idea. It was a great way to start a fun, madcap adventure I was swept away by. More importantly, it introduced the reason I keep reading each book by Ahern – the brilliant characters.
In each book I’ve read, the main character grows as a person. This is something I really enjoy in a book. In fact, I think this is the reason a slightly predictable plot can be completely wonderful. Although I can relax, knowing the Ahern is going to leave me with warm fuzzy feelings, the main character still has to work for it. I also fell in love with the many secondary characters, learning just enough about their inner workings to be invested in their stories too. Aside from the starting point of each of Ahern’s books, much of what is portrayed within is simply ordinary life. This could be boring, but Ahern uses her exciting premises and touching writing to highlight the beauty and wonder that lurk in ordinary events. Her books could also easily be too predictable, too cliched, too orchestrated. However, the unique premise of each book saves them from cliche and the character growth allows the predictability to turn her books into comfort reads, without taking away from the plot. All of this makes Ahern’s books some of my favorite examples of a happy story done right.This review first published on Doing Dewey.