This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Jasmine cares about two things only – her job and her sister. Building start-up companies before selling them off for a profit takes up most of her time. The rest of it is dedicated to seeing her beloved sister, Heather, who was born with Down Syndrome, but has a busier social calendar than anyone Jasmine knows.
So when she loses her job and is put on gardening leave to stop her from going to work for a rival company, Jasmine is lost. With nothing to do and nothing to focus on, she starts to question everything in her life until the quiet neighbourhood in which she lives begins to come alive. Suddenly Jasmine notices the people around her and the lives that they live. One person in particular, Matt Marshall, a shamed radio dj who is having to re-evaluate himself, can be found on his front lawn with a can of beer every night. Jasmine has no idea that they have more in common than she thinks.
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This is a story about how friendships can form in the most unlikely places between the most unlikely people. I loved the book so much that I raced through it in three days (with a busy teaching job, this is very quick for me!). Cecelia Ahern has a unique writing style and her books always feel like a big hug; the warm characters, the perfectly weaved plot and the simplicity of her stories are the perfect recipe.
Written like an open letter to Matt, the book often sounds like a narrative that Jasmine is writing in her head to him, referring to him merely as ‘You’ throughout.Jasmine has a lot of issues. She appears cold, lonely and stubborn and she is all of those things, but as the story goes on and her unlikely friendship with Matt Marshall – who lives across the road from her – unfolds, she begins to shed her icy exterior and work-driven attitude. She starts to see the world around her, the beauty of her street and, in particular, her garden. I loved the amount of time she spends falling in love with her outside space; creating it from scratch, learning new skills and discovering new things about herself.
Her fierce need to protect her sister from anyone that doesn’t understand Down Syndrome had ruled her life for so long that she can, at times, smother her sister, who is perfectly happy leading an independent life.
The book is a journey of self-discovery for Jasmine. She loathes neighbour Matt, for reasons I will let you find out on your own, but something starts to happen that means they both find themselves on the same path, which will bring them together in ways you might not expect.
What I love most about Cecelia Ahern’s novels is that they aren’t predictable and they aren’t always about love in its most obvious form. She is most well-known for her first novel PS. I Love You, but her subsequent novels are all beautiful, unique stories that have a little sprinkle of glitter on top. And The Year I Met You is just as sparkly.