Even though I have yet to read everything by Cecilia Ahern, I consider myself a fan of her work and writing. The little bit of magic she adds to her stories always pulls me in and, to me, elevates her work to another level beyond the typical romance novel.
So it was somewhat disappointing to find myself not enjoying One Hundred Names as much as I wanted to. It’s not a bad book mind you, but it was so slow to start and didn’t seem to pick up speed until about halfway through. It took a long time before her classic tug at your heart strings eventually came out to play, but it was really not up to par compared to some of her other novels.
Kitty Logan is a disgraced journalist. Her best friend, editor, and only defender, Constance, dies on her and Kitty is left with one last chance to redeem herself – finish Constance’s story in the magazine’s tribute issue. But all she has is a list of 100 names with no connection to one another, an interim editor who is hard on her, and random people threatening her life in revenge for her shaming a school teacher with untruths. How is she going to make this work?
The truth is, Kitty is not a likeable character, and even at the end of the book, well, she’s not a whole lot more likeable. It’s the other 100 characters – well, a lot less to be honest, because she couldn’t find all 100 of them – that makes the story interesting. While the vandalism occurring at her flat is a little over the top and hard to believe, her hardship seems rightly deserved considering what she did. In fact, I reckon Kitty got away very lightly indeed.
And maybe that’s the problem with this book. Kitty. How do you cheer on a character you don’t feel all that sorry for? No wonder it only started getting good when the story moved its focus away from her and onto everyone else.
If you just dabble in Ahern, I recommend skipping this one. Otherwise, go ahead and read it. Maybe you’ll enjoy it a lot more than I did.