PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
Published On: September 1, 2004
Published By: Harper Collins
Genre: Chick Lit
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Holly couldn't live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other's sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.
I have mentioned quite frequently that Cecelia Ahern is probably my favourite author. She wrote my favourite book of all time and I have loved everything I have read by her. PS I Love You is her first novel and probably the most popular due to the success of the movie. I will admit I probably wouldn't have liked this book as much has it not been written by Cecelia Ahern, and it is quite likely that I added an extra star or half star just because of the author.
I wanted to adore this book as I have every other Cecelia Ahern book I have read. I was expecting to easily give it 5 stars. I did really enjoy it, but I had a few issues with it that I wasn't expecting. There is also the fact that I had seen the movie so many times before reading the book that I knew much of the story. I probably would have enjoyed the book more had I not seen the movie first.
I loved the idea of this story, in particular the letters from Gerry. I thought it was a very unique take on the death of a loved one and an interesting look at grief. The letters were a nice insight into Gerry and Holly's marriage and I enjoyed seeing their relationship and love for each other through them. Holly's dependency on the letters really showed her dependency on Gerry throughout their life together and I loved the way that was portrayed. It was a great premise and I think it was executed very well.
Another of the most important aspects of the book, and another thing I really loved, was the importance of friendship and family. I really liked the friendship between Holly, Sharon and Denise, and some of my favourite parts of the book were the times it was just the three of them together. I did have my problems with them, like I did with all of the characters, but I will get to that. I think their friendship really emphasised the importance of sticking by your friends in the worst times of their lives but also not pushing them away during the worst times in your own life. The family relationships were probably one of my favourite things about this book. I loved Holly's interactions with her siblings and the way her relationships changed with various members of her family throughout the book. I thought it was important that Holly learnt to turn to her family for support, but also to support them in whatever they were going through.
The only relationship I didn't really like in this book was that of Holly and Daniel. I really like their friendship but I was always suspicious of where the relationship was going. I loved seeing them spend time together and I thought Daniel was a great support for Holly but I really didn't want anything romantic there. In the end, I thought the way their relationship developed was interesting but I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. To me, there was just something not right about the two of them.
The main issue I had with this book was some of the actions of the characters. For the most part, I really liked the characters. Then they would do or say something unbelievably selfish or thoughtless or just plain immature and I just go so annoyed at them. Holly, for example, spent much of the book being extremely selfish and justifying it by the fact her husband had died. While I did accept that for the most part, there were times when I just couldn't let her away with being so downright selfish and not thinking about anyone but herself. I had similar problems with almost all of the characters at some point throughout the book. What I did appreciate, however, was that most of the time the characters themselves realised the flaws in their actions and rectified the situation or apologised for it. While it frustrated me to no end that they had done the specific thing in the first place, I did like the characters more for their acknowledgement of their crappy behaviour.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed this book and as a debut novel I think was very well done. The premise is very interesting but also well-executed and definitely worth a read. Though I love Cecelia Ahern, I would say this is my least favourite of her books so far. However, as it is her first published novel I think we can let her off, she has definitely improved over time.