Book Review – “The Book Of Tomorrow” by Cecelia Ahern

6631792After the death of Mr. Goodwin, Tamara and her mother found themselves losing everything including their home. Fortunately, Tamara has an uncle living in another neighbourhood with his wife. As days went by, Tamara discovered a burned down castle, a nun, a couple of handsome boys, and her eerily observant aunt. Her mother however was in her room sleeping all day everyday. Along the way, Tamara stumbled upon a book that tells her the events of tomorrow written by herself! She used it to her advantage and solve the mysteries that surrounded her.

After reading the book, I fantasized about having the book she has. If I knew what was gonna happen tomorrow, will I change anything? Well if I knew I was gonna step on poop or get stuck in a traffic jam or forgotten someone’s birthday, it’s highly possible that I would turn that around. But you see, every movie about time travelling and changing the past shows a blasphemous consequences. Whether a wormhole forms in the middle of the city or mother earth is showing signs of death or random people starts dying one by one (if you saved the person that was suppose to die).

Okay, maybe it won’t turn out to be such a huge impact, but changing one decision or an act materially involves one or more people which will create a chain reaction. Say, if you didn’t pick that flower you found in the park, a little boy would’ve had an allergic reaction and had to be sent to the hospital. But picking that flower caused a cyclist to crash into a street light because he was captivated by the beauty of the flower (I can’t think of a better illustration. This is the best I can do at the moment).

However, as reflected in the book, no matter how much effort you put into trying some things are just meant to happen. There is no point in changing an action because it will lead back to where it was going. Nothing could have resulted a different consequence. It’s rather unfortunate, no? To have the knowledge of tomorrow’s happiness or sadness or anger, but there was nothing you could have done to change a regrettable occurrence. To have the guilt build up because you’re the only person who knew what was gonna happen and not being able to change it makes you feel like a bad person, a bystander, an observer (Fringe fans where are you??)

We’re living beings, we react to fear, we have a natural instinct to run away from or battle fear. We want to guard ourselves of the future from hurt or accusations. We want to be in control of our unpredictable lives. But not all things can be planned, organised, chopped and sealed. We shouldn’t be afraid to let go when the going gets tough because not knowing the unexpected episode keeps us excited for tomorrow, and makes us stronger for overcoming it. d7a3da1f4622ce9779eedfbcae662858

“You shouldn’t try to stop everything from happening. Sometimes you’re supposed to feel awkward. Sometimes you’re supposed to be vulnerable in front of people. Sometimes it’s necessary because it’s all part of you getting to the next part of yourself, the next day.”

Cecelia Ahern, The Book of Tomorrow

jump over the fence

I was in the shower when an image came to mind (ideas coming from the shower, how typical ;P). I was thinking of my cousin where she had the typical yin and yang circle tattooed on her wrist. It wasn’t an extraordinary pattern that I’ve never seen before. I mean, we see it all the time ― graffiti on abandoned city walls, movies (like Kungfu Panda), tattoo parlours, Tai Chi buildings, Fengshui books. Anywhere, really. It’s a symbol of balance, but I’ve never given it much thought. To me, it was like “yeah, sure. balance of both black and white, dark and light. what goes around comes around“.

Yin (Black) ― Taking; Yang (White) ― Giving.

Both exist with elements opposing each other, yet one can only be seen with the presence of the other. The constant pushing and pulling only keeps us grounded, stationary, and balance. Without either one of them, we would either fall or float for an eternity.

I was reminded of The House of Night novel by P.C. & Kristin Cast. In their 7th book, Burned, they introduced the two most mighty spirits – the White Bull (representing Darkness) and Black Bull (representing Light/Good). I found it difficult to keep my head on track because we’re so used to associating white as good and evil as black. But in the book, it was in reverse.

“Its more than a simple belief that there is good and that it should fight the evil in the world. It’s a personification of Light and Darkness at their most elemental level, as forces that are so absorbed with themselves that one cannot exist without the other though they constantly try to consume one another. One of the earliest representations of Light and Darkness was of Light being a massive black bull and Darkness being an enormous white bull.”

― P.C. Cast, Burned

You cannot see darkness unless there is light, neither can you know that what you’re seeing is light unless darkness is present. But how would we know which is good or bad? Is the light that we see evil? Or the darkness that consumes every corner is good? I’m not sure why P.C. and Kristin Cast depicted good and evil in reverse (I should really research on this. But if you know why, please enlighten me!). Maybe because some things or people may be seemingly good to you, but are actually wolves in disguise.

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

― Matthew 7:15 (NIV)

 

Featured image credit: Lasya Healing