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Customer Review

38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Teeth-grinding experience, 18 Jan. 2008
This review is from: PS, I Love You (Paperback)
I read this book over a year ago, and have for the most part - blissfully - forgotten about it, until the film came out and stars one of my favourite actors, Gerard Butler. It brought back every emotion I had. This book is the only one I've read during which I've found myself grinding my teeth and had a perverse sense of joy when I recycled it. I should have put it down sooner, but I don't like giving up on books.

The concept is fine and some parts are good, but for the most part, it was so badly written and edited that I couldn't help but be frustrated.

Bearing in mind some details are fussy, my frustrations:

1. The main character is the only one capable of being funny - or so it's written. When she makes a remark, everybody laughs and spends hours (!) laughing at her joke/comment. In places, I had to re-read chapters in order to find out what was so funny. I never did.

2. Every new male character who is tall, dark and handsome falls madly in love with the lead character. Every new male character who is ordinary and 'ugly' is a creep. Furthermore, practically all the new female characters are horrendous creatures, who are nasty to the main character (of course!).

3. You're meant to believe that the main character - who's barely finished college, has never had a good full-time job, and has been unemployed for months since her husband's illness/death - can suddenly sit down and write a list of potential jobs she wants (out of about 15, only 1 is realistic and that's something like a marketing executive!!!). Of course, she applies and despite the complete lack of experience or qualifications, she gets an interview within a week, the job within a similar time frame, and ends up being the best employee the firm's ever had. It's completely unbelievable.

4. Every character's predominant facial expression is winking. Funny enough, in curiosity, I looked at one of Ahern's subsequent novels and the main expression there, just after flicking through a few pages, was raised eyebrows.

It is clear that these details have remained with me, and some readers would address me as being completely unfair. Yet, these frustrations could not even make my say it was an okay book. If it was possible, I wouldn't even give the book a one star. I seriously do not understand how it became as successful as it did. I hate to say it, but I believe her father's position likely helped. After all, there are better books out there that tackle similar subjects and I am sure better authors who've yet to get published.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Mar 2008 16:50:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Mar 2008 16:51:09 GMT
wysiwy-f-g says:
I agree with your comments completely

Posted on 9 May 2008 16:01:48 BDT
Ms. R. Smith says:
I also agree. You forgot to mention though how bad the style of writing is - horribly childlike and packed with cliches!

Posted on 19 Mar 2012 21:49:21 GMT
jedge says:
Well, I was going to post a review but you have pretty much nailed all I want to say.
The obsessive use of adverbs had my eyes constantly rolling, it was cringeworthy the number of times she managed to fit 'sarcastically' into every paragraph. One minor thing that riled me up probably more than it should was her start to chapter 16- 'Holly secured her bedsheet onto the washing line with a peg'- what sort of a chapter opener is that?! Yep, thats riveting, truelly... though if it was really an integral point to the plot (which I discovered it wasn't), couldn't it have been made less wordy, for example, Holly hung her washing on the line? If this had been the books only poor point then, obviously, I would have let it slide, but by that point I was so wound up by how terrible the writing was, and disappointed that it wasn't the massive sensation people had raved about, the line just made me snap. I did struggle all the way to the end, and it was a tremendous struggle, because I was told the ending was a lovely, surprise that really wrapped the whole book was a rubbish ending which acted only to cement the misgivings I had about the book all the way through.
Also, I didn't cry one single tear. The characters are shallow and I just didn't care about any of them, or what happened to them.

Posted on 12 Nov 2012 17:12:28 GMT
shn525 says:
After living in Limerick, I upped sticks to Dublin a few years back. Having no connections there, I stayed in a hostel for the first two months (yeah, funnily enough my dream job didn't come through after the first seven days there...). One room with 11 other women comprised of immigrants, tourists, those on temporary work assignments; it never ceased to amaze me how many had this book! Tried to read it, couldn't. My faith in my sex was called into question. Slowly, my memories faded as well. In fact, I viewed it as a fluke, a manifestation of the power of her father's influence. My fellow double x chromosome possessors were powerful, sensible, discerning of taste! Then Fifty Shades happened...
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