I have a number of female friends who frequently throw out "You have to read Cecelia Ahern, so good!" so when I found this book on sale at B&N one day, I figured why not? Let's see what all the ladies are talking about. I liked the concept of this novel, but I felt a lot was left unexplained, as if the reader were "just suppose to know". I don't need details hand fed to me to "get it" but some backstory would be cool. There was almost no history written to Gabe. He's just mysteriously mysterious. And it didn't seem like there was enough to Lou to pity him much in the end, the reader isn't really given the chance to get to know him since the novel is so short.
The writing in general also felt a little heavy handed. The whole "two things at once" bit got a bit dead-horse for me. There were also parts that seemed to scream "Look at how clever I am!" when it's not... not really. I get that the author probably wanted this to be a memorable, parable-like Christmas story that would be loved for ages but it missed the mark for me.
I'll give the girl props on this excerpt though. I did like this:
This story is about people, secrets, and time. About people who, not unlike wrapped parcels, cover themselves with layers and layers until they present themselves to the right ones who can unwrap them and see inside. Until that happens they lie under a tree, being poked and prodded by unwelcome hands. Sometimes you have to give yourself to somebody in order to see who you are. Sometimes you have to let that person unravel things to get to the core.