|For the first time Cecelia Ahern has published two books in a year. The first was the brilliant How to Fall in Love, which I have reviewed here.
The Year I Met You tells the story of two neighbours. Jasmine Butler has made her career her life, but after being sacked she is forced to take gardening leave for a year. Matt Marshall is a radio presenter on a controversial radio show, that is until an incident on the New Years Evening show leads to him being forced to take some time off-air.
Neither Jasmine or Matt cope well with their change in circumstances. Jasmine starts actually gardening. Matt drinks copious amounts of alcohol. It is at this point that Jasmine starts to notice her neighbour from across the road – Matt. The book is written from Jasmine’s perspective, with her writing to Matt referencing him as You.
All of the characters in The Year I Met You were believable and likeable. Jasmine is an meticulous people watcher who keeps the people in her life at a distance. Matt loves his family but has become entrenched in the daily grind of life. Both characters feel lost, something we have all felt.
Stylistically Jasmine’s perspective was enjoyable to begin with. However her use of You when referencing Matt did become frustrating. Luckily as the reader reaches the midway point in the book, she begins to use you a lot less. This was not only practicable, but symbolises a change in the relationship between Jasmine and Matt.
The storyline was good, but the book was slow paced. That said, there’s not a lot could have been done about it with the premise behind the story. The ending was excellent, reflective and interesting.
Overall a reasonable story. One that is an enjoyable read, but that you probably won’t read more than once. The story is essentially about the characters rediscovering who they are, their friendship that develops along the way and the transformation of themselves so that they are able to move forward.