Where Rainbows End: A Book Review

On October 31 2014, my friend and I went to see a film called Love Rosie, and we really enjoyed it. It wouldn’t be fair to dub it your typical rom-com because I felt it had much more heart and wit than that. It had a sense of humour I hadn’t seen that year in cinema, and it drew me in. And, when I learned that it was an adaptation of a book by Cecilia Ahern, I knew I had to read it. So, two months later (25th December to be exact), I unwrapped Where Rainbows End and embarked on a truly magical read.

The first thing to note about this particular book is its layout. It is not your run-of-the-mill page structure, with paragraphs and chapters and such. Instead, Ahern has laid out this 558-page-turner in the form of letters. And not just letters, but also notes passed in secrecy during class hours, instant messages (for those of us old enough to relive the MSN days), and post cards. I will admit that at first, this startled me as I wondered how on earth I was expected to read a book that looked like the inside of someone’s diary. However, it only took a few pages and I was totally hooked. Reading letters or other forms of written/ typed exchanges feels like you’re looking in on the most private moments of these character’s lives…and that’s mainly because you are.

This book takes an honest and, at times, heart-breaking look at the relationship between two lifelong friends, how it grows and evolves over the years of their lives. You watch the two main characters, Rosie and Alex, mature together and experience the joys and hardships of life—often while being on opposite ends of the world. It is something that, at 20-years-old, I am starting to adjust to myself. I think it is for this, among a dozen other reasons, that this book became so dear to my heart instantaneously.

Another credit to Cecelia Ahern is how much this book will make you laugh—not smile, not giggle quietly to yourself, but actual audible laughter. And of course, what romance type novel would be complete without its share of heartbreak and misery? Whether or not you are soft at heart, the trials that Rosie and Alex go through in their journey to stay in each other’s lives will get to you.

If this book is about one thing, it’s about being human, which is something we all can relate to. While it may focus in closely on the friendship and the romance in its central characters’ lives, Where Rainbows End is really about what it means to grow up and how to deal with all that brings.

There are few moments in this book that I would classify as cliché. Yes, this book is a romance novel… but not in the stereotypical way. It skillfully avoids falling into the cycle of repeating the same romance tropes many books do. I say this as a plea to anyone who reads this and is immediately put off by the word romance—I myself do not indulge in that type of fiction normally, but I can promise you this: Where Rainbows End has all the soul and comedic charm of a comedy novel and all the heart, grace, and friendship of a truly good romance novel. It has stayed with me long after I turned the last page, and I believe it will do the same for you.

Leah Osborne is a twenty year old aspiring writer who is currently attending Bolton University studying English & Creative Writing. She has a weird yet very intense obsession with collecting teacups and hopes to change the world with her future animal documentaries. You can find more of her musings at http://thegirlinblue3.blogspot.co.uk/