[Review] The Year I Met You - Cecelia Ahern

Title of Book: The Year I Met You
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: Harper
Publication Year: 2015
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 432
BookDepository | Periplus

A thoughtful, captivating and ultimately uplifting novel from this uniquely talented author
Jasmine knows two things: one, she loves her vulnerable sister unconditionally, and will fight to the death to protect her from anyone who upsets her. Two, she's only ever been good at one thing – her job helping business start-ups.
So when she’s sacked and put on gardening leave, Jasmine realizes that she has nothing else to fill her life. Insomnia keeps her staring out of her bedroom window, and she finds herself watching the antics of her neighbor, shock jock Matt, with more than a casual eye. Matt is also taking a forced leave of absence from work, after one of his controversial chat shows went too far…
Jasmine has every reason to dislike Matt, and the feeling appears to be mutual. But not everything is as it seems, and soon Jasmine and Matt are forced to think again…

Thank you to HarperCollins UK for providing me a copy of this book.
The Year I Met You is about Jasmine Butler and Matt Marshall, two people who live across each other in the neighborhood. Jasmine has just been fired. Up until she’s fired, her job is her life. But unfortunately, she’s forced to have a gardening leave for a year, meaning she can’t apply for a job for a year. Meanwhile, across the street, Matt is a famous radio DJ. Jasmine couldn’t stand Matt because of his insensitive comment about people with Down syndrome in one of his show. Since Jasmine is out of work and stays at home most of the time, she spends her day finding new hobbies and socializing with her neighbors including Matt. The year Jasmine on gardening leave is one of the years that change her life.
I’ve read several Cecelia Ahern’s books and I love them; Mostly because of her writing. Ahern’s books usually are about normal situations that could happen to normal people. But somehow she manages to turn them into captivating story. In this book, Jasmine is a character that most people can relate to. Even though not all people has been on gardening leave, but they must have experienced that year or time where you try to rediscover yourself.
It took me some time to get into this book because at first I didn’t know what the main focus of this book. That is the reason why I didn’t like this book as much as Ahern’s other books. There are so much going on such as Jasmine and Matt frenemy relationship, the job-seeking, and of course Jasmine and her sister relationship. Jasmine’s sister, Heather, has Down syndrome. Though this book doesn’t center on Down syndrome, it has big part in the story since Heather is what used to define Jasmine’s life. I’ve never read about Down syndrome before, so this book is quite an eye opener for me for this subject.
I can’t help but sympathize towards the characters in this book. First meeting Matt, I’d hate to listen to everything that he says. But as the story progress, we’ll learn more about Matt and his personality. At first, we want to believe that Matt is just a rude man and an alcoholic. That’s what Jasmine believed, until she learns a bit more about his life. It’s also fun following Jasmine’s journey discovering herself and transforming to be the woman that he’s become in the end of the book.
All in all, The Year I Met You is an enjoyable read. I wouldn’t say that this book is Ahern’s best book, but I still recommend this book to those who like reading a heartwarming tale about friendship and self-discovery. For those who are looking for romantic story, I wouldn’t recommend this book though. Since The Year I Met You is focused more on the family and friendship aspect rather than the romance. 

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