Bad timing is the main theme in LOVE, ROSIE (ROSIE DUNNE) by Cecelia Ahern. Two best friends, LOVE, ROSIE (ROSIE DUNNE) and Alex Stewart, end up with several Mr. and Miss Wrongs before they try to get it right. Written in an epistolary format of letters, notes and emails, the two become friends at an early age and are already passing notes to each other by the age of seven. These definitely are not love letters! Rosie and Alex are merely two friends causing trouble in school, and they continuously are sent home with notes to their parents from their concerned teachers.
As the two become older, the notes change from short messages to longer letters and emails. The story is also told through other characters, who also share their thoughts and comments in letters, notes, or email.
For this reviewer, it's hard to believe that seven-year-olds were actually writing these mini-letters in class; many of them did not feel real or authentic. Even as they grow older, some of the messages just do not seem to be penned by children their age. As they become much older, the correspondences that are being sent back and forth read more like narratives or dialogue from a book, but in the guise of letters. For me, the format detracted from the enjoyment of the story, and for at least the first half of the book, it was rather difficult to get through. Perhaps the novel could have mixed narratives with letters, instead of using written communication as the only form of storytelling.
Overall, however, this is a lighthearted and funny read, with some serious twists in the plot as well. LOVE, ROSIE (ROSIE DUNNE) gets a recommendation from this reviewer, and despite the criticisms mentioned above, would definitely read a sequel if one were to be written, if just to see what happened to Rosie and Alex.
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton (Ratmammy@lofton.org) on January 7, 2011
Love, Rosie (Rosie Dunne)