Allegra Bird’s arms are scattered with freckles, a gift from her beloved father. But despite her nickname, Freckles has never been able to join all the dots. So when a stranger tells her that everyone is the average of the five people they spend the most time with, it opens up something deep inside.
The trouble is, Freckles doesn’t know if she has five people. And if not, what does that say about her? She’s left her unconventional father and her friends behind for a bold new life in Dublin, but she’s still an outsider.
Now, in a quest to understand, she must find not one but five people who shape her – and who will determine her future.
Five people. Five stars. Freckle to freckle. Star to star.
I’ve read one book by Cecelia Ahern before this which I made the grave mistake of reading after having watched the movie. This was way before I vowed to always read #BookBeforeMovie. I somehow never got around to picking her other books (for no fault of her writing) but have been following her new releases and adding them to my Someday-TBR. The possibility of getting to read an advance copy of an upcoming release, however, tends to sway me in its favour which bring us to this review.
Allegra moved to Dublin because she wanted to work on the side of the law in the Irish police force. When her application was rejected, she chose the next best thing – becoming a parking warden for the city council. She loves organisation and order, rules and clarity. She likes to follow her routine and is a stickler for procedure. In contrast Paddy, her colleague and trainer, often turns a blind eye to defaulters. He has tried convincing Allegra to give people some leeway but she refuses to budge. Of course, they’re not exactly friends and Allegra merely tolerates him.
She lives in a studio flat above a gym in the back garden of a mansion. In exchange for the modest rent, she must make herself available for babysitting three times a week. For the most part Allegra lives in her own shell, is awkward around people and not someone who warms easily to you.
The book opens with the story behind her nickname and her longing to connect with her skin. When she finally meets Tristan, the owner of the Ferrari whom she has had to repeatedly fine, he blames her attitude to the company she keeps.
Allegra sees it for the insult it is but also can’t stop thinking about what it means for her. Who are these five people who have shaped her?
It takes a while before the book gets your attention. For me, it probably didn’t help that there were no speech marks, making a bit of a mess with the tenses and character voices. I think I began to look past it once Allegra’s pursuit of identifying her five people took steam.
Finding a severe lack of people to put on her list, she writes letters to famous people asking them to mentor her so she can shape herself like them. Her desperate loneliness may push her to make some impulsive decisions and yet I find I somehow relate to her.
It was this premise that eventually got me invested in Allegra’s story. It prompted me to think of my five people and how they have made me who I am. At a time when I am determined to cut away all toxic relationships, Freckles is a bittersweet affirmation of discovering the right people in your life.
Book 40 of 2021.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.
Available on Amazon*.
Along with writing novels, Cecelia has co-created the US ABC Comedy Samantha Who? and has created many other original TV projects.
She continues to live in Dublin with her family.
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