If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern
Published by Hyperion
Publication Date: January 9th, 2007
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy
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Readers and critics alike adore Cecelia Ahern for her lighthearted yet insightful stories about modern women and their often unusual situations. In If You Could See Me Now, she takes that theme a step further, offering us a heroine who is entirely believable, and the new man in her life who is, well, slightly less so.
Elizabeth Egan's life runs on order: Both her home and her emotions are arranged just so, with little room for spontaneity. It's how she counteracts the chaos of her family -- an alcoholic mother who left when she was young, an emotionally distant father, and a free-spirited sister, who seems to be following in their mother's footsteps, leaving her own six-year old son, Luke, in Elizabeth's care. When Ivan, Luke's mysterious new grown-up friend, enters the picture, Elizabeth doesn't know quite what to make of him. With his penchant for adventure and colorful take on things large and small, Ivan opens Elizabeth's eyes to a whole new way of living. But is it for real? Is Ivan for real?
If You Could See Me Now is a love story with heart -- and just a touch of magic.
I bought this book a few months ago (okay a lot of months ago) and am just getting around to reading it because, well…something about this book put me off after I bought it, something I didn’t know when I bought it, something that even though it bothered me, it didn’t really take away from the story.
You see, I thought this book would be a romance between Elizabeth Egan and her imaginary friend, Ivan…but it wasn’t. Not, really anyway. You see, this book is about Elizabeth Egan and her journey to finding herself, her learning how to feel again and to …live again. She went through some stuff as a child with her Mother and she’s lived her adult life making sure that all sense of light, life and happiness was taken out of her life. She’s very strict about living in reality and not fantasy. She’s raised kids that don’t belong to her as a child and she’s found that she’s still raising kids that don’t belong to her now, all these many years later, as an adult.
Enter Luke’s imaginary friend, Ivan.
Luke is Elizabeth’s nephew and her adopted son, I guess you can say and he’s got an imaginary friend named Ivan. Nobody can see Ivan but Luke and at first it drives Elizabeth crazy because she has driven out all sorts of dreaminess and escapism out of her life and she will not stand by and let her nephew grow up to believe in fairy tales and dreams and be left with disappointment and cynicism.
To put it plainly, Elizabeth has a ginormous stick up her ass and she needs help digging that crap out.
That’s where Ivan comes in.
After a little while, Ivan who can’t be seen by anyone but Luke is now seen by his cynical aunt, Elizabeth and he forms a friendship with this very rigid woman and as time goes on, they begin to grow closer and closer and then as with all things adult, they start falling for each other.
Yeah, I know…you’re thinking, this is impossible, it can’t possibly amount to anything with Ivan, not being..real.
But the things Ivan brought to Elizabeth’s life made me sigh because if anyone needed to lighten up and enjoy life, the life that was passing her by, it was Elizabeth and it was good to see her walls disappear layer by layer with help from Ivan.
This book was straight up mushy fluff but I enjoyed it a lot. It reminded me a Tim Burton movie, one with lots of color and character, I really enjoyed it. My romantic heart got over the fact that nothing could ever come of Elizabeth’s relationship with Ivan and it soared when Elizabeth finally succeeded in sticking her ground and facing her fears and to see her stop running from life was really cool.
I hated the environment that Luke was growing up and at the end, though it wasn’t the kind of environment I was completely happy with, I was still happy at the lengths Elizabeth came to where Luke was concerned. I thought Luke was such a cutie little kid and I enjoyed him very much. I enjoyed seeing Elizabeth’s hardened heart soften toward the people in her life and I loved seeing her come around to loving the place she loathed so much and this book was just a wistful, dreamy story that made me smile when I finished it.
It’s not my favorite book of Cecelia Ahern but I did enjoy it. It’s not a romance novel, it’s more of a chick lit book and I’m glad that I finished it. This isn’t a book that you have to rush out and buy and devour because though I enjoyed the story as a whole, the book was a bit wordy for my tastes and it dragged in some parts but if you stick with it, you’ll like the story if you keep telling yourself, this isn’t a romance but a chick lit book….don’t forget that because if you’re looking for a romance in this book, you’ll be disappointed.
I loved the characters and I really enjoyed, Ivan. This book ended the way it needed to end and I can totally see this as a chick flick…it’s good stuff.
Grade: 3 out of 5