Learn to Love Yourself

Freckles by Cecelia Ahern.
BY JASMINE BADUN

Book Title: Freckles
ISBN: 978-0-00-819493-2
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Publication Year: 2021
Price: RM79.95

But this is what happens when you come apart, the secret bits you knew about each other dissolve into nothing.

Cecelia Ahern, Freckles

‘Freckles’, such a simple title yet it stimulates curiosity with just one word. One might ask, “Freckles? What is this book about?” or “Why freckles?” I have to admit the title was the reason I looked into the summary of the book in the first place.

When reading this book, I figured that the book is more than just simple. It was well written, as Cecelia Ahern describe every little details pleasingly, which makes me delve into the book.

The title is a reference to the protagonist, Allegra Bird, whose arms are full of freckles, therefore gained her the nickname “Freckles” by her schoolmates.

She inherited the freckles from her Pops (father), who tried his best to raise Allegra alone after his wife left them.

The scattered freckles on her arms are also a metaphor of how she tried to connect the dots, representing people in her life. As a young adult, she is struggling to do so.

She also would connect the freckles on her arms to make constellations and she does not seem to hate her freckles too.

Being a detail-oriented individual, she loves to stick to rules, routines, and also an overthinker, which kind of gives the idea of her having obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

In my opinion, she is a very interesting protagonist that a lot of people can relate to. When reading this, I agree that straying away from your routines will result in us being uncertain.

This book is able to depict the little things that we all have in common and makes us think critically about how the brain works. A perfect read for greedy readers who want a lot of elements in a book.

The characters in this book are also well written, but I would love to elaborate more about Allegra. She is the embodiment of a 24-year-old who is uncertain of things in life.

However, despite being unsure of what she can do and must do, she takes the chances she had and starts to live life as an adult with a job, even though just as a parking warden, after her dream of becoming a Garda, the Irish police force, has been dashed.

In addition, she left her father and friends behind to seek for a new and more meaningful life.

The start of the turning point in her life is when Tristan says, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” upon receiving a parking ticket from her.

The man, whom she just met, who knew little about her, somehow had left a strong impression with his words.

This is because Allegra is not sure of the five people in her life, if she has more than one, which is her Pops, that she spends most of her time with.

And so begins her quest on finding five honourable and worthy people, to show and prove that she is also as honourable and worthy as these five people.

I like how the author depicts her as someone who is always ready to help others but does little in helping herself instead. It makes me expecting for her character development and keeps me reading.

A quote from the book I personally would like to share, “You can’t fix the broken outer shell. But you can rebuild.”

Allegra was walking in the dark when she accidentally steps on a snail. She felt guilty, and that reminds her of the current situation she is in, which she describes as being stepped on as well.

Her realistic growth throughout the chapters is fresh and not cliché. It is as if I am reading about a real person’s life story. Like any other human being, Allegra could not avoid making mistakes, but she accepted her flaws well, and that made her a strong character.

Thus, it is uplifting to see Allegra grow in her own skin to rebuild her shell.

Other than that, this book also highlights the love of family and friends. Allegra is too busy looking for the worthy five people that she failed to see the worthy people around her all these while.

One of the most vital lessons I learned while reading this book is that people can be far more than you give them credit for, whereas others can be far less, no matter how much you desire otherwise.

I enjoy this book as I love the idea that it portrays human’s nature in communication. We are often influenced by first impressions and we tend to assume others’ behaviours too quickly.

This book shows that people’s personalities are like onions with layers, that does not reveal or shown at once, but with time and chances. Allegra also figures this out when she is on her quest to find her five worthy people.

Ahern once again proves that she is the master of mixing emotions in her writing, and this book is the perfect blend of humour and also sadness, leading up to an inspiring storyline throughout the chapters.

The tone used in the book is also easy to follow and read, as Ahern delivers the narrative in a very conversational way to reflect Allegra’s personality.

I hope this book will inspire others who are having a hard time accepting themselves, be it physically or mentally, and other factors as well. Therefore I highly recommend reading this book.

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