It’s just past midnight, and I have finally finished The Year I Met You. I just couldn’t put it down and I was determined to finish it because I loved the themes that Cecelia Ahern presented through both the plot and especially the characters in this novel.
This book follows the life of a woman named Jasmine who was extremely work-oriented. Her whole life essentially revolved around her work, which she loved. Work for her provided order and meaning to her life. However, she finds herself in the position of being fired from her job, and having to go one year without employment due to the fact that her previous employer didn’t want her to join forces with the competitive firms, this is called ‘gardening leave.’ Jasmine after begging her former employer to reduce the amount of time of gardening leave, and being denied, embarks on an adventure of self-discovery.
What I loved most about this novel was the relationship between Jasmine and her alcoholic neighbour Matt. For reasons made obvious throughout the book, Jasmine had developed rather negative feelings for her neighbour, mostly because he proved to not have his life together (being a drunk), and because he hosted a radio show that discussed a lot of political issues in a not so politically-correct, or even educated way which remained offensive to Jasmine. However, throughout the book, their relationship develops as Jasmine realizes that she has more in common with Matt than she originally assumed.
One of the most important themes and life lessons presented in this novel, is that we shouldn’t make assumptions about people before really getting to know them, and that the person you think might be the most different from you, or the least likely to influence your life in a positive way, might do just that! Everyone you meet can offer you a life lesson, even the most unlikeliest of individuals. Another important take-away included the fact that everyone has the ability to change and transform into a better person, and life isn’t always about work, but about self-discovery and constantly becoming a better person! 🙂
I give this novel 4.5/5 stars.
My Favourite Quotes from the Novel:
“Silent people hold a magic and a knowledge that less contained people lack; that their not saying something means that more important thoughts are going on inside their head. Perhaps their seeming simplicity belies a hidden mosaic of fanciful thoughts.”
“Most people in life don’t have to actively do anything to change us, they simply need to be. I reacted to you. You affected me. You helped me.”
“the message is that no matter how stuck we feel, we are always moving, and transforming. All difficult moments are transitional times, we are always evolving, and becoming the next version of ourselves. We just need to know that and stick it out.”
“We are constantly evolving; I suppose I have always known that, I feared stopping, and it is ironic that it was only when I finally stopped that I moved the most. I know now that we never truly stop, our journey is never complete, because we will continue to flourish – just as when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”