Book Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Okay, can I just go live above Island Books now? I mean when Gabrielle Zevin wrote The Storied Life of A.J. Fiery, I think she was basically writing my dream into reality.

On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

The Good

  • Setting: I mean, come on, it’s set around a bookstore on a tiny island off of Massachusetts. What more could you ask for?!
  • Really great characters, each with their own little eccentricities and personalities. Lambiase was definitely my favorite – loved the sections on his police force book club!
  • One of those stories where it leaves you feeling very peaceful with a smile on your face.
  • The plot was simple and focused more on character development and relationships, which were portrayed very realistically.
  • Great read for a book club!

Cristina Re

The Bad

  • The plot twist or big reveal wasn’t that surprising and I had already figured it out about 100 pages before.
  • The tension between some of the characters felt a little cliché at times.
  • Pacing seemed to be a bit too much, leaving the relationship between A.J. and Amelia to progress a little fast without much to back it up.

If you’re looking for a cute, cozy book to warm up with by the fire this fall and winter – this is the one you should pick up! I mean, this is a book written for booknerds. Need I say more?

Final Verdict: 4/5 stars

Have you read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry yet? What did you think about it?

Smashing Series September

It’s finally here, the beginning of my month long challenge to finish (or catch up) with as many series that I’ve already started as possible. I’m a binge reader by nature so I thought this would be the best way for me to do this. Let’s see just how well it turns out…

The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die, #2) & Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die, #3)

First up to finish is the final two books in the Dorothy Must Die Trilogy by Danielle Paige. I enjoyed this first book when I read it back in the spring. Luckily, I was able to pick both of these books up from the library yesterday – talk about perfect timing!

The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy, #2) & The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy, #3)

I read the first book in this trilogy back during BookCon and really enjoyed it. I have been thinking about that cliffhanger ever since. I’ve just got to know how this series ends!!

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2) & The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3)

I wasn’t enthralled with the first book in this series, The Kiss of Deception, but it did get better as it went along. I also have to know what happens next because of that DAMN CLIFFHANGER!!!! I just hope it’s worth it.

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

Throne of Glass was fairly entertaining but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as ACOTAR. I’ve heard that this series gets better with each book, so I’m looking forward to seeing where it leads. I’m going to need see Celaena actually do badass stuff in these books, because her supposed awesomeness suffered from too much tell and not enough show. I have yet to see the proof that she’s the greatest assassin in the land.

Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2) & Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy, #3)

This is one of the most unique stories that I’ve read this year. I’ve heard various opinions on the rest of the series so this might be a hit or miss for me.

I think I’m aiming a little too high with this month’s challenge, but I like a little pressure! I’m also hoping to get to Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom as I’ve preordered the sequel and have been hearing some amazing things about this series. However, I didn’t add it as I bet it’ll be October before I actually am able to read them. I kind of regret waiting to read Six of Crows until the sequel was released – I’ve only had it since February. Yup, that long!

This month should be fun and intense as I speed my way through these awesome series. Feel free to join in for Smashing Series September if you like! All are welcome to jump on the crazy train with me! 🙂