Author: Gabrielle Zevin
260 pages, published April 2014
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
I have been anxiously waiting to read this book since it first came out in April, after reading countless rave reviews. I am happy to say those rave reviews were spot on--this was a fantastic book.
A.J. Fikry's life has taken a downturn--his wife died in a car accident, and their bookstore, Island Books, is seeing a major decline in sales. Even worse, his most prized possession--a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Fikry begins to isolate himself from the outside world. Then, a surprise is left at the bookstore for him--a two year old named Maya whose mother entrusted her care to the owner of the bookstore. A.J. is able to start his life over again with a renewed outlook on life, all while sharing his love for books.
This is a book for book lovers! There are so many references to other books in the story, from classics to contemporary novels woven beautifully into this story. I loved seeing the evolution of A.J.'s character, and how the events in the book change his life. The book being stolen is a catalyst for so many other events in the book that may never have happened if the book hadn't been stolen. This book is an examination of the choices we make and the twists and turns that happen in life, and how they can affect our entire future. This book addresses living with the consequences of those choices, both positive and negative. All the events in the book from all the different character's perspectives are tied together beautifully in the end.
This book flows well due to the fast pace of the story and the great writing style. The book is only 260 pages, so it's a fast read, but an enjoyable read. This book will make your heart happy. I especially recommend this one for those that love books, as it will make your book loving heart very happy. But for those not as in love with books as I am, I still recommend this book as well, as the themes in this book are ones most anyone can relate to.
This quote helps to explain why I love this book so much:
"They had only ever discussed books but what, in this life, is more personal than books?”
Overall rating for "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry": A