Saturday, 14 June 2014

Review: The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.


Book: The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry or The Stories Life of A.J. Fikry.

Author: Gabrielle Zevin

Pages: 260

How Long it Took Me to Read: 1 day

Read On: Paperback.

Plot Summary: 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. 

General Thoughts: I read Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin two months ago and really loved it. Loved it. Review HERE. So when I heard of this book, I had to read it. Also, this is a book about a bookstore..so how could I not read it?! 

I LOVED this book. LOVED IT! You have got to read it. If you love books and sweet, heart-warming, life-affirming books  this is definitely a book for you. 

Things I Liked: Everything. I really enjoyed this book. 

1. A.J. himself was really fun character to get to know and get inside his head. He is bitter. Opinionated.  A book-snob. Sad. And he was half-Indian (which was a happy surprise.) He was a wonderful character to see on this journey from heart-break and hopelessness to a surprisingly content life. 

2. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a little review/synopsis of a book or short story. I loved this. A got so many book recommendations from this and I adore when books have these extra details. 

3. The writing is simply lovely. 

4. There were just so many lovely secondary characters in this book. From the cop- who discovers a love for books, to woman in a bad marriage who finds love in an unlikely person, to a little girl who changes lives and to the quirky and fun girl passionate about books! Really, every single characters in this book was lovely! 

5. The pace of this book was fantastic, it moved from one point to another in a swift and effective manner. Quickly but not rushed. 

6. A book about books...ah! 

7. This book gave me so many feels...so many! 

Rating: 5/5 

I can't recommend this book enough. It was simply lovely! 


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