Tag Archives: Fiction

Review: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
By Gabrielle Zevin
Algonquin Books, 9781616204518, December 2014, 288pp.

The Short of It:

A sweet, feel-good story that includes lots of literary references for your bookish self.

The Rest of It:

It took forever for me to pick this one up and to be honest, had my book group not selected it, I probably would not have gotten to it. I thought it was a story about a grumpy old man.

Well, he’s kind of grumpy but not old and it reminded me a lot of the movie Baby Boom but with the roles reversed. A.J. Fikry owns an island bookstore but it’s not doing well and he doesn’t really do much to help that. His salty personality keeps people at bay, even though he is a long-time island resident and pretty well-known by the locals. But… his wife passed away not too long ago so his less-than-lovely personality is understandable.

Things change quickly when a young mother decides to leave her baby in his shop with only a letter asking that she be taken care of. After calling the appropriate authorities and discussing what will happen to the child, A.J. decides to foster her and then adopt her. This presents challenges for him but in the end, changes him forever.

As a book lover, it’s hard not to enjoy the literary references. The story is at times a little sappy and yes, there’s a little bit of romance tossed in but it’s one of those books that you just read and enjoy and that’s it. I loved the characters and setting. As a book club book, there was hardly anything to discuss but I could see it being made into a movie and having it star Tom Hanks or somebody like him.

Overall, enjoyable.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Into the Water

Into the Water

Into the Water
By Paula Hawkins
Riverhead Books, 9780735211209,  May 2017, 400pp.

The Short of It:

Highly anticipated but not for me.

The Rest of It:

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. ~ Indiebound

You may recall the popularity of this author’s previous work, The Girl on the Train. That book wasn’t perfect but it was a page-turner and it kept me reading. With Into the Water, I really had to push myself to read it.

My thoughts:

  • In case you didn’t know, it’s about witches. Kind of.
  • Too much back and forth.
  • The characters. I had no interest in them.
  • Marketed as psychological suspense. No, it’s not.
  • Took a really long time to figure out what was going on.

I’m sure it’s very difficult to top a best seller like The Girl on the Train but this story was a bit underdeveloped. I didn’t mind the numerous points of view or even the format of the novel itself but it just didn’t grab me like her other book did.

Plus, I am not a fan of stories about witches and there was nothing about this book that mentioned witches. It alluded to secrecy and scandal and there was some of that but not enough for me to enjoy it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.