Monday, March 23, 2015

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Rating 5 out of 5
Publisher: Algonquin Books (December 2, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616204516
ISBN-13: 978-1616204518

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. 

You have probably heard the buzz around this book and the words "must read, amazing, best book ever" thrown around. People love this book, people were raving about this book. I was suspicious but I am pleased to say that I also enjoyed this book and it deserved most of its praise.

This is a slow paced novel that builds slowly. The writing is beautiful and you are immersed in this mans world so easily and you feel like you are right there with him as we travel through his life in the book.

You will be taken on an emotional journy without even realising it. You will feel happiness and sadness while reading this book. The ending is just right for this story and leaves you feeling satisfied.

Fikry is a wonderful character to read about and go through the journey with. His view on the world is funny and unusual. But most avid book readers I suspect would have found themselves nodding to a lot of his wisdom.

“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?” ― Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

It really is just a feel good novel.

The author Zevin, has written a beautiful story that is really well worth the read.

If you like feel good books and well books about books then give this one a try.

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