The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
Published: 4/1/14 by Workman Publishing Co.
2.5 out of 5 stars
I feel like the odd man out with this book. So many people seemed to love it, but it just didn't click with me. It's the story of a opinionated and somewhat grouchy man named A.J. Fikry who owns a bookshop on a small island. It covers a period of about 15 years in A.J.'s life, as he is faced with loss, love, sickness and other major life changes. I can't say much more without spoiling anything.
However, I don't really feel like there is much to spoil in this book. While there are some things that would probably be considered "twists," I didn't feel surprised by anything. If anything this story seemed to use many common plot points, making the story fairly unoriginal and predictable and contrived.
The story covers about 15 years time in about 250 pages. In my opinion, there was just too much story to cover in so few words, resulting in shallow characters and a thin plot. It was almost like a really long short story. I think there was potential for this to be a good book, but as it was written, everything was written about so quickly and with no depth. I did not care much about any of the characters, and most definitely did not feel jerked to tears by what was supposed to be a tearjerker ending.
I did enjoy some of the book references throughout the book, as I am a book lover. But I felt like some of them were really awkward and didn't flow naturally with the story (especially The Book Thief reference).
I really liked the idea of reading about a bookstore owner, because that would be my dream job! But this particular story about a bookstore owner just didn't appeal to me.