Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevin

Title: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Format: Hardcover; 272 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books; First Edition edition (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1616203218
ISBN-13: 978-1616203214
Author's Website:
Notes: I borrowed this book from my local library.

Once upon a time a man met a woman and his life was forever changed by the love of books and a good woman. When his cherished and much beloved wife died, however,  he drowned himself in liquor and sorrow. His life started spiraling out of control with him caring about nothing and no one. That is until a book saved his life.

A J Fikry once had very different plans for his life, but when he got engaged and later married, his life took a very different turn and ever since, books have had a profound affect on his life. This is his story.
This was a very fun book. It realistically imitated life in that not everything was perfect for those in the novel, especially at the beginning. Things, however, quickly turn around and while still not perfect, it's pretty obvious by the end that AJ lived a pretty good life. AJ starts off the story being very depressed and refusing help. Then a little girl with a love of reading is abandoned in his book store. That one act by a desperate mother is what ultimately saves AJ as he in turn saves the little girl. Through Maya, he once again finds someone to care about and love and we start to see the real AJ emerge from the dark place he resided for so long.

My favorite part of the book was the mystery behind what happened to A J's first edition copy of Tamerlane. I kept trying to figure out what happened to it before the end. I got close, but didn't manage to master the mystery before the author revealed who was behind its disappearance and the ramifications behind it.

Some of my favorite quotes:
- "Why is any one book different from any other book? They are different, A.J. decides, because they are. We have to look inside many. We have to believe. We agree to be disappointed sometimes so that we can be exhilarated every now and again."

- "We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone. We are not alone."

- "“We aren’t the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved. The people we loved. And these, I think these really do live on.”

The book was cute, funny, and put a smile on my face.I enjoyed how AJ referenced books a lot when it came to his life and it showed just how much he truly loved reading. As a fellow book lover I totally could relate. I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. Please note that while there is a touch of romance in this one, I'm forgoing my romance rating because it wasn't the primary focus of the book and feel it wouldn't be fair to do so.

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