The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So close to being perfect. First half was absolutely hilarious and unexpected. A.J. Fikry is a small bookstore owner plodding through his miserable life and commenting on it in unexpected ways. He tells a police officer that he's a genre. It's told with such honesty and gives all the insider goods on publishing houses via his tangents, I kept laughing out loud. I kept wondering when the plot would get exciting and conflicted but it did so in unexpected and varied ways. I had no idea where it was going and what was the point. I loved that.
The end of the first half presented an unexpected twist and even warned that it was an unexpected twist with the appropriate and obvious symbolism of occurring on an unexpected twisty and turny road.
The second half was good but not as strong as the second half. The usual characters showed up, time had passed and the book was still cleverly written. But I loved the first half more.
Incredibly close to a 5 star rating. Quirky. Original. Hilarious. Honest. I wouldn't have traded the hours I spent reading this book for any other book. It is the kind of book you should not read in bed beside your sleeping husband. He didn't appreciate my snorts of laughter. Also gave a little peak inside the book publishing world and genres that are overused, slightly abused, and the great one liners to say to a police officer, "You're a genre."
If they are not well read, they won't get it. I did. I snorted a laugh.
My poor husband.