Tag: fiction

The Bookshop of Yesterdays


Author: Amy Meyerson
Published: June 12, 2018
368 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

A woman inherits a beloved bookstore and sets forth on a journey of self-discovery in this poignant debut about family, forgiveness and a love of reading.

Miranda Brooks grew up in the stacks of her eccentric Uncle Billy’s bookstore, solving the inventive scavenger hunts he created just for her. But on Miranda’s twelfth birthday, Billy has a mysterious falling-out with her mother and suddenly disappears from Miranda’s life. She doesn’t hear from him again until sixteen years later when she receives unexpected news: Billy has died and left her Prospero Books, which is teetering on bankruptcy–and one final scavenger hunt.

When Miranda returns home to Los Angeles and to Prospero Books–now as its owner–she finds clues that Billy has hidden for her inside novels on the store’s shelves, in locked drawers of his apartment upstairs, in the name of the store itself. Miranda becomes determined to save Prospero Books and to solve Billy’s last scavenger hunt. She soon finds herself drawn into a journey where she meets people from Billy’s past, people whose stories reveal a history that Miranda’s mother has kept hidden–and the terrible secret that tore her family apart.

Bighearted and trenchantly observant, The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a lyrical story of family, love and the healing power of community. It’s a love letter to reading and bookstores, and a testament to how our histories shape who we become.

Kim’s Review:

I found this book at the Barnes and Noble 50% Book Haul. The cover is beautiful and the description sounded fascinating. I did like reading this book, which is why I gave 3 stars. The scavenger hunt that Billy sent Miranda on was interesting and I love the setting of a LA bookstore. I enjoyed hearing about trying to save the store and the love that each employee had for it and for books. Unfortunately, there were other problems that kept me from giving a higher score. The really sad part is that there wouldn’t have been a story had the characters actually acted like adults. I’m gonna steal something from another review because it perfectly sums up this book: “drama for drama’s sake.” Everyone acting like immature teenagers, treating everyone else like immature teenagers, not communicating, blaming everyone else, feeling sorry for themselves, caring only for themselves . . . and it got to the point where it was downright obnoxious!

If my mother treated me the way Suzy treats Miranda, then I’d have a problem too! And If I treated my mom the way Miranda treats Suzy, well then my mom would take me over her knee for another spanking! Jay and Miranda have nothing in common except for lust and I wanted her to break up with him from page 1! Billy was such an insane person (and not in the good way) that I doubt I would have liked him at all! I feel really bad for saying all that and feeling annoyed because I really wanted to love this book, but I just don’t! I really wouldn’t recommend it to many people, if any.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Lost for Words Bookshop

Author: Stephanie Butland
To Be Published: (Tomorrow) June 19, 2018
368 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 10-17, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:
Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.

Into her hiding place—the bookstore where she works – come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

The Lost for Words Bookshop is a compelling, irresistible, and heart-rending novel, perfect for fans of The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and The Little Paris Bookshop.

Jessica’s Review:
If you are a book lover in any way and/or an introvert this will be the book for you! The Lost for Words Bookshop is a character driven story and Loveday is our protagonist. She would rather spend time with books than people, so her job at the bookstore is perfect: In fact she has worked there for 10 years. She loves books so much she has tattooed first lines of various books on her body. She is a likeable nonconformist with a dark past that we slowly discover as the novel progresses. I also really liked Archie, the owner. Nathan is also likeable as well, he is a magician and knows all the tricks!

Don’t let the cover fool you, this book is not a lighthearted read. It has dark undertones dealing with Loveday’s past and you will experience a range of emotions while reading.

The mysteries of Loveday’s past and certain deliveries kept you wondering where the story was going to go. I really wanted to find out the answers! Loveday is our narrator and we see the story between the past and present, but it is clear and not confusing.

This was a highly enjoyable read and I recommend it, especially for the bibliophiles out there!
Thank you St. Martin’s Press for my copy: It was a pleasure to read and review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US (Pre-order)
Amazon UK (already published in the UK)


American Girls

Author: Alison Umminger
Published: June 7, 2016
293 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

She was looking for a place to land.

Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she’s had it with her life at home. So Anna “borrows” her stepmom’s credit card and runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn’t quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined.

As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls—and although the violence in her own life isn’t the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.

In Anna’s singular voice, we glimpse not only a picture of life on the B-list in LA, but also a clear-eyed reflection on being young, vulnerable, lost, and female in America—in short, on the B-list of life. Alison Umminger writes about girls, sex, violence, and which people society deems worthy of caring about, which ones it doesn’t, in a way not often seen in YA fiction.

Kim’s Review:

Normally I find the protagonists of coming of age stories to be shallow, immature, and downright obnoxious! Not so in American Girls. Anna captured the “regularness” that many of these characters, especially girls, lack. Her life is turned upside down and her reaction to it all, yes, is dramatic, but understandable. I liked her, I understood why she did the things that she did, and I sympathized with her. Especially when she was talking about not trying to cause trouble or to hurt people but it ends up happening anyway. This book accomplished what so many other failed at, a regular person dealing with regular things all while being likable and relatable. Throwing in the Manson girls and working through some philosophical questions raised by the murders and their aftermaths, which is the main reason I read it, and you get a true to life, heartfelt story about growing up in a topsy-turvy world.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK