Tag: 4 stars

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Published: April 1, 2014
Audiobook 

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: December 15-23, 2019

Book  Description:

As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.

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 Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry 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, he 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, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. 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., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, 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.

Jessica’s Review:

Poor AJ Fikry has had a difficult time in his life lately:

His wife has passed away, his bookshop is not making sales like it should and now a prized possession is stolen!  Life can’t possibly get any worse can it?  No, in fact it can go in a complete 180! 

This was a very enjoyable audiobook. At first AJ is not likeable at all, but over time he and his story grow on you.  Maybe there are second chances after all.

If you are a bibliophile like me, you will enjoy this book as it is set in a bookstore! (Books  Galore!) I would stay away from other reviews and even other book descriptions, as they give away what this mysterious package is. The book description that I first read did, and I wish I had not known. Go into this book knowing as little as possible and you will be sure to enjoy it! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US  
Amazon UK  

Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan

Down a Dark Hall
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: September 1, 1990
181 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Kit Gordy sees Blackwood Hall towering over black iron gates, and she can’t help thinking, This place is evil. The imposing mansion sends a shiver of fear through her. But Kit settles into a routine, trying to ignore the rumors that the highly exclusive boarding school is haunted.

Then her classmates begin to show extraordinary and unknown talents. The strange dreams, the voices, the lost letters to family and friends, all become overshadowed by the magic around them.

When Kit and her friends realize that Blackwood isn’t what it claims to be, it might be too late.

Kim’s Review:

I found the movie, with Uma Thurman and AnnaSophia Robb, and decided to watch it. And then I realized that it was based on a book, so naturally, I went and bought the book! I have to say that for such a simple story, the atmosphere that Duncan creates around Blackwood Hall is brilliant. It’s another implied horror book, but I was still creeped out and completely believed in the danger. As I said, the actual plot is very simple and not hard to figure out, but the fact that the villains are not what one would expect makes it all the more horrific. Kit is a strong character who is smart enough to carry the story. I think this is the perfect paranormal story to give to teens to help keep their attention. A great story that’s easy to read!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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The Gift by Richard Paul Evans

The Gift
Author: Richard Paul Evans
Published: October 9, 2007
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: December 1-5, 2019

Book Description:

A heartwarming and inspirational Christmas novel in the tradition of The Christmas Box and Finding Noel from New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans. Sure to be a classic, this new tale brings to life the joy of the season and demonstrates the redemptive power of love: there is no hurt so great that love cannot heal it.

Nathan Hurst hated Christmas. For the rest of the world it was a day of joy and celebration; for Nathan it was simply a reminder of the event that destroyed his childhood until a snowstorm, a cancelled flight, and an unexpected meeting with a young mother and her very special son would show him that Christmas is indeed the season of miracles.

From the beloved author of the international bestseller The Christmas Box comes another timeless story of faith, hope, and healing.

Jessica’s Review:

The Gift is a sweet story to be read at Christmas.  Nathan Hurst does not celebrate Christmas for very personal reasons.  Then one day his flight is delayed and he meets single mom Addison, her children Colin and Elizabeth and all of their lives are changed forever.

The Gift shows what happens when a very unique ability (with consequences) becomes a news story and life gets out of hand.  This story shows how greedy we can be as humans without regard for others.  On the flip side, this novel also shows how love can and will overcome the greed. 

If only more of us were like Colin, the world would be a better place.  This is a novel that will touch your heart and you may possibly shed a tear or two.  You will definitely feel better emotionally when you finish The Gift.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US  
Amazon UK

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