Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review of The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Read for: Highly Recommended/ Recent Purchase

Synopsis: "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."

My Review: I have had a lot of people recommend this book to me, saying it is a book for book lovers, so I finally caved. It really took me a good 50 pages to get into the story but eventually the characters found their way in and I was able to sink into the story. I found the characters unique and relatable, and I loved the small town, island setting (also relatable being in the Island State). I loved the little notes at the beginning of each chapter with a bit of life advice, though again it took a few to figure that out. It was a slow moving story with some twists but they were pretty easily spotted but still added an element to the story anyway. Some how this book did end up getting pretty emotional for me and I my eyes may have leaked a time or two. Definitely glad I read it.

My Rating: It took me a while to finally pick this book up but it was worth the wait, as said in the story, books have to find you at just the right time.  I enjoyed it and would recommend it though it doesn't have to be a must read but a worth while read.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.


  1. I got this one from a thrift store so I’ll read it eventually. I’ll have to remember that it has a slow beginning.

    1. Definitely worth the read and a great thrift store find!

  2. Wasn't this popular a couple years ago? I remember seeing it around. I haven't read it yet though.

    1. Yeah I think it was pretty popular about 3 or 4 years ago but it still pops up from time to time because it is so well liked.