This was a cute and often funny book. It was also predictable. I don’t mind predictable. Sometimes we all need that in our lives. Heck at one point the author points out that very thing. However, my complaint with this novel is that at times the author really seemed to “force” quirkiness into this novel. For me it felt almost as if Bivald sought out some quirky traits that everyone would love and forced them into the characters of the novel, instead of making characters that we would all love and filling them with quirky traits….I realise that for many readers there might not be a difference, however for me there was. That is where the book let me down.
Regardless of that I loved the story. So many wonderful quotes as well. Some of the quotes were well worth the time it took for me to read this novel.
I don’t know if this was a debut novel for Katarina Bivald or not, but regardless, it read like one to me….in saying that I hope I don’t take away from someone wanting to check out the book, because it simply means that I look forward to reading more by this author. I can’t wait to see her grow more confident with her talent and going with that. Perhaps she forced nothing and it’s just the way the book turned out…however, it’s something I expect won’t be there in future novels….
Perhaps, my review left you uninspired to pick up this novel. I hope not. It really was a fun read. To prove it I’ll hopefully tantalize you with some quotes, just so you know that Bivald really does have some promising talent…
Sara had never believe that you had to meet friends—many of her most rewarding relationships had been with people who didn’t even exist—
It’s funny, the way we talk about terrorism nowadays as though only Muslims and Arabs threaten our society. I’m afraid my understanding of terrorism was shaped long before September 11. It was the fear, the arbitrariness, the violence that affected people indiscriminately—even those who said they didn’t want to get involved or had no intention of fighting against segregation. For me, terrorism is still the image of white men, people active in society, standing over the charcoaled, lynched body of a black man and looking pleased with their work. John says I think about historic injustices too much. Maybe he’s right, but it’s just that it doesn’t feel historic to me. We never seem to be able to accept responsibility for these injustices. First, we say that’s just how things are, then we shrug our shoulders and say that’s just how things were, that things are different now. No thanks to us, I want to reply, but no one ever seems to want to hear that….That day I got him drunk, he said it was the first place he hadn’t felt afraid. Do you understand now? How can something like that be forgiven?
It was, in many ways, her dream bookshop. Not least because all the books had already been read. Books that had already been read were the best. She hadn’t always thought that.
Books or people you ask…I can’t for the life of me explain why I have the bad sense to prefer people. If you went purely by numbers, then books would win hands down. I’ve loved maybe a handful of people in my entire life, compared with tens or maybe even hundreds of books (and here I’m counting only those books I’ve really loved, the kind that make you happy just to look at them, that make you smile regardless of what else is happening in your life, that you always turn back to like an old friend and can remember exactly where you first “met” them—I’m sure you know just what I’m talking about). But that handful of people you love…they’re surely worth just as much as all of those books.
Finally, this gem…
There’s always a person for every book. And a book for every person.
ARC provided by NetGallery for an honest review