Book Review: The Bookstore

The Bookstore CoverBook: The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

Expected Publication Is August 20, 2013 by Gallery Books|Expected Number Of Pages: 354

Series: None

Genre: Adult Fiction

Goodreads|Follow Deborah Meyler On Twitter

The Bookstore is a free e-arc from netgalley.com, which has not influenced my review in any way.

Goodreads Summary: Brilliant, idealistic Esme Garland moves to Manhattan armed with a prestigious scholarship at Columbia University. When Mitchell van Leuven— a New Yorker with the bluest of blue New York blood—captures her heart with his stunning good looks and a penchant for all things erotic, life seems truly glorious…until a thin blue line signals a wrinkle in Esme’s tidy plan. Before she has a chance to tell Mitchell about her pregnancy, he suddenly declares their sex life is as exciting as a cup of tea, and ends it all. 

Determined to master everything from Degas to diapers, Esme starts work at a small West Side bookstore, finding solace in George, the laconic owner addicted to spirulina, and Luke, the taciturn, guitar-playing night manager. The oddball customers are a welcome relief from Columbia’s high-pressure halls, but the store is struggling to survive in this city where nothing seems to last. 

When Mitchell recants his criticism, his passion and promises are hard to resist. But if Esme gives him a second chance, will she, like her beloved bookstore, lose more than she can handle? A sharply observed and evocative tale of learning to face reality without giving up on your dreams, The Bookstore is sheer enchantment from start to finish.

I was very much drawn to The Bookstore because Esme works in a bookstore! Initially, I wasn’t sure about The Bookstore, but I found myself falling in love with The Owl and the characters that frequent it.

Is it weird that The Owl is the shining star of the novel?  Because I was much more invested in this fictional bookstore and a lot of the really interesting characters that visit it than I was in Esme’s story.  Actually, it might be a little weird because Esme’s pregnancy is why she took the job at the bookstore in the first place.

Mitchell…I’m not going to say much about him, because I have the feeling I won’t be able to stop ranting about him and how irritating he was.  Goodness, he was so unlikeable, and I think he was supposed to be that way, but still.  So. Freaking. Irritating.

Esme: I don’t have a lot of thoughts about her.  She’s a pretty decent character.  She’s not completely awesome, but not completely horrible either.  I think I liked her best when she was at The Owl.

As for the staff and regular customers at The Owl: they were all so random but also pretty cool.  There were points when I thought that maybe Esme would end up with Luke, which, surprisingly, didn’t happen.  At least, it didn’t happen in the book, but there’s part of me that wants it to happen for them.  I did like how she faced her problems and how she would handle everything.  And how she did what she thought was right in regards to her child, even though Mitchell wanted something different.

And The Owl: For me, I was much more interested in the feel of The Owl, and what it meant to the people who shopped there.  It seemed like such a special place, and it was clearly important to the staff and regulars.  Everyone was colorful and memorable and made The Owl seem like a real place.

There are quite a few references throughout the book that went right over my head.  I didn’t look them up or anything, because it didn’t occur to me to do that while I was reading, but I may have to do that the next time I read it.  I liked that books and bookish places were so important but also how people come into our lives and change them forever.  And that it’s about the journey and the choices you make.  Well, that’s what I took away from it.

Final Thoughts:

I liked The Bookstore.  I liked Esme, even when she frustrated me, which did happen a few times.  But I very much liked The Owl and of the colorful people that flock to it and work there.  The Bookstore was a pretty good read for me, and so it gets 3 stars.

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