This is a hard review to write. I found The Storied Life of AJ Fikry entertaining, but with major writing flaws. The characters are interesting if not too well developed. I couldn’t really see the main character (AJ Fikry) in my mind’s eye. Nonetheless, as a reader, I wanted good things to happen to him and to those people close to him.
I found the police chief, Lamboise, the most interesting and the most visual character. Nonetheless it wasn’t until late in the book that I learned he was bald.
That’s usually not a problem for me. I like to understand what the various characters are thinking and feeling. The problem was when the author head-hopped. That is, traveled from the mind of one character and into the next from paragraph to paragraph. I found that distracting and troubling. For that reason and the lack of character development, I will only give this book three stars.
The section where we read the young teen’s essay was really boring. There was nothing in it that we didn’t already know and little that would have qualified that story for even third place in the competition. It would have been better to suggest the content and let the reader imagine the story.
I loved all the information about books and the love of books and reading. I enjoyed the thought of living over a book store on a remote island in New England. How quaint! What happened to the characters and how they changed also intrigued and pleased me. In other words, it’s still a good read.
But, if you’re looking for a light distraction during these holidays, give this book a try. BTW, it’s on the NYT best seller list. I suppose being a best seller doesn’t mean the book has to be well written!