Title: The Bookstore
Author: Deborah Meyler
Date Started: September 9
Date Finished: September 12
Format: Paperback from local library
Impressionable and idealistic, Esme Garland is a young British woman who finds herself studying art history in New York. She loves her apartment and is passionate about the city and her boyfriend; her future couldn’t look brighter. Until she finds out that she’s pregnant.
Esme’s boyfriend, Mitchell van Leuven, is old-money rich, handsome, successful, and irretrievably damaged. When he dumps Esme—just before she tries to tell him about the baby—she resolves to manage alone. She will keep the child and her scholarship, while finding a part-time job to make ends meet. But that is easier said than done, especially on a student visa.
The Owl is a shabby, second-hand bookstore on the Upper West Side, an all-day, all-night haven for a colorful crew of characters: handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke; Chester, who hyperventilates at the mention of Lolita; George, the owner, who lives on protein shakes and idealism; and a motley company of the timeless, the tactless, and the homeless. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme—but will it be enough to sustain her? Even when Mitchell, repentant and charming, comes back on the scene?
So, let’s be real, even after reading a lot of fantasy books over the last few weeks, The Bookstore was still weird. Esme was a strange character. Her inner monologue was very random and about things that I didn’t one hundred percent understand. In fact, when she moaned that Mitchell broke up with references to things that I didn’t know I was half-tempted to give up on reading this book. But then there was the bookstore. The Owl is a wonderful place and the people that work there – George, Luke, etc. – were even more so. They brought some color to a rather drab and gray book. In a small way, I was kind of hoping that Luke and Esme would have gotten together, but I’m actually really glad that they didn’t. It made the book realistic. So, what if the single mother had her baby and didn’t get the guy? I’m hoping she at least kept the ring – she could probably buy a weeks worth of diapers with that ring.
Speaking of, the character of Mitchell. Ugh, what an egotistical, pretentious ass. First, he breaks up with Esme because there isn’t enough ‘lust’ in the relationship. Then when he runs into her again, he claims he wants her back and that it was all a lie because he thought she was going to break up with him first. Let’s be honest, if she had it would have been amazing. She was hopeless around Mitchell when she didn’t have to be, because again, he was an ass. I mean, even his parents are two bit snobs. Not to mention he was a total snob when it came to her working at The Owl. And him trying to pressure her into getting married before the baby came was insane. He didn’t listen to her at all. Then he gets all depressed and breaks things off with her again. If I was Esme I would NOT have been crying about that craziness. I would have said good riddance.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. This book was strange, which is really saying something. There were references in this book that I didn’t quite get. There were moments where I think Esme was trying to be philosophical but it just sounded like educated moaning to me. However, I did like the realness of it and the fact that Esme was happy with her life when the book ended.
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