I had extremely high hopes and expectations for this book, just because I loved Elsewhere so much. Comparing this book to Elsewhere, it falls a little flat, but as a stand-alone book, it is really nice.
The characters in this book are marvelous, yet I wasn’t able to feel a strong connection with any of them. The main character, A.J. Fikry, was difficult to relate to and connect with. His adopted daughter, Maya, is much easier to relate to and feel a connection with. Yet, although I wasn’t able to connect with the main character, I still felt that the characters were all fantastic. Each character has a very distinct personality and is extremely realistic, without being mundane. I truly enjoyed the characters.
The plot… well there isn’t really one. This book is mainly just following the lives of the characters, mainly A.J. Fikry and his adopted daughter, Maya. There is one (somewhat major) mystery that occurs at the beginning of the book, only to go unmentioned again until the very end of the book. I was a little disappointed; I wish more attention had been paid to the mysterious book disappearance.
Although I lament over the missing plot, I still found myself absorbed with this story. I couldn’t put it down; I just wanted to keep reading about Mr. Fikry and his family. That tells me that this book was probably really well written. But, to tell you the truth, I didn’t really notice much about the writing; I was so absorbed in the story.
What I did notice though were all the references to books throughout the story. I am definitely a fan of books about books, and this story was fantastic in terms of that. A.J. Fikry gives his daughter advice in the terms of books, which caused many book titles to be flung at the reader. After reading this book (and highlighting other book titles) I will have no shortage of reading material for awhile.
Bottom Line: I would give this book 8/10 stars. While it wasn’t as good as Elsewhere, I still very much enjoyed the story. I would definitely recommend this story to anyone who finds themselves thinking of books with a sense of nostalgia.
I received this book for review purposes via NetGalley.