Gabrielle Zevin struck me more as a Young Adult writer with her Anya Balanchine series about a young daughter of a mob boss, who is forced to take over the family business.
"It is a book that sings to our literary hearts, and it is one of the most precious books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, and I will likely reread it a thousand of times." Zoe Hinis, The Book Aramada
This has to be the best description for A.J. Fikry, from The Book Armada's review of this book. A novel set around a bookstore on a remote island, run by a rather irate, semi-alcoholic, and grumpy manager called A.J Fikry. AJ is recently widowed and is slowly coming to terms with living without his wife and all round love of his life, not only is AJ missing her, but the store misses her; once vibrant and active, it is now a dull struggle of a bookstore - something many bookstores are grappling with at this moment.
We meet Amelia, she is a sales rep for a very niche publishing house, and AJ's bookstore is one of her customers. It isnt until a young child is left on bookstore's front step, with a note, does AJ's life begin to change. Maya, is the child's name, immediately worms her way into AJs heart and he decides to keep her.
This is far from a book about books, but a love letter to books, booksellers, and book lovers. It is a story about family, friends, life, and how books tie us all together with love stories, and words on a page. It'll be an extreme feat if you don't fall instantly head over heels for this book, it's characters and lines so masterful you wish you had written this book yourself.
You need this book. If you don't love it, then books are simply wasted on you...
'A place isn't a place without a bookstore' - The Collected Works of A.J Fikry
The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin features on this month’s Exclusive Books Recommends for June.