Monday, December 30, 2013

The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

Title: The Bookstore
Author: Deborah Meyler
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Length: about 354 pages (ebook)

Esme is a young English woman, studying art history in New York City. She's pretty happy, even though her boyfriend, Mitchell, is the world's biggest douchebag. One day, she realises she's pregnant, and when she goes to tell Mitchell, he dumps her before she has the chance. Determined to stay in school and keep her scholarship, she gets a part-time job at a used bookstore.

The most frustrating thing about this whole book is that Mitchell is SO horrible and Esme never seems to quite understand that. Just when you think she's going to be happy without him and move on, he swoops in again and she just totally forgets what an idiot he is in favour of her mysterious attraction to him. Very annoying.

But other than that, I enjoyed this book, for the rather undefinable reason that it felt "real" to me. Even though all the other characters who worked in or frequented the bookstore kind of blended together and weren't very memorable, Esme herself really held my interest. And I found the book to be surprisingly feminist. Esme goes through the process of debating whether or not to have an abortion. She struggles with the realities of becoming a single mother, while her douchebag boyfriend offers her a rich and comfortable life as a decoration on his arm. Ultimately, despite having a depressing weakness for the jerk in her life, Esme is a strong, independent woman, and I enjoyed reading about her.

4 stars.

Full disclosure: I received a free ebook copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

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