Right Book, Right Time | The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry   The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin


The Facts:

  • This is said to be “a book for book lovers,” and I tend to agree.
  • This is Gabrielle Zevin’s most recent novel, published last year.  She has written several other books, probably best known for her young adult novels.
  • The edition shown above, is the paperback version released in the U.S. If you look carefully on the cover, you can see the original hard back version displayed in all it’s glory in the bookstore window.



A.J. Fikry is a young man in his 40s, with an outlook on life closer to that of a cranky man in his 60s. He lost his wife tragically a few years before, and has since stayed on as owner of the bookstore they opened together in his late wife’s home town. One day, a valuable edition of a book disappears from his apartment, and not too long after a toddler is abandoned in his bookshop. And then some stuff happens…


Non-Spoiler Review:

I’m not going to go on and on why this book is amazing. It really isn’t, if I’m being honest. It was very sentimental, and a little syrupy at times, which normally makes me gag – and yet, I really really liked it.

There’s something to be said for the right book, at the right time. I have been reading so many heavy/sad/upsetting/twisty books lately, and this just slid right in for the win. Its quick pace, sweetness, quaint story, and cast of likable, quirky characters had me from page one.

I found the character of A.J. Fikry a pure delight. He was so cantankerous, and so desperately wanted to push people away, which only made me want to grab on and squeeze. Too much? Is that weird? I loved experiencing the story from his point of view, and getting caught up in the inner workings of his mind.

I’m not going to say this book is all unicorns dancing in a field of flowers eating Oreos, as it definitely has its fill of sad moments. However, those moments aren’t deeply developed, and it’s kept so much on the surface,  you can’t help but be left in a happy place with the turn of the last page.

Basically, I think this book is top notch, but really only if you’re in the mood for this kind of a book. Which I was – so it was. See what I’m saying?


Rating:   [4/5 stars]


Looking For More:

  • Shaina also read this book at a perfect time
  • Amber gives it a rave review, and says it’s all cozy snuggles



So tell me, have you had any “right book, right time” experiences lately? I’d love to hear about it!


| The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry | Algonquin | 2014 | paperback | source: purchased |



9 thoughts on “Right Book, Right Time | The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

  1. Thanks for the link-up! I’m glad so many of us are managing to have this experience. 🙂 I completely agree that, at any other time, this book would have been waaaay too mawkish. So with you on wanting to squeeze A.J. Fikry til his eyeballs pop out. Because that’s not weird, right?


    1. I love that we were able to have similar experiences with this book. I think we read it right around the same time, and when I read your review I was like – YES ME TOO!


  2. I loved AJ Fikry as a character too! He was so quirky and endearing. That said, I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. I really enjoyed the first half and wish Zevin had just stopped there.


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