The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

"What is the space for if you don't fill it with books?"


Title - The Bookstore
Author - Deborah Meyler
Publication Date - April 24th 2014
Publisher - Bloomsbury Reader
Format - eBook
Pages - 352

The blurb

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 colourful 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? 

A rousing celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them, The Bookstore is also a story about emotional discovery, the complex choices we all face, and the accidental inspirations that make life worth the reading. 

Becca's thoughts
(I received an eBook copy of The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

I don't think that I have read a book this cleverly written in a while. It seemed a world away from my usual comical, girly chick-lit but nevertheless, I was hooked right from the start. 

The first two things that caught my attention about The Bookstore were obviously the cover and the title itself. I love books, and I know it sounds completely judgemental of me, but if a book is going to be titled The Bookstore, then nine times out of ten, I'm gonna' read it. Yes, my love for books reaches that far. The cover itself is just gorgeous. Again, the element of books, but more importantly, the lone woman standing in the middle of New York city. That captured my attention immediately. It's eye-catching, I love the font that has been used and the colours too. All in all, a fabulous cover for The Bookstore. 

Returning to my previous comment about The Bookstore being a world away from my normal type of read, there were still moments whilst reading that I choked on my laughter. Although the atmosphere of Meyler's writing is continuously sad, grey and dismal, she injected small doses of humour at just the right moments to make me laugh. I love when a book makes me laugh. I'm not 100% sure if that was the intended reaction, but I laughed anyway. The tone of The Bookstore is rather serious at times, but it does loosen up now and again to allow the reader to take it all in. 

The main character in The Bookstore, Esme Garland, was very submissive. Her "boyfriend" Mitchell really made my blood boil, but Esme was a complete pushover when it came to him. She was weak, stupidly agreeable, but I found her endearing all at the same time. Mitchell had her wrapped right around his little finger and I really wanted to slap him upside the head. He was an absolute pig to her but she was besotted with him. I grew frustrated with Esme's character at some points during reading, because she would bow down to his every command. I'm not sure whether I believed that she loved him. Esme told herself that a lot in the book, but I was just not convinced that it was true love. I think she was very infatuated with him, yes, but I'm not sure if love was the right term for her to use. How could she love someone that treated her that badly? But, I guess that's just what love is. Loving beyond reason. Anyway, I felt incredibly connected with Esme and her emotions were made evident in the writing at every point. I loved her personality, the way her mind worked. She was a charming character with a lot of potential, which Deborah Meyler used perfectly. 

The character of Esme's "boyfriend" Mitchell was one of those characters that you'd love to get a shovel too. I didn't quite understand him. One minute he wanted to be in a relationship with Esme, the next they never had a relationship to start with. He really angered me with his immature ways of life when Esme really needed his support and love. I found him to be very conniving, a game-player of emotions and just generally an absolute jerk. What Esme ever saw in him is a complete mystery to me. He may have been very attractive and kind and attentive when he chose to be, but underneath that fake surface, he had an ugly spirit that I hated immediately. I think the "thing" with Mitchell was that he had no idea who he truly was and what he really wanted from life. He was up and down all the time and drove me freaking insane. He was just a waste of a man that had a TON, and I mean a TON, of growing up to do. 

The Bookstore, named The Owl, where Esme ended up working was the most adorable little bookstore that I have read about. It was messy, books were everywhere, piled up and two-books-deep in shelves, but I imagine it perfectly in my mind. Luke works here, who I instantly fell in book-love with. There's a multitude of characters that warmed my heart completely, and I felt an instant connection with each and every one of them. The Owl was more like a second home to them all. They'd stay there until after midnight, drinking beer, chatting, and Luke would be strumming away on his guitar. It was cosy and I would have loved to have joined them. It was a friendly, warm atmosphere, and it added an element of positivity to the story. 

Overall, The Bookstore was an extremely enjoyable read from start to finish. I have to say that I am glad I have the dictionary on my Kindle because there were a ton of "big" words that I have never even heard of before, as well as artists names etc. Once I was past the intellectuality of the story, I really began to take it all in and realised the importance of it all. It was superb, a real masterpiece. 

Becca's Books is rating The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler with a fantastic 5/5 stars! I loved it. From The Owl to the colourful characters and the bonds that are made, it had me smiling and laughing and feeling quite depressed. Every element of life was superbly touched upon. It was one of those books that made me sit back and think about the universe. Very philosophical too. 

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