ARC Review: The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

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40590422“Get to know her shop and her life and you’ll figure it out. She had to have good reasons for what she did.”

Published: Expected May 14, 2019

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Pages: 336 (Paperback)

Series: N/A – Standalone

 

3 Stars

 

There was an order to love and to life, and the sacrifice of self needed to be coupled with the courage of conviction. 

 

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.

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Hi my dear bookish friends! I’m back with another ARC review! I requested this novel for early review because A) the cover is perfect B) I love a good contemporary fiction set in bookstores and C) it sounded like the perfect, post-grad chill read. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

Before we jump into the more technical part of this review I want to thank NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for sharing this novel with me and letting me read and review this early! I love being able to scout out new and upcoming releases to recommend to you all and I’m forever grateful for ARCs and my friendship with publishers!

This novel started out so promising to me; the description sounds so good and I liked where it was going right off the bat, but it fizzled out in the middle and end. I got really great cozy, small-town, bookshop vibes from this in the beginning, which is exactly what I was looking for, but I just couldn’t get on board with the characters. Basically, it isn’t the plot that I disliked with this one, but was all about characters.

First, Madeline is the worst main character I’ve encountered in a while. She has such a flat and boring personality that I hated reading her parts. It felt like she had absolutely no personality; it’s so hard to describe how ‘meh’ she felt to me. Chris, her “love interest”, is the same way. In fact, their whole relationship was completely forced, weird, and bleh. Chris was always mad at her, the dislike he felt for her was basically tangible, and they never had a significant conversation or anything that would lead me to believe they liked each other. It was a horrible romance plot and the cringest thing I’ve read in a long time. No thanks.

I liked Janet and Claire, mainly because I enjoyed their life stories and how they had ended up at the Printed Letter, but the writing was so weird. Each character (Madeline, Claire, and Janet) get their own little sections and their own POV in each chapter, which I enjoyed immensely. However, what I didn’t like was how the author wrote them. Madeline and Janet each got first person POVs and Claire got third person. WHY? WHY WHY WHY. I racked my brain and couldn’t come up with a real reason why the author did this, but I hated it. It was strange to me.

The only thing that secured this as a three star review was the overall plot and actual body of the story. I enjoyed where it started and how it ended up and I can’t deny it was a feel-good and deeply inspiring story of three women who come together over their love of literature and and an important woman. Each characters ends up working out their own problems together and coming through some serious life turmoil, and I had to appreciate that journey they took together and alone. However, there was just so many other things that had me questioning the book, the characters, and ultimately, the author.

If you’re okay with a fizzled out, forced romance and a questionable, if not confusing, writing style, all wrapped up in a decently plotted novel then this is for you. It’s basically a Hallmark movie; it feels great, you enjoy it, but it’s technically not good. Definitely not my favorite of the month, but a decent novel nonetheless.

Happy reading

 

Book Links  GoodreadsAmazon                    B&N         BAM

 

Other books by Katherine Reay

 

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