Book Review: The Storied life of A.J. Fikry



A.J. Firky’s life is not all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possessions, a rare collection of Poe poems has been stolen, but when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore its unexpected arrival gives A.J. the chance to make his life over and see everything anew.


I have seen this book around the library but never picked it up. The Book Club that I am part of at the library chose this as their May book pick of the month. Overall I thought that it was pretty good. I thought that the writing was good. I liked how at the beginning of each chapter we get a letter from A.J. where he discusses different things . I have to admit that by the end of chapter three I was hooked in the story I couldn’t put it down the only time I put it down was when I went to work. One of my favorite characters in the book was A.J. himself. At the beginning of the book of the book I thought he was a jerk especially after his meeting Amelia. I loved his character growth throughout the story. I think that his character started to grow once he found Maya. And even more after he fell in love with Amelia and married her.

My least favorite character in his was Ismay, I just found the character annoying. I just hate it when people constantly complain about their life, but then they do nothing to change their situation. She finally does something but what she does I would not recommend at all. Plus I just found her to be a negative person in general. Granted her husband was cheating on her, and she did have several miscarriages, but a lot of people have had bad things happen in their life and manage to persevere, A.J. for example. Another issue I had was that Zevin would introduce plot lines but then just drop them. Like it was hinted that Daniel (Ismay’s husband, A.J. brother) was the father of Maya. That was never resolved, Daniel died unexpectedly and Ismay never told A.J. or Maya of her suspicions. At that point I felt cheated out of a potentially good storyline. Top it off the ending felt that the ending of the book felt rushed. Just to add, I didn’t see why A.J. needed to die? what was the point? The ending and how it was written is the reason I didn’t give this five stars all the way, I felt that it could been written better then it was. There was a lot of good themes in this book.

Like death, you have the death of A.J. first wife, and then there was the death of Maya biological mom. This not only connects the characters, but you see there struggles over this particular issue as well. Another major theme was your never to old to find happiness. Of course A.J. and Amelia, then you have the storyline with the author who wrote ” Late Bloomers” which was a central theme throughout the book.

I think that this book can fit in with any age group, from teens to the elderly. Just to add I was reading an interview with the Gabrielle Zevin which was very interesting. Even though I read the book, you can always learn new things. I knew that Maya was biracial, but A.J. was from South East Asia. She was inspired by her own parents, which I thought was awesome. If I could ask the Gabrielle one thing, I would ask her what A.J. stands for? My book club was discussing this, it never says in the book and I haven’t read anything where she discusses it. I am currently reading “Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir that will be my next review. I am going to try to get that review out for next Friday, but if I don’t it will come out sometimes that upcoming week. Hope you enjoy my review, love to hear your thoughts on the review, and has anyone read “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, what are your thought’s on it?


I gave this four and half stars



“Remember, Maya: the things we respond to at twenty are not necessarily the same things we will respond to at forty and vice versa. This is true in books and also in life.”

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

“It is the secret fear that we are unlovable that isolates us,” the passage goes, “but it is only because we are isolated that we think we are unlovable. Someday, you do not know when, you will be driving down a road. And someday, you do not know when, he, or indeed she, will be there. You will be loved because for the first time in your life, you will truly not be alone. You will have chosen to not be alone.”

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

“When I read a book, I want you to be reading it at the same time. I want to know what would Amelia think of it. I want you to be mine. I can promise you books and conversation and all my heart, Amy.” ― Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel

Do you like Moby Dick?” he asks.

“I hate it,” she says. “And I don’t say that about many things. Teachers assign it, and parents are happy because their kids are reading something of ‘quality.’ But it’s forcing kids to read books like that that make them think they hate reading.”

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

“Maya knows that her mother left her in Island Books. But maybe that’s what happens to all children at a certain age. Some children are left in shoe stores. And some children are left in toy stores. And some children are left in sandwich shops. And your whole life is determined by what store you get left in. She does not want to live in the sandwich shop.”

― Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s