The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: Book Review

Step into the charming world of A.J. Fikry, a grumpy but lovable bookstore owner, in Gabrielle Zevin’s heartwarming novel, “The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry”.

Sneak Peak

“The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” follows the life of A.J. Fikry, a book-loving widower who runs a struggling bookstore on a small island. A.J.’s life takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious package arrives, setting off a chain of events that will change his life and the lives of those around him.

My Take

This book is a delightful exploration of love, loss, second chances, and the power of books to connect people. One of the highlights of the novel is the transformation of A.J. Fikry himself. Initially portrayed as a grumpy and isolated character, we see him evolve into a more open and compassionate person as he navigates the challenges and joys life presents. The relationships A.J. forms with the people on the island, particularly with the spirited Amelia and Maya, add layers of depth and warmth to the story.

The writing style is engaging and full of book references that bookworms will surely appreciate. Zevin seamlessly weaves poignant moments with humor, creating a story that tugs at the heartstrings while also offering moments of lightness and laughter. However, some readers might find the plot predictable at times, with certain events unfolding in familiar ways.

What Makes the Book Unique

One of the standout features of this book is its celebration of books and the impact they can have on people’s lives. Through A.J.’s interactions with various characters and his recommendations of books to them, the novel underscores the role of literature in fostering connections, understanding, and personal growth. The setting of the bookstore itself becomes a character in the story, exuding a cozy and inviting atmosphere that will resonate with book lovers.


“The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” is a heartening tale that pays homage to the magic of books and the beauty of human connections. While the plot may follow some familiar tropes, the well-developed characters and the bookish charm of the story make it a worthwhile read for those looking for a touching and literary-themed novel. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about second chances, community, and the transformative power of literature.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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