ARC through NetGalley
From the publisher:
Warning: once you let books into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
This is a book about books. All sorts of books, from Little Women and Harry Potter to Jodi Picoult and Jane Austen, from to Stieg Larsson to Joyce Carol Oates to Proust. It’s about the joy and pleasure of books, about learning from and escaping into them, and possibly even hiding behind them. It’s about whether or not books are better than real life.
It’s also a book about a Swedish girl called Sara, her elderly American penfriend Amy and what happens when you land a very different kind of bookshop in the middle of a town so broken it’s almost beyond repair.
Or is it?
When I saw this book on NetGalley I was instantly drawn to this book for two reason – it was all about books, bookstores, reading AND it was based in Iowa. Iowa was our home during medical school. Our second son was born here and we made lifelong friends there. It will always hold a special place to my heart. I think I will always be drawn a good book based in the Midwest.
I did enjoy this book, just not as much as I hoped I would. The characters were likable, funny and quirky. The town was perfect. I felt like I was watching Heart Of Dixie, or Gilmore Girls. There is some romance, there is some drama and there is humor too. I love the idea of pen pals – especially pen pals that exchange books, but the idea of coming all the way from Sweden to Iowa and then staying in her house seemed a tiny far fetched for me. (Something I would never do, but to each their own, right?) The story has so many reading references, I think most book lovers would enjoy it. And opening a bookstore – that would be a dream come true to me! The only thing I did not like is that I felt there were some parts that were slower.
If you are looking for a good vacation book then this is one that is easy to pick up and put down and take your time reading.
As part of the book tour for this book Sourcebooks is running a BookStore Sweepstakes! Anyone can nominate their favorite local bookstore on this site. Sourcebooks will award the winning bookstore with a $3,000 prize; two additional bookstores will each receive a $637 prize (the population of Bivald’s fictional Broken Wheel, Iowa). In addition to bookstores receiving prizes, weekly giveaways for those who nominate will be held throughout the campaign. Voting began January 4, and runs until February 19, when the winning bookstores will be announced.
Vote for your local bookstore!