Rummanah Aasi

Description: Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you. Into her hiding place - the bookstore where she works - come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries. Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

Review: The Lost for Words Bookshop is truly a book for bibliophiles. Loveday Cardew is an anti-social, awkward tattooed 25-year-old bibliophile who works at Lost for Words, a secondhand bookstore in York. Despite her name, Loveday doesn’t much care for people except her boss Archie and her current love interest Nathan who is a slam poet and magician or anything except for books. She’s reserved and painfully sarcastic, and the surrounding characters either exacerbate or find her charming. Switching between the past and present, the chapters are organized by genre—Poetry, History, Crime, Travel, and Memoir—and correspond to the plot (i.e., Poetry chapters center around Nathan). Told from Loveday’s perspective, the casual first-person narration provides a way into the mind of Loveday who is otherwise a closed-off character. As mysterious packages start showing up at Lost for Words, only Loveday knows of their significance and we are hinted of a dark past which shaped her personality. In flashbacks we get to witness how her charmed childhood descends into darkness, one life-altering moment shatters her world—and sense of self—forever. The buildup to and aftermath of this moment feel earned and purposeful.
  I really liked Loveday and felt for her throughout the novel. What is problematic in the book is that it sometimes veers into stereotypes about mental illness by equating it violent behavior (perhaps unintentionally) as Loveday recalls her physically abuse father and her menacing bipolar ex-boyfriend. There are certainly dark moments in the story, but the romance between Loveday and Nathan is sweet and helps elevate the story. I wished we got to see more of Nathan in the story. The ending is hopeful, but there is a lot of serious issues lurking behind the cute book cover and synopsis.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language throughout the novel, instances of physical abuse, and allusions to sex. Recommended for older teens and adults.

If you like this book try: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
3 Responses
  1. This definitley sounds like a unique read especially with the way the story is laid out, but I am not sure I am a fan of the way the mental illness is portrayed. I will put this on my maybe list.

  2. What an interesting premise, anything set in a bookshop ought to be good.

  3. Kindlemom Says:

    Glad this worked for you even with the darker stereotypical moments. It does sound interesting and I am glad that they are making more books like this for those that can relate in one way or another.

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