A Quick and Dirty Review of Deborah Meyler’s ~The Bookstore~

*Public Domain Photo by Alexandre Duret-Lutz

Seldom have I ever been so on the fence regarding a book I’ve selected for a spot of easy reading than I was, and still am, as I’ve been with The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler.  After reading several pages at a random opening, I checked this novel out of my wonderful public library~ (side note: Everything under human control in the library is wonderful, though the departments ruled by computer intelligence are quite questionable of late. Artificial Intelligence is driving the staff a tad mad due to its distinct lack of common sense regarding book culling. For example, who would remove the second book in a young adult fantasy thriller series thus leaving a gap between volume one and three? What sense does that make? All it does is discourage the would be reader because the story is now incomplete. Okay enough of this developing issue.) Yeah, I promised a quick review for everyone on the cyber-space run.  Let’s get to the good stuff first: This is an easy-going read writing wise–you will not have to work through any deviously poetic complex sentence structures. The supporting cast of characters connected to the bookstore are very engaging creations–and mainly male. You get a decent sense of New York City’s never sleeping city atmosphere. There are interesting references and allusions to great art and great books. There’s a slightly developed commentary on the demise of independent bookstores being put out of business by corporate run big box book retailers. This is a nice big plus because it supports the assertion that Esme, our thoroughly modern young woman on the academic art history move, has a decently educated mind in good working order–except when it comes to the entire concept of pregnancy. She’s clueless like so many young people these days when it comes to her biological nature beyond sex for fun.  But I won’t hold that against her.  She does have many good qualities along the tune of -> Yes, ladies it can be very cool to be well read, intelligent and interested in much more than the moron box taking center stage in many living rooms. For the most part I like Esme very much. Hang on to “for the most part” –the not most part when I don’t care for–or comprehend–Esme is part of what still has me on the fence regarding this book.

What’s got me on the fence? Esme’s love interest, Mitchell. For the life of me I can’t figure out what this young woman finds to love in this cold-hearted bastard.  Being handsome is not enough–statues, male models, actors and non-famous dudes on the street can be very good-looking–but women don’t fall for them just because of the outer packaging–or do they?  I guess some do. Maybe Esme is supposed to be one of those ladies? Perhaps it’s because she’s twenty-three and has a libido in good working order? I’m serious here, folks. if  Meyler had given Mitchell a character profile beyond handsome economics professor from a wealthy family –I’m sure some of you are arguing that’s plenty, but it’s not in this context. Esme has too much going for her to be picked up by a handsome sexual predator running amok in NYC. Or does she?  Maybe there’s something amiss with the young Miss? I’m still not sure after finishing the book–which I nearly gave up on several times because I had such serious trouble buying this particular woman and man connection.  All the good things, bookstore, homeless people, Stella, George, Luke etc. kept me reading though–and the hope that Esme might get a clue or two regarding the man using her for nothing more than satisfying his own very manipulative dysfunctional ego. It’s not like she doesn’t have plenty of other men to compare this asshole to in order to see the light.

Mitchell’s character is a cliché in the extreme. Hence, I dislike him immensely. Disliking him is probably what Meyler had in mind. Problem is, he’s so dislikeable that it’s hard comprehending why Esme loves him. There’s nothing even remotely loveable about this guy as he is portrayed. If there’s some unwritten or edited out part of this novel that is loitering with intent to explain Esme’s feelings for this man, then it needs to get edited into the novel. Yes, women–and men–fall for the wrong sort of people all the time. True enough. But stating this guy has charm and giving him none at any point in time makes Esme come off as a complete dunce.  It would help matters considerably if the reader got some glimpse of what lures Esme into loving this man. Yeah, the slam dunk sex foreplay in the women’s restroom fails to do that for me.  It works for sexual attraction, but not for emotional attachment and involvement. Hmm. Maybe that’s Meyler’s point–that people confuse physical sexual attraction with emotional love attraction? Maybe.  I’m not sure.

Oh–yes, Esme does have alternative love interest choices which appear to operate on a more positive level–or could. There are hints which I won’t spoil here for any interested might be readers.  In many ways this is story about dealing with such relationship scenario. Perhaps it’s a modernized version of a very old cautionary tale for young women.  It certainly works in that regard. Hmm, maybe this review is getting me off the fence as I air my concerns here. Maybe.

If anyone has run through The Bookstore’s very accessible pages and cares to comment on my fencing–please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts about any chapter or verse in the novel. So, was this quick and dirty enough? Oh a little short on the dirty–hmm–consider a toothbrush standing in for a vibrator. How’s that for a little dirty?

*

Meyler’s author page at http://authors.simonandschuster.com/deborah-meyler/408315626

RevolutionResource.org

Agitate, Educate, and Organize ~OO~

Deceleration

Adaptation. Mitigation. Justice.

Incidental Makyo

a place for reflective expression.

Shechaim's News of the Day

The #MeToo movement?

Free Alabama Movement

National Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery

Books Can Save A Life

"Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive." Barry Lopez

The Greenery

Ideas That Grow and Bloom

The Case for Global Film

Films from everywhere and every era

LRInspire

Wellness Leadership Education

Tales from the Conspiratum

Warning: This site may contain conspiracies

Make No Bones About It

The Quest for the Truth

Beyond Extreme Energy

No new permits for fossil fuel infrastructure. Renewable energy NOW.

Mugilan Raju

Prime my subconscious, one hint at a time

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

Editor in Northern California. Interested in tiny things, nineties nostalgia, old jungle mixtapes, punctuation, and my cats. Not to be fed after midnight.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

Reviews of Vintage Science Fiction (1950s to mid-1980s)

Cynthia Reyes

The blog of Canadian author Cynthia Reyes

1EarthUnited

Uniting the world, One Love at a time. :D

The Stay-at-home Scientist

Science, Gardening, Work-Life Balance

People Powered Machines

Our business is committed to saving energy, reducing emmissions and waste.

drwilda

Just another WordPress.com site

Tubularsock

". . . first hand coverage, second hand news"

Espen Stenersrød- From Pen To Heart

Jack Kerouac with a scent of Henry Vaughn

Army at Wounded Knee

A blog dedicated to documenting through primary sources, the Army's actions at Wounded Knee

yadadarcyyada

Vague Meanderings of the Broke and Obscure

Ekostories

Stories and essays by Isaac Yuen

Red Wolf Journal

A literary compass for finding your voice..."You turn toward me, your lips move, wanting to speak."--Stephen Dobyns, "Wolves In The Street"

poet4justicedotwordpressdotcom

The poet can reach where the sun cannot. -HINDU PROVERBThe greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

"OUR WORLD"

Working together to make the world a better place to live! A fine WordPress.com site

Spirit In Action

Change IS coming. WE can make it GOOD.

Rezinate's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Through the Peacock's Eyes

Insights for Spiritual Living

Heila

Living Mental Health Rehab in Israel

the zen space

a space for zen words

We Write Poems

a community of people reading & writing poems, moving words

R. L. Culpeper

Sapere Aude

THE ONENESS of HUMANITY

For Peace On Earth In This Generation

InkPaperPen

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

Eléctrica in the Desert

News, photos, stories, and trouble from the borderland

Coco J. Ginger Says

Poems and stories of love & heartbreak.