Sunday, 29 October 2017

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan - review

Publisher: William Heinemann (24th August 2017)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an open and honest review.

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs―the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has inherited his meagre worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia? (Extract from publisher's blurb)

I'm going to tread carefully during this review, as the plot is my favourite part and I don't want to give anything away! I seem to have read more adult books than normal this year, and Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is one of my favourites. 

The structure was fantastic, gradually revealing Lydia's backstory and details about Joey's life. I enjoyed trying to piece the clues together, as this is a very different, cleverly-plotted story.

I'm always a fan of a book about books, and Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore had a very unique take on the subject. I loved the bookstore setting and the way books were woven into the plot.

A real strength of this book is in the characterisation. Lydia is a complex, realistic main character, but I warmed to the secondary characters too. Even the most minor characters felt like heroes of their own stories. 

This is the perfect book for book lovers, and for anyone who enjoys a good mystery. This is one of my most memorable books of the year.

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