Village Books by Craig McLay

After reading a few reviews for this book I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it because quite a few of them were not exactly favorable. Now I know why.

Village Books is a more boring (and book centric instead of music centric) version of the 1995 movie Empire Records. (I’m not sure how many people will understand the reference but I just thought I’d put it out there). Village Books is about a crazy crew of bookstore workers (some in managerial positions, some part time, some who the reader barely hears from personally) and the owners and customers to the store. And the characters are pretty entertaining but unfortunately they don’t make up for the complete lack of a plot.

From the blurb for the book I knew the story centered around the addition of a beautiful aspiring actress to the renegade team of bookstore employees. But I figured there would be more to it, especially with the mention of how the shop owners were aging and ailing and how some horrible corporate company wanted to buy the store out from under everyone. There should have been more of a conflict there, right? Shouldn’t saving the store which was so important to the plot and all these characters, be a key plot point? Apparently not.

So I’d say the main saving grace of the book, for me, was that all the characters worked around books (which I love) and that quite a few of the “types” of workers and customers are ones I’ve seen while working at a library. But it just wasn’t enough for this to be a truly good book.

Plus the ending was just too predictable and happily ever after. Everything worked out for the good guys while the bad/annoying guys got their comeuppance but that all happened in a pretty brief epilogue.

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