Since it’s technically the start of two whole days of freedom aka the weekend, I wanted to give you something fun to fill your time.
I don’t know about you, but one of the things I LOVE to do on the weekends, or any day that ends in a “y”, or during my lunch break, or while brushing my teeth, or as I wait for my waffles to waffle up, or….well, I think you get the picture. I am a living, eating, breathing book machine.
Anywhoo, I just finished reading a real goodie, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and am telling you, nay, begging you to forgo your trip to the movies this weekend and pick up this baby instead.
EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS!!!
I am actually so super excited to write this review… I HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO SAY!
Because I have so many thoughts, let’s do this bullet-point style.
-To begin, this story was so positive and mood-uplifting! I never felt that horrible dread you feel sometimes when you’re reading: that loss of faith with the author where you ask the horrible question “Is the author going to screw this all up?” All throughout reading the book there were moments where I felt the exciting jolt of panic… “Oh no! What’s going to happen?!” but I never once worried that the story would end badly. In fact it was only when I turned the last page and read the last sentence when I felt a pang of sadness. It’s over already? IT’S OVER?!
– I LEARNED SO MUCH. Okay, as a person I love to learn new things, but the truth is that I don’t read very much non-fiction. When you read any book, you more often than not are constantly learning new things through the decisions of people, by taking on new perspectives, but in this book I actually learned new facts and things! I don’t want to say I am a genius after having finished this book, but let’s just say I would blow the socks and shoes off of any Ken Jennings contestant on Jeopardy. I’ll have “Who’s the shnazziest nerd?” for $2,000 Alec.
– There were so many great uses of setting in this book. Wowzapants. From places like Hogwarts and Spy Kids to the Google headquarters and even a knitting museum, this book never felt stagnant. It was fresh and exciting and the settings all felt so legitimate.
– The best way I can describe the idea of this book is “National Treasure for Book Lovers”. I absolutely LOVE the National Treasure movies! I mean, you’ve got your action. You’ve got your adventure. You’ve got your mystery and history lesson ala Indian Jones. And of course you’ve got your Nic Cage. What more could you ask for? Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store was just as exciting and fun, only with books thrown into the mix. I know, right?!
– The characters were so complex! And there were so many of them! I loved the number of different secondary characters that were constantly being introduced but yet at the same time, the writing never made them feel unnecessary. In real life, we have people that we need for certain things, but only interact with very little. This book had lots of different levels of interaction with people, which was new and great. Also, the characters were all super complex and fascinating. None of them felt flat or 1 dimensional.. they were all real people and were constantly surprising.
– The collaboration between old and new. Between older people and younger people, older technologies and newer technologies, older thinking and newer thinking. Sheer brilliance!
– Speaking of technology, THE TECHNOLOGY. There was such an amazing use of different technologies in this book, but best of all they were all plausible. There are some movies and books where a character pulls out a tool that is specifically designed to solve the exact problem at hand and it’s so unrealistic…those tools can’t exist! But everything used in this book was real, and it made me feel like this adventure actually happened. That I could walk into a bookstore one, rainy Saturday afternoon and be wisked away on an adventure on this magnitude. Sigh. A girl can dream, no?
– Finally, the main character. WHAT A MAIN CHARACTER! Clay Jannon is exactly the kind of lead you want in this type of story! Constantly clueless BUT TRYING HIS HARDEST, absolutely hilarious, genuine and earnest. I had such a blast reading this book. And the best part? I know I’m going to love rereading and rerereading this book. It was so well crafted and had me in smiles and laughs every time I picked it up.
I give it the ultimate recommendation!
Two Wendi thumbs WAY up 🙂
But don’t take my word for it; go to your local library right meow and check it out (pun intended)!
And after you’re done reading it, please feel free to let me know that I was right 😉
Happy reading, friends!