Hey, internet people! Many of you know that the latter half of May and first half of June were a very difficult time for me for a thousand reasons. 2016 started to feel like a perpetual nightmare and my reading slowed down. But over the past couple of weeks I’ve finally been able to get back in touch with my reading life, and it’s been a fantastic couple of books for me (both got 5 stars on Goodreads and a lot of laugh out loud moments). Let’s talk about The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.
So, it’s been a while since I’ve fallen in love with a book. Head over heels madly in love. But almost the moment I started reading The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend the writing style pulled me in and I couldn’t stop reading. I stayed up late two nights in a row to finish this one and felt frequently sad that I was reading a free ebook through Hoopla and couldn’t underline the plentiful amazing lines I came across. I laughed, I cried, I walked around with the Hoopla app open on my phone… a regular reader love story.
I can’t exactly say why I loved this book so much, especially since it took me so long to get around to reading it. The bookternet certainly kept telling me it was good, but the premise didn’t really grab me: it’s about a young woman from Sweden who takes a trip to Broken Wheel, Iowa to visit an older woman who has become her bookish penpal. The catch is that, when she gets there, her penpal has died. The town takes her in and she ends up starting a weird little bookstore with Amy’s books. Super weird, and yet… I couldn’t stop reading. The characters in the town are so well drawn, each having their own unique stories and histories. There’s a shifting perspective between different town members, too, which is something I can never get enough of. At the end of the day, no matter how much time I’ve spent running from it, the truth is that I just love a good love story with a happy ending.
That said, the happy ending seemed to come about pretty abruptly. One minute I was enjoying the climactic love declaration and the next minute we skipped ahead to the epilogue “Happily Ever After.” Of course, for some reason, I generally just hate epilogues as a construct. The tying together of ends, the way it so often glosses over what’s happening with each character in alarmingly broad strokes… I prefer a good, solid one line ending any day.
All that said, I’m so happy to have finally picked up this strange, beautiful book. I can see myself buying a print copy just so I can reread with a pen in hand, saving all of the delicious little lines for future perusal.