Reading slumps: who here hates them? *puts both hands up* Recently, I had the misfortune to be in a slump for what felt forever… until I read Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles.
Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles
Publication Date: 14th June 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Kindle edition
Synopsis: Bennett’s Bookshop has always been a haven for sixteen-year-old Paige Turner. It’s a place where she can escape from her sleepy hometown, hang out with her best friend, Holly, and also earn some money. But, like so many bookshops, Bennett’s has become a ‘casualty of the high street’ – it’s strapped for cash and going to be torn down. Paige is determined to save it but mobilising a small town like Greysworth is no mean feat.
Time is ticking – but that’s not the only problem Paige has. How is she going to fend off the attractions of beautiful fellow artist, Blaine? And, more importantly, will his anarchist ways make or break her bookshop campaign?
I had been wanting to read Bookshop Girl ever since I clapped eyes on that gorgeous yellow cover, but I kept talking myself out of buying it. Past Me is an idiot. The author, Chloe Coles, walked past me at YALC but I didn’t have the guts to say hello, or buy a copy of her book to get signed. On the train home from YALC, I decided to bite the bullet and finally buy a copy of Bookshop Girl; opting for the Kindle version so I had it on my device instantly. Even though I got it in a matter of minutes, it’s taken me until now to finally sit down and read it. Bookshop Girl is one of Georgia‘s favourite books ever, so it’s fair to say I had some high expectations going in!
I’m running late. Not that I’m actually running. I don’t think I’ve ever run in my entire life.
When Head Office visit and announce Bennett’s Bookshop is closing in a matter of weeks, Paige Turner (yes, that is her real name) is determined to prevent it from becoming another depressing statistic. With the support of her best friend Holly and the local Life Drawing group, Paige hatches a plan to save the bookshop from demolition. Can she pull it off, or will she be distracted by the charms of anarchist Blaine?
As said above, I have been in a bit of a reading slump recently, but Bookshop Girl snapped me right out of it and put a smile on my face at the same time. At 240 pages, it is a shorter book than what I am used to reading in the YA genre, but it also meant it was perfect for reading in one sitting on a Sunday morning.
Paige Turner is a likeable heroine, and her narration is funny and fresh. With plenty of “oh em gees’ and “defos“ scattered throughout the dialogue, this book is ideal for the younger end of YA. However, on the other hand, I think anyone who loves books will find something to enjoy here. I also loved the idea of the Life Drawing group: Sue is the hero I didn’t know I needed.
It is evident how much love Chloe Coles has for books, reading and bookselling, as it shines through the pages. Even though Bookshop Girl is a work of fiction, the tales of shop closures and library cuts are happening up and down the country today, and I hope Bookshop Girl inspires a generation of book lovers to stand up and fight for their right to read. For me, after I read Bookshop Girl, I began to daydream about my own independent bookshop; perhaps I need to awaken my inner Paige Turner and make this a reality.
Books are an escape route. A refuge. They can be a connection to a stranger, someone you’ve never met, who writes something that you hadn’t considered anyone in the world to have felt but you.
After reading Bookshop Girl, I’m even more excited to dive into its sequel Bookshop Girl: Life’s a Beach. Let me tell you, I will be gobbling that up within the next few days. I have a feeling Chloe Coles is going to be an author to watch in the next year or two: mark my words.