Cover Image: The Boy with the Bookstore

The Boy with the Bookstore

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Member Reviews

I have a weird relationship with this book, I didn't totally hate it but at the same time I didn't love it. It was a fun and nice read but I couldn't connect with the story or the characters. It's not a bad book, I actually enjoyed Sarah's writing and the character's evolution, just couldn't connect with them. I would totally recommend this book to others! It just wasn't for me for some reason :(
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i wanted to like this book - bakery! bookstore! what's not to love - but i couldn't shake the feeling that these two characters just didn't like each other very much. not exactly conducive to a romance. beyond that, i felt their do-gooding and other people's actions felt unrealistic and kind of cartoonish. in short, this one just didn't work for me!
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Unfortunately this book was not for me. It felt like reading two very wordy, repetitive, teenagers’ diaries at all times. The dialogue felt completely unrealistic and the characters’ behaviour was very immature considering their supposed ages. The entire book felt very cringey and like it needed a complete overhaul. For every one line of dialogue there was an additional paragraph of the character’s thoughts and feelings. It was very “telling not showing” - and sometimes things were repeated over and over. I don’t know how many times it was mentioned that Reggie was a part timer Max hired, as though this hadn’t already been made clear multiple times. And it seemed to be a pattern through the book of providing extended details about things that already happened in the book, as though the reader might forget what they just read a chapter ago. It also all seemed so unrealistic. There was always something that just happened to pop up to either create conflict or improve things. A contractor mistakenly taking out an entire wall between two shops? Whoops, just ripped out an entire wall during this months long renovation and I guess we’ll leave it that way! It made the whole story seem chaotic, because at any time the author could just throw in some random unrealistic event to try to make things more dramatic or interesting, and it ended up having the opposite effect because I lost interest very fast.
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Sarah never fails to make me fall in love with a new couple. I loved the premise of next door business owners falling in love and honestly this story made me crave all things ube. The hamster moments had me laughing and I was so proud of the lead when she put her foot down when being mistreated. I think a lot of people think that just because people can be kind and some exude sunshine energy, they assume they can treat them however they want. Truly enjoyed this one!
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Thank you PRH International for this gifted copy!

The Boy With the Bookstore was a similarly amusing read. It tells the story of Joelle, an aspiring baker who owns the bakery cafe next door to Max, the hot, tattooed bookstore owner. Max and Joelle have been working next door to each other for a year and a half and have had crushes on each other without knowing. They've been having minor flirting until, after a couple of whiskies, they share their feelings for each other with steamy scenes. When their landlord informs them that they must vacate their spaces for renovation work, Fate steps in, and he arranges for them to share space behind the building. When they work closely together, things get interesting.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was an adorable read with a bit of depth, in my opinion. Throughout the story, I was a big fan of how the grumpy/sunshine trope was handled. Other tropes that appeared that I enjoyed were forced proximity and miscommunication. It was also much steamier than I had anticipated. It also had a lot of family dynamics. It was wonderful to see such a loving and caring family. Joelle's family spoke to me a lot because I grew up in the same culture, in a typical Filipino family that values relationships despite how toxic they can be at times. It has shared each family member's perseverance in the face of challenges. This book had some great elements, but it also had some that disappointed me. I enjoyed reading about them and watching them grow as individuals. I enjoy books about coffee, baked goods, and, of course, books.
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This was just okay for me. I didn't connect with the story or the characters. I know others loved it. It just didn't work and wasn't for me.
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I really enjoyed the whole opposite attract vibe going on here. I like how Prima is a good girl who does a lot for her family and Max is well... the exact opposite. It takes someone like Prima to get him to see how to change is good in his life.
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Advanced Review Copy | I loved the cute pets, Joelle's family, and the bookstore and bakery combination.

However, like others have said, Joelle and Max's relationship felt a bit like whiplash and was one too many on-again, off-again scenarios - with not a lot of substance in between.

More so for me, while the characters are in their 30s, everything read as quite immature, and minus the sex scenes, I would have thought this was a YA story.

I enjoyed On Location and Simmer Down so much more, but The Boy With the Bookstore was still an endearing and quick read.

Thank you to NetGalley & Berkley for a free advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Find our full review on The Uncorked Librarian here: https://www.theuncorkedlibrarian.com/upcoming-new-book-releases-2022/
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This was very middle of the road for me. There were aspects where I was like this could be the hallmark movie of my dreams, but that unfortunately fell flat for me because at times they were just frustratingly immature and standoffish which made it not so fun to read at times. I think that as a whole this is good for readers who sort of like the rollercoaster or like to loathe to like to love, but for me I wanted a bit more.
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I am loving the trend of all these romances that take place in a bookstore or a library and this book fits perfectly in the genre! Sarah Echavarre Smith developed a great little romcom!

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review!
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I always like a book about books -- and baking? I'm in. This is super swoonworthy, cheesy in a way I found really fun.
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This book was kinda hard for me to enjoy. I thought the forced proximity seemed just TOO unrealistic, the characters weren’t very likable and their attraction didn’t seem believable either. Overall a miss for me.
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This book had a lot of things going for it. A bookstore, a cafe, forced proximity, enemies to lovers (or friends to enemies to friends to enemies to lovers?), and a diverse cast. I was instead left reading about the immature ramblings of the female main character and the emotionally abusive whiplash from the male main character. I stopped reading at 30% after the MMC was an asshole and the FMC did everything to make him not mad at her.
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I really couldn't get into this romance.  Max is a jerk and Joelle is a martyr.  I wanted her to stand up for herself and punch him in the face, not kiss him.  Hard to root for characters you don't like.
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I really enjoyed this book! It was cute and as a first gen it hit home on a lot of fronts in terms of being their family but also trying to be there for yourself. It's hard to balance what you want versus what you know your family needs/deserves. Also I'm a sucker for a grump and books that involve food.
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I really wanted to like this one, but it ultimately fell flat.  A third round purchase for most libraries, may be a better purchase for libraries with a hallmark type interest.
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This book was a lot of fun! I enjoyed getting to know the characters. I enjoyed the forced proximity and the challenges it brought., i felt like it really sucked me into the situations and the story. This book is a quick read.
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This was such a mesmerising book. One Hui aid the dual POVs and how the relationship between  Joelle and Max. The difference between the character and combination of a bakery and bookstore drew me in. Loved their passion in their work and can’t wait to read more of the author’s books.
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A bookseller and a baker that are business neighbours and long term acquaintances finally give into their mutual attraction but life in general keeps getting in the way. I love the premise and idea behind Max and Joelle’s romance but felt like their romance was a bit whiplash-y. Maxs backstory was so heartbreaking and tender, I thought it was almost ruined by the fact that him and Joelle were so quick to call it off all the time. Clearly his trauma was running his life still, I think the plot should have focused more on that and less on the trivial.
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The Cover is amazing. The Plot and idea solid but I did not love it. I Liked it. It was a nice fun read.
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