Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.
But when Joey McGinty, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s back room, Lydia’s life comes unglued.
The suicide in the bookstore is what really drew me to this book. Had Joey MGinty killed himself anywhere else I may not have been interested. I liked that the suicide triggered a part of Lydia's past that she had buried and run away from. But while the plot sounded intriguing, I felt the book fell a bit flat. There were some big coincidences and the murder mystery from Lydia's past was easy to figure out. I knew who did it right away if not why.
I would have enjoyed the book more if I had found the characters more likable. While Lydia wasn't unlikable, I really didn't like some things that she did. I did like her boyfriend David, but he was mostly just a background character, and I disliked the way Lydia ended up treating him. I could sympathize with Lydia's father in the beginning but that changed later in the book. Raj was just ok and honestly came off a little creepy the way he fixated on Lydia so much. And the things that some of the people did in this book were pretty awful and sad. For the most part this was a book full of unhappy people, and that was just sort of depressing. In the end it left me feeling kind of blah.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Scribner for giving me a copy of this book.
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