AH. -insert dreamy sigh- You know how I’ve been whining about my reading choices this summer and how badly they were all driving me into reading slumps? Oh. My. God. This book and how much I’ve enjoyed it makes up for all of that. -more dreamy sighing-
Thing number one: While on Goodreads right now to grab a picture of the book to insert above, I discovered that the story was written originally in Spanish. I mean, I guessed that in the beginning, but since nothing seemed to hint at anything as such, I convinced myself that it’s a story written in English about Spanish people who are situated in Spain. Hmm… It’s probably stupid of me, but yeah. Anyway, this makes me admire it even more. Because here I am! I almost missed the fact that it’s translated fiction. If that does not tell you enough about how smoothly translated this piece of art is, then I don’t know what would.
Well, I’ll state it bluntly. I had a couple of problems with this book. My first obstacle was the fact that the story very often got steamy and a bit graphic. As I’ve mentioned before, such intimate bits irk me, so there was that. Then, sometimes, I felt that things got into a little bit into too much detail. And I only decided to put that out there first to get it out of the way so I can freely rave and ramble about how much I enjoyed this beautiful world, and to inform you all that these things don’t matter much when the likable things out do them.
I’ll give you a short, simple synopsis so you can know what we’re all about here. Little boy likes to read. Little boy’s father takes little boy to this secret book heaven place where the little boy obtains a rare book, which the boy loves. Then, scary person wants to burn this rare book and threatens to kill the boy if he doesn’t give away the book. Then madness ensues. YEY!
Let’s first discuss how beautifully this story is crafted. Its sentences are pure brilliance, so carefully arranged, and so descriptive. They have this classic essence to them, which is what initially drew me into it, classics being my favourite course to tread. It unfolds like historical fiction… not that I ever read historical fiction, but this is what it felt like to me. I could see things in sepia, and feel the old streets of Barcelona around me infesting my thoughts for hours after putting the book down. Ah. It was just perfect for me.
And the characters. Before we get too far into this point, let’s all take a moment to appreciate faithful best friends, whom without the heroes of all books would never accomplish their missions. So here’s to Ronald Weasley, Nick Carraway, Gale Hawthorne, the Colonel, and finally, my new favourite character in the world, Miquel Moliner of the Shadow of the Wind. Oh my! Oh my! I almost cried because of him. Not that the scene was tragic or anything, but I really just wanted to hug him and tell him, “Dude, you’re a beautiful person. Thank God people like you exist.”
The thing about these characters is that they’re real; they have lots of flaws, and common virtues. None of them insanely tip the scale to one side (except maybe one character), and you end up wanting to explore every character so you can know what twist will the author put on them. I got sucked into their lives the way our main character, the little boy, Daniel did. They’re also really fleshed out and you’re given the chance to get to know them in depth that at some points, you can tell who is speaking without having the author indicate it.
The most important and notable thing about this book, and perhaps the thing that attracted me to it in the first place is the fact that it’s a book about books. Most of the characters are book lovers, so you can trust them to be intellectual, smart, and witty. But what really gripped me is how this book discussed a young boy’s relationship with an author he admires. We all have favourite authors and deep attachments to certain books, and to have their stories and their lives collide with ours outside the pages of the book… it’s a dream that we ardent readers all share, I believe. And what was done so skillfully here was making this dream come true for the main character whom you’ll probably see a bit of yourself in because of the book-loving aspect you have in common.
I’ve said this before in previous reviews (Kafka on the Shore, 84 Charring Crossroad, and Fahrenheit 451), and I’m saying it again. Books about books rule. They’re perfection.
Lastly, I would like to mention how I admire the ending. It just suited the book’s style and pace, and I believe it was well-earned by the characters. And I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series. I’m super thrilled about it! YAY for having a new series to lookout for finishing.
As always, I hope to write to y’all again soon.
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