Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Author: Katarina Bivald
Publisher: Vintage
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Sara has never left Sweden but at the age of 28 she decides it’s time. She cashes in her savings, packs a suitcase full of books and sets off for Broken Wheel, Iowa, a town where she knows nobody.

Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop.

With a little help from the locals, Sara sets up Broken Wheel’s first bookstore. The shop might be a little quirky but then again, so is Sara. And as Broken Wheel’s story begins to take shape, there are some surprises in store for Sara too…
This was a really cute and simple read. Sara Lindqvist leaves her home country of Sweden to visit her American pen pal Amy Harris from the small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa. On arrival, Sara discovers that Amy had died and so the story follows the effect that Sara's presence has on the town and the inhabitants. Bookshops and the love of reading is a prevailing theme.

I love books about books, and so I expected to absolutely adore this one. Although I did enjoy how books were incorporated in this story, I found the story a bit odd.

Sara makes it her mission to share her love of books with the residents, as no-one in the town really reads and that part of the book was good. Where this book faltered for me was the focus on a rather bland romance, in my opinion, as well as a bizarre subplot of another romance between two of the residents that made me physically cringe.

I also found that a lot of the characters in Broken Wheel seemed a bit like caricatures. For example, there is the uptight and judgemental church member, and a tough waitress who likes to smoke and carry guns. The romance was cute I guess if quite unbelievable but really I wasn't too impressed by the plot overall. It was a bit too simple and sugary sweet for my tastes. There were points where I felt this book dragged which is never a good thing and unfortunately I just never really cared all that much about Sara or the residents of Broken Wheel. This is by no means a bad book, just not for me.

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