Tanya considers herself to be a very unremarkable woman living a very unremarkable life. With no real friends or lovers, her cat Tolstoy and her books are her most faithful companions. A new bookstore called The Enchanted Page opens in her small town. When she meets Elle, the owner, she is instantly infatuated with the woman who looks like the hero straight off the pages of a Nordic adventure story.
Elle has no intention of settling down anytime soon. She plays fast and loose with women because in her world the person you love most can be taken from you in the blink of an eye. Besides, Elle has a lot on her plate. She is getting ready to face her fiercest foe; a man who wants to see her stripped of her magical powers. Yes, Elle is a magician specializing in book magic.
When Tanya agrees to help Elle in her quest to safeguard her powers and reform the magic world, will she discover that there is nothing quite as magical as love?
Tanya is a shy and retiring computer whiz who isn’t aware of her physical beauty or her charming personality. She has spent most of her life hiding away in books where she can live exciting and memorable lives vicariously through the main characters. She seems content enough with her cat Tolstoy and is resigned to life as a single lesbian in a small town. Once she meets Elle she has the opportunity to embark on an exciting and magical adventure. It was wonderful to watch Tanya bloom into a confident and courageous woman. I couldn’t help but like Tanya. As a fellow book addict, I found myself wondering what I would do if I was offered the opportunity to jump into one of my favorite books. (As soon as a gorgeous book magician walks through my front door and does exactly that, I’ll let you all know!)
Elle is tall, blonde, and wow. She’s not just a gorgeous magician who is able to see past Tanya’s demure façade. She also takes her job as a book magician very seriously. Elle isn’t happy with the sexist and homophobic turn the Wizard’s Council has taken and she thinks that Tanya is the one person who can shake things up and help topple the patriarchy. Elle is always charming and confident, but it’s when she’s acting like a put-upon teenager with her mother that I found her to be the most irresistible. (I’m so excited I finally got to include the phrase, “topple the patriarchy” in one of my reviews!)
The Writing Style
The story is written from both Tanya’s and Elle’s points of view. I think this suited the story nicely because each woman has her own unique view of her own unique world. If the book had been told just from Tanya’s point of view, I would have missed out on all of Elle’s musings about the world of the “nonmags”. The plot moves at a fast clip because the women need to act quickly in order to thwart the villain’s plans so that Elle isn’t stripped of her magical powers.
Part of the charm of this story is that Mori has the characters jumping in and out of some of her own books. The Book Addict is a stand-alone novel, but if you have read some of her other books, it’s like you’re part of an inside joke.
Mori infuses this story with a group of wonderful side characters. Elle’s mother, aunt and other friends keep the story light with their comical assumptions about the nonmagical world. Their constant bickering and non-sequiturs felt like a holiday party where my wacky grandmother had one too many glasses of wine. Their comradery kept a smile on my face. Mori also created a perfect villain who just so happens to be a thinly veiled version of a current world leader who is hell bent on disenfranchising the women and the LGBTQ community of the magic world. When you mix five feisty female magicians and one evil megalomaniac, sparks fly.
The only con I have is that I wish Mori had let the characters spend more time inside the books they were hopping in and out of. I love this premise and I just wanted more.
If you’re still reading this review, I have a feeling that you may be a fellow book addict. This story spoke to my love of reading and the safety and comfort I find in my favorite books. I devoured this book in a day not just because of the magical adventure, but also because Mori deftly makes this a relevant social and political commentary while keeping it fun.
Excerpt from The Book Addict by Annette Mori
“So…Tanya, tell me your most outrageous fantasy.”
“You know, something you wish would happen to you.”
The words came out uncensored. “To meet a beautiful bookstore owner who falls madly in love with me and takes me on a magical adventure.” When Elle tilted her head and those amazing eyes swirled again, Tanya quickly amended, “Kidding.”
Her internal temperature rose again, and a droplet of sweat began to travel down her temple. Elle reached up and brushed away the dewy offender with the tips of her fingers and pushed back a stray wisp of hair. “Hmmm, you will have an adventure, Tanya, I promise you that. Tempting. Very tempting. I haven’t joined someone in a magical journey in a very long time. We may have to see what the fates have in store for us.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781988549774
- Publisher: Affinity Rainbow Publications
Annette Mori Online
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