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Group Read Discussions > August 2018 Group Read - Midnight at the Bright Ideas Book Store (Spoiler thread)

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message 1: by Bill, Co-Moderator (new)

Bill | 5422 comments Mod
This thread can be used for spoiler comments for those who have already finished the book.

Enjoy the discussions.


message 2: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 1 comments I really enjoyed reading this book. I like the way the author let story unfold and link using flashbacks to childhood trauma that Lydia suffered, All characters seemed to be working through some sort of trauma in their life, though not as horrific as Lydia's with Hammerman.


message 3: by Suki (last edited Aug 09, 2018 10:03AM) (new)

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 44 comments I enjoyed the book a lot, but I guess the title led me to expect something a bit different-- I thought the bookstore would be more of a character in the story, but it was just a location. I loved Joey's hidden messages in the books. Joey was my favorite character in the story; I found that I couldn't really connect with Lydia or any of the other characters except Joey. The story seemed to gently disintegrate towards the end-- once the facts lined up about the identity of the Hammerman, it didn't really seem necessary to keep reading, and (view spoiler). I'm not sure why the Epilogue was even there; (view spoiler). Having said all that, however, taking into consideration that it is a first novel, it is excellent, and I would definitely read more from this author.


message 4: by Angel (new)

Angel Hartline (angeltown) | 18 comments I liked a lot of things about this book. Review:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Suki, I also loved Joey's hidden messages, and wanted more of the bookstore. I think one of the things that bothered me most about Lydia was (view spoiler)


message 5: by Suki (new)

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 44 comments Angel wrote: "I liked a lot of things about this book. Review:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Suki, I also loved Joey's hidden messages, and wanted more of the bookstore. I think one of the ..."


Angel, I totally agree with you about (view spoiler)


message 6: by Catherine (new)

Catherine I too wanted more of the bookstore!


PattyMacDotComma | 357 comments I'm another who wanted more bookstore. I reviewed it here.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

There were lots of books, but none that had anything to do with stories, that I recall. There seemed to be boxes and shelves and stacks of books, but not much about the things that booklovers love books for. But it was a decent mystery, I think.


message 8: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Aug 19, 2018 12:50AM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 1192 comments Very disappointing read in that it was like a knitting project with a lot of dropped stitches. It wasn't bad, just it was obvious this was a first novel.

Lydia's relationship of hate to Tomas made absolutely no sense to me. Why so much overwhelming hate? None of the plot made that feeling or reaction a possibility to me. Resentment, sure. But this responsive aspect of Lydia's character made me dislike her because it made her seem like a self-centered narcissist. She was unreasonably a hater without cause that I could see, and I did not like her response to things anyway of burying her head in the sand given the author's setup of their relationship. It did not compute.

David was very cool, and why on Earth did Raj appeal to Lydia so tremendously? I do not feel the author convinced me about Lydia's sudden strong relationship with Raj. He seemed more like a faded but warmly remembered teddy bear from childhood throughout. I never felt him as someone Lydia liked a lot, but the author suddenly out of thin air said they were closer although NO part of the plot actually built up any supporting arc beyond friendship(view spoiler).

The title was completely misleading. The cover art is appealing and eye-catching, but where the frick was the store in the book? It was merely a stage prop projected on a green screen like on a movie backlot.

The bones of a good story were here, but the author often wrote so flatly with only flashes of poetic writing here and there.

Oh well, I guess this just wasn't a good one for my tastes.


message 9: by Suzy (last edited Aug 21, 2018 09:49AM) (new)

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 653 comments I read this last fall and as I said in my review, I turned pages fast and furiously up till about the last 20%. I wanted to know what happened, who Joey was, etc. I can't say I wanted more bookstore, but the cover certainly is misleading!

I felt there were so many things that were a little too pat, like Joey's origin story, Raj emerging late in the novel, the identity of Hammerman, etc. I did feel that Lydia's behavior and choices were true to the defining traumatic event in her life. Raj perhaps felt like a reconciliation for her. I wish I could remember more details, but my memory of this book plays out cinematically - more visuals than details. My review: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...

Right on the heels on reading this, I listened to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine which had in common that both main characters experienced a traumatic even when they were 10. What stood out to me is that I had a really hard time getting into Eleanor - she was so grating. But about 20% in, I became completely invested in her story. It was an interesting juxtaposition to Bright Ideas where I thought it fell apart in the end.


message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda (beaulieulinda117gmailcom) | 1366 comments I find that when these discussions come up of books that I have read I have a hard time remembering what the book was about. Maybe it's because I read so much but once I read some comments it serves as a reminder. I know at the time I really enjoyed the book.


message 11: by PattyMacDotComma (new)

PattyMacDotComma | 357 comments Linda wrote: "I find that when these discussions come up of books that I have read I have a hard time remembering what the book was about. Maybe it's because I read so much but once I read some comments it serve..."

And that explains why I've started writing pretty long reviews. They help ME remember a book and what I though of it! It's kind of awful how much I forget, but it's absolutely wonderful to be able to be reminded through my own and others' reviews.


message 12: by Suzy (new)

Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 653 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Linda wrote: "I find that when these discussions come up of books that I have read I have a hard time remembering what the book was about. Maybe it's because I read so much but once I read some com..."

Same for me!


message 13: by Catherine (new)

Catherine PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Linda wrote: "I find that when these discussions come up of books that I have read I have a hard time remembering what the book was about. Maybe it's because I read so much but once I read some com..."

Me as well! Just today I saw a friend wants to read a book I have read already, and I have no recollection of reading it! A little sad for me, in a way. I wish I could remember them all...

I'm also finding that I'm learning more about writing, while reading others' reviews, and working on my own. There is always room for growth, in life.


message 14: by Linda (new)

Linda (beaulieulinda117gmailcom) | 1366 comments Too true


message 15: by Kimiko (new)

Kimiko | 62 comments Suzy wrote: "I read this last fall and as I said in my review, I turned pages fast and furiously up till about the last 20%. I wanted to know what happened, who Joey was, etc. I can't say I wanted more bookstor..."

I have to agree with Suzy and April Does Ferrell. I didn't like Lydia at all. Granted, she went through something incredibly traumatic as a child. No one seems to ever want to get professional help...they just continue to stumble through life, wondering why they are never happy, or angry all the time,; or in Lydia's case, she blames her Father for everything (it seems) and even begins to think he might possibly BE the Hammerman.

When she does find out the truth, WHY doesn't she go tell someone? Instead, she dumps her current boyfriend in favor of her long lost childhood friend and continues to keep the secret of the identity of the Hammerman while still suffering all the consequences of his actions 20 years before.

Maybe I"m just tired of reading books with protagonists who are so emotionally damaged, that I find fault with them, rather than feel compassion for the character.


message 16: by Kim (new)

Kim (skullfullofbooks) I loved this book! I read it in the span of a 6 hour car trip and I couldn't put it down. The thing that drew me the most was the twisting plot that actually felt like a twist, and not the Gone Girl style twists where everything is so foreshadowed that by the time they shout "gotcha!" you were just begging them to move on with it.

aPriL does feral sometimes:
"I STILL couldn't see that she liked him that much. It felt like she was settling for someone who made her feel comfy like wool socks, and not someone who was knocking her socks off."

I have to agree, and I think that's what the point was. She wanted someone who didn't care about her past, and she convinced herself that her current boyfriend not only could not understand her past, but judged her for it despite him informing her he already knew. He's an "outsider" to her. I think her arc showed how maladjusted she's been ever since the trauma. She's convinced herself that she has moved on, when everything has her firmly cemented to that day. I think she picked Raj either because he is an "insider," or she remembers when he fawned over her and he still has that puppy dog air about him.

I think her father was the weirdest arc in this. He just shuts down and can't even speak with her afterwards, when she was a victim. (view spoiler) I think her hate is founded given the circumstances, but it is played up for sure.

I'm curious to see if we'll get another book by this author. Not in this series, but in general.


message 17: by Stacey B (new)

Stacey B | 9 comments I agree with your comment regarding her boyfriend.
That relationship really put me off.
I couldnt get over her father giving her a 360 after all they went through.
Though I did not love tis book, I must say the storyline was clever and current topics addressed.


message 18: by Jen (new)

Jen | 24 comments I just finished this and really liked it. I agree with everyone else's confusion about the David/Raj situation, but overall, I thought the mystery was very good and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.


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