Book Review: The Library By The River by Debra Flores

Release Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Self

Good Lord, that hurt.

This somber love story is set in 1985 and no amount of cheesy movies or Aqua Net can provide consolation.

Beth is attending college in Texas. The campus library has too many distractions so she chooses to frequent the public library downtown. But the joke is on her because she finds a completely different type of distraction in the form of a new librarian.

What this author does really well is put you right smack dab within the timeline of her stories. Describing hairstyle, clothing, and providing pop culture references made me so nostalgic for growing up during the 80’s.

I enjoyed the supporting cast of characters. They were all so different, vibrant, and original. The uptight librarian. The love-sick best friend. The hippie-phobic and wheelchair bound library companion.

In the beginning, I felt all those giddy feelings right along with Beth. I read so many books and none have done a more realistic job of demonstrating that awkward initial crush stage. Did she look at me a certain way? What did she mean by that? Is she interested… maybe? Of course not. Should I or shouldn’t I? Guhh!

There isn’t much I can say about the plot without revealing important things that make this journey reverent. I will just tell you that it made me giddy, happy, indignant, irate, and desolate.

And I have to sing praises to the author for providing sexiness and intimate connection without being explicit.

I would have given this 5 stars except that it felt like there was an imbalance of narrative vs. dialogue. Sometimes I found myself skimming paragraphs that didn’t seem necessary to the overall direction of the story. And while the dialogue was good, it was sometimes confusing as to who was saying what as the same person would have dialogue two paragraphs in a row instead of alternating.

I recommend this to people who like to ready about romance, libraries, coming out, the 80’s, unrequited love, gay oppression, literature, ugly crying, and pocket-less zipper clothing

P.S. Did I miss the explanation of how the mother finally came around in 4 years (which was 2 years too late)?

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