Aaron’s parents own a bookstore, Bluebird Books. An “asteroid” has hit, and Aaron’s mother quickly left town. Ownership of the store has been transferred to Aaron, and he chooses to run the store with his father, Ira. As a child, Aaron loved to read, but he can no longer stomach any books after the asteroid. To Aaron, Bluebird Books has been failing for a long time. The shelves and books are crumbling, and customers are pretty much nonexistent. When he finds some overdue credit card statements, IRS filing notices, and less-than-stellar bank statements, it is settled. Aaron is going to sell the store. He makes a deal with town local Penny and delays telling his father about the sale for as long as he can.
We learn that the asteroid causing so much turmoil in Aaron’s life is the death of his brother, Sandy. Sandy was an addict who accepted help from no one. One of Sandy’s friends, Chad, sees Aaron in town and attempts to spark a friendship. Chad is in a wheelchair, and the entrance to Bluebird Books consists of stairs only. Three men (Ike, Richie, and Garry) see Chad and Aaron trying to make a ramp to the store out of rotted plywood. They bring back better quality wood and install a ramp for free. The men continue to return to the store, and their good deeds amount to a full renovation. Chad even offers to make a database system for digital inventory and bookselling online. Ira so badly wants to give the bookstore a second chance and agrees to pay the men in coffee. Aaron, however, is convinced it is a false deal. Are these men in it for tricks?
We also have the story of Hannah. Chad doesn’t have a lot of friends, so he asks Aaron to a Beethoven’s Anvil show. There he meets singer Hannah Crew and feels an instant attraction to her. The chronicles of Aaron and Chad are super fun and include sneaking across the Canadian border without a passport to attend one of Hannah’s shows. I absolutely LOVED this story and the rowdy, hilarious characters in it. It really made me wish we had a family-owned bookstore in town. I will be adding Gayle Forman to my auto-buy authors list!