3 1/2 Stars, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence

Madam Librarian

I have a love affair with libraries. For a book lover libraries are like a little bit of heaven on earth. My second year at university I felt like I won the lottery when I got a job on the super secret sixth floor of our campus library which contained the catalog department. Not only did they work around my class schedule, but I got to sit at a computer listening to books on tape as I cataloged incoming books. I worked there for the majority of my university experience and still fondly think of it as one of my favorite jobs. When I came across the opportunity to read a book about a librarian, I thought it was kismet.

Check Me Out by Becca Wilhite is about Greta, the librarian.

“Greta loves her job as assistant librarian. She loves her best friend, Will. She even loves her mother despite her obvious disappointment that Greta is still single. 

Then she meets Mac in the poetry section of the library, and she is smitten. The only problem is that he seems to be a different person in his texts than in his face-to-face conversation.

When the Franklin Library is threatened with closure, Greta leaps into action. Through it all, she slowly realizes that it is Will, not Mac, who she turns to for support and encouragement. Mac has the looks; Will has the heart. How can she choose between them?”

This book might seem like just another chick-lit on the surface, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover…or it’s description. Underneath the love triangle and the save the library campaign is the subtle imagery that things aren’t always what they appear.

Reading the first few chapters I thought it was kind of odd, we are given detailed descriptions of Mac and Marigold, and a general lack of description of any one else. Then there was a moments when I read this line, “And you can quote the first African-American woman mayor of Franklin on that.” And I realized this whole time the mayor is not only a woman but an African American woman. Then it hits you, this is brilliant writing! The technique Becca uses to subtlety portray that what you thought was, isn’t, caught me by surprise.

I usually want to connect with character’s, love them along in their growth, not want to strangle them. I admit there were times I wanted to strangle Greta. Then I realized, I was doing the same thing. I had been making assumptions about different characters the entire book. Admittedly my assumptions about Mac were spot on, but I think that was the point. There were a few other moments that though not astounding, added more beautiful plot devices to help people see that everyone has a story, everyone has life inside them that we may not understand until we get to know them. That was a remarkable message to read and a clever way to tell it.

I fetl like the chapter transitions were a little choppy, and sometimes the texts were a little too cheesy for my taste, but I would definitely recommend this cute read. –N.C.


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