Bookstores, Crushes, and Mortal Enemies by Katie Kaleski :: Review ::

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Bookstores, Crushes, and Mortal Enemies by Katie Kaleski :: Review ::

Book Info

Title: Bookstores, Crushes, and Mortal Enemies

Author: Katie Kaleski 

Publisher: Month9 Books

Published: 14 April 2020

Length: 204 pages

Keywords : Young Adult, Coming Of Age, Disabilities, Grief, Family, First Love, Romance,

Add To: Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK


Jackson Hillside just had a meet-cute made for the movies. It could have been truly epic except the other guy, Auggie, spilled coffee all over Jackson’s favorite shoes. Determined to break his streak of bad luck with dating, Jackson goes to a party where he bumps into Auggie again.

Turns out, Auggie’s pretty great, albeit a little clumsy. Things almost look promising until Jackson learns Auggie’s family was responsible for the closing of Jackson’s family’s beloved bookstore.

Jackson doesn’t need Auggie anyway. He has “He Who Writes,” a guy he met on a writing website, and someone he’s really falling for. But things get confusing when Auggie re-enters Jackson’s life, and soon, Jackson might be falling for Auggie, too.

Now, Jackson’s involved with two very different boys, one he can hang out with in real life and one he has never actually met. And, when Jackson finds out the identity of “He Who Writes,” things go from promising to catastrophic.

BOOKSTORES, CRUSHES, AND MORTAL ENEMIES is an LGBTQ+ YA book inspired by You’ve Got Mail.



This is a really well written Young Adult novel, that leaves you thinking about things slightly differently.   The themes I took from this book is forgiveness, and don’t judge a book by its cover, only in this instance it is don’t judge the boy by his parents.

Jackson is your ordinary teenager, struggling through high school with all the usual stuff that teenagers go through.  He is still grieving his Mothers death, which he partly blames on his parents being pushed to sell their book store which meant so much to his mother.

We start where Jackson meets a young man named Auggie, over a spilt cup of coffee, literally. They kind of hit it off, until Jackson finds out Auggie’s surname, which is the same name that forced his parents to sell the bookstore to Auggie’s fathers development Company.

Jackson finds it extremely difficult to date Auggie, I think out of some miss guided loyalty to his Mother.

But Auggie will not give up and slowly they build a relationship and work past the issues.  After all Who could deny Auggie, who is so caring and sweet and genuine, but also has problems of his own, not least a brain condition that  affects his life on a daily basis.

I really liked the authors writing style, with a touch of humor and a positivity.  The story is nicely paced, and both characters are strong in their own way, yet vulnerable too.

I think the book is an excellent Coming of age story with a few strong themes, especially of not judging people before you know them.

Review Rating 4 stars.

Bookstores, Crushes, and Mortal Enemies by Katie Kaleski :: Review ::

Author’s Bio

Katie Kaleski has started down many career paths and held many jobs–indie craft store clerk, pizza maker, photo developer, shoe salesperson and cashier, dental assistant in the army, daycare teacher, student teacher–but her favorite one by far is being a writer.

She’s originally from Chicago, so she says things like pop, gym shoes, and front room. Her favorite food group is sugar, and she loves writing for adults and young adults. 

Author’s Links

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