Aminah Mae Safi’s This Is All Your Fault presents an enticing premise: a book about three girls trying to save their independent bookstore from closing in the course of one day? Paired with that cover? There are just so many exciting ways this book could go. Unfortunately, it remained just that: a premise with more exciting possibilities in its conception than in its execution.
This Is All Your Fault centers three girls who work together at Wild Nights Bookstore—Rinn Olivera, Daniella Korres, and Imogen Azar. They are left reeling when they find out their beloved bookstore is closing. Far from friends, the three realize they have to work together if they want any chance at saving Wild Nights Bookstore. Enemies-to-lovers? Try enemies-to-friends.
Except. . .there’s no reason for them to be enemies in the first place.
Rinn is a popular influencer in the book community. Daniella posts poetry anonymously on the Instagram account anachronisticblonde. Imogen is an avid reader, who is struggling to find a way to be okay. With this cast of characters, This Is All Your Fault had the potential to be a beautiful love letter to the book community. The focus on these three young women and the development of their relationship feels like it was intended to be an empowered feminist narrative. Instead, for much of the book, the main characters dislike each other for no real reason. I mean, Imogen and Daniella disliked Rinn purely for her positivity. Daniella emulates the “I’m edgy and not like other girls” character trope. For much of the book, there seems to be an unnecessary digression from the plot that drags the reader away from the story they signed up for. Consequently, much of the action is condensed toward the end, which threw off the pacing of the book.
Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing—I found it difficult to get into the book because of its writing style. It felt like something was missing that threw the book off and made it difficult to feel drawn into the believability of the story. I struggled to accept the identified solution to the problem, and it didn’t really work for the time frame of the book. Though the high-stakes nature of saving the bookstore over one day seems exciting, it didn’t work as well in execution for This Is All Your Fault.
With that being said, it was interesting to see the characters that visited the bookstore. The male coworkers and their manager Jo are not given as much attention in the plot to save the store, but the relationships the Wild Nights Bookstore employees develop makes it feel more like a community. After Imogen, Rinn and Daniella move past their initial mutual dislike, they have important conversations that help them re-evaluate their initial assumptions and develop as individuals. As much as they could in the course of one day, anyways.
If you are looking for a lighthearted or fast-paced read, then Aminah Mae Safi’s This Is All Your Fault may not be the book for you. While it seems like an enticing narrative, the book ultimately failed to deliver on its expectations. However, I will still be checking out Aminah Mae Safi’s previous two books, Not the Girls You’re Looking For and Tell Me How You Really Feel.