BOOKS, BEANS & BREWS: The Lost Bookshop

The bookstore midnight release party is back in Kenosha!

By Samantha Jacquest

Samantha Jacquest is the owner of Blue House Books, Kenosha's full-service independent bookstore in Downtown Kenosha. Sam loves sharing her love of books with the community and bringing in popular and local authors for events. When not at her shop, Sam enjoys traveling and spending time Downtown with her friends, family, and rescue dog Flash.

If you have been an avid book reader for more than 20 years, you may remember the excitement and anticipation of a new Harry Potter release, and more specifically, a Harry Potter midnight release party!

Fans would line up outside their local bookstores to be one of the first to get their hands on the latest fantasy adventure. Some stores would even host parties, planning activities, crafts, and providing treats, then handing the book out as soon as the clock struck midnight.

Was there anything more exciting, no matter how old you were?! Perhaps it’s the fact that, before Blue House Books, Kenosha hasn’t had a full-service independent bookstore in a while, but it seems not since the early 2000’s have we had a book that has garnered such enthusiasm to get children and adults alike staying up way past bedtimes for a book… until now.

With hugely popular fantasy books such as Iron Flame and House of Flame and Shadow, the bookstore midnight release party is back in Kenosha! Blue House Books hosted a celebration for the Fourth Wing sequel release in November and it was a hit! Guests played trivia based on Rebecca Yarros’ hugely successful fantasy books, took a quiz to find out which quadrant they would belong to if they were in the Empyrean world, and enjoyed dragon cookies! Then right at midnight, BHB staff revealed copies of Iron Flame and handed out books to excited readers as they raced home to start reading.

We’ll be doing a similar event for the midnight release of House of Flame and Shadow by Sarah J Maas, book three in the Crescent City series, on the night of January 29th. At the time of writing this article we still had a few spots available, so hurry to our website to check out the details and register! Blue House Books will be carrying the Indie Exclusive Edition with extra content that is only available from copies sold at participating independent bookstores. Even if you’re not able to attend the event, be sure to secure your Indie Exclusive Edition by reserving in store or online.

But if you just can’t wait that long and need a fantastic book to read right now, then I have a great recommendation for you! I just finished The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods this morning and I’m in love! This was a delightfully magical story about a young Irish woman who is escaping a life of abuse and comes to find she has a bigger destiny than she could have ever dreamed possible. Told in dual timelines, we follow Martha and Opaline as they escape their pasts and become the hero in their own stories. Both are drawn to a quiet street in Dublin where a lost bookshop is waiting to be found, and the magic that it provides will save both their lives.

If you need a charming magical read, this is the book for you! The Lost Bookshop has the perfect amount of substance without being a heavy read. This is also a great book if you’re not into high fantasy novels, but you still want something magical. I absolutely fell in love with Martha and Opaline, both women having astounding courage and persistence when they decided to take their lives back. I felt the author did a fantastic job respecting the characters’ trauma while making sure her characters were not defined by it. I listened to this book on, and all three narrators were fantastic.

I went to BLAK Coffee in Downtown Kenosha to ask for a warm and cozy drink to go with this warm and cozy drink, and DeShaun came up with the weekly BHB special, a caramel apple dirty chai! He made mine with oat milk and it’s amazing! Fantastically sweet and warm, just like this novel. Be sure to stop into BLAK Coffee this week and every week and support one of my favorite locally-owned coffee shops!