Peer Review by Ava Marie (Canada)

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Only in my Dreams | Bookshops

By: Just_A_Memory


I smiled, running a hand through my dark hair, doing a little spin in my white knee-length dress with a large brown belt around my waist to accent my curves. I stood beneath a light in a bookshop, one of those old, yellow toned lights that set that aesthetic mood. Old, dust-covered books were stacked down the aisles, their worn pages filling the room with vellichor. Fairy lights are strung up along the shelves, adding a romantic mood to the shop. My fingers brushed the spines of novels along the middle shelf of the bookcase I stood by, reading the titles and grinning until I found the one I wanted. I gently pulled in out, afraid if I pulled to hard the cover would tear. 

"Which one is that?" 

I just smiled, opening to the table of contents. Two arms looped around my waist and a cheek was pressed against mine. 

"Beauty and the Beast?" He hummed, swaying side to side with me. "Are you trying to tell me something?"

"Nope," I said spinning around in his arms and resting my forearms on his shoulders, and clasped around the back of his neck. I stared up at him lovingly, lips twisting in an effort to hide my grin. He looked at me disbelievingly. I brushed a lock of hair from his forehead. "Okay, fine. We both know you're the beauty and I'm the beast," I teased, standing on my toes to press a light kiss to the tip of his nose. He followed me as I leaned back from him, resting his forehead on mine and laughing. 

"But I bought you a book shop."

"How do I know you didn't buy it for yourself and just hired me to decorate it?" I asked, giggling as he picked me up and swung me around, a sound something from his throat. "Was that supposed to be a growl?" I laughed until I was wheezing, leaning against him for support. "You really are the beauty in our story!"

"Hey!" He laughed with me, nuzzling my hair. "Brat," he whispered into my ear. I elbowed him lightly in the ribs, pulling away from him to put the book back on the shelf. Scanning the shelf once more, I found a good title on the top shelf. Standing on my toes, I reached up as high as I could and yanked it off the shelf, grinning triumphantly at him. He looked at the cover and smiled. "Really? Where the Red Fern Grows? How many times have you read that now?"

"Don't judge me, Mister. Just because I'm read it a hundred times doesn't mean it's any less of a great story."

"Yes, but you cry every time!"

"That just goes to show how beautiful it is!" I argued, narrowing my eyes at him. "And you act as if you've never cried over it."

"I only cry because I hate seeing you cry." He grunted, reaching around me to tug another book off the shelf. "How about we read..." He looked at the title and scrunched up his nose. "What is this?"

I peered at the cover and shrugged. "A Weasel in my Meatsafe." 

"Yeah, but.. What's it about?"

"I've never read it," I said, walking to the front of the shop where a Lovesac and a bunch of fluffy blankets waited for me. 

"Want to read it to me?" he asked, following me.

I looked up at him, bewildered. "You want to read it?"

"I don't see why not," he said, shrugging.

"Okay. Remember that this was your choice! How much even is this book? I've never seen it before."

He pulled out his phone and after a moment, his eyes went wide. "Love, it's pricey."

"How pricey?"

"Like, a thousand bucks."


"You and I better see if it's really worth it and write a review," he said, lips twisting. "This book is a gem, and you better keep it protected."

He and I shared a look, and I pressed my lips together, keeping my eyes wide as I walked to the shelf behind the counter. "We're not reading this."

"What? Why?"

"Because I don't want to," I whined. "One, it doesn't look interesting. Two, I'm terrified of tearing it!"

"Fine, fine. Can we please read something else but Where the Red Fern Grows?"

"I don't understand what you have against it," I muttered. "But okay. Only if you buy lunch."

I smiled up at him, dancing away as he rolled his eyes, but I knew he was smiling when I turned around. "Only if I get to pick the place!" he called after me.

"Fine by me!"

Peer Review

This story is so cute! I loved the whole thing, the idea, the way you wrote it, the title. The whole thing was beautifully written. I would love to own this bookstore!!!

Just the comments I added in highlighter. There wasn't one thing in particular that I would say you need to work on, you are very talented!!

Reviewer Comments

This story was so good, and a pleasure to review. I hope you found this helpful, but just know that you don't have to take my suggestions if you don't want to. I hope you don't mind that I went a little hard on this piece, I know that I love it when people critique my work, and so I try my best to add as many suggestions as I can.
I can't wait to read more of your work, you are a very talented writer. Keep going!!!