Book Review: The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson

Posted November 2, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 45 Comments

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Shauna Robinson
Publication Date November 1, 2022
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Genres: Fiction / African American & Black / Women, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Romance / African American & Black, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / New Adult, Fiction / Women
Pages: 336
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

I, Maggie Banks, solemnly swear to uphold the rules of Cobblestone Books.

If only, I, Maggie Banks, believed in following the rules.

When Maggie Banks arrives in Bell River to run her best friend's struggling bookstore, she expects to sell bestsellers to her small-town clientele. But running a bookstore in a town with a famously bookish history isn't easy. Bell River's literary society insists on keeping the bookstore stuck in the past, and Maggie is banned from selling anything written this century. So, when a series of mishaps suddenly tip the bookstore toward ruin, Maggie will have to get creative to keep the shop afloat.

And in Maggie's world, book rules are made to be broken.

To help save the store, Maggie starts an underground book club, running a series of events celebrating the books readers actually love. But keeping the club quiet, selling forbidden books, and dodging the literary society is nearly impossible. Especially when Maggie unearths a town secret that could upend everything. 

Maggie will have to decide what's more important: the books that formed a small town's history, or the stories poised to change it all.

The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson is a fun, bookish book, set in a small town with interesting, relatable characters.  I read this book with a big smile on my face.  

Story Recap: 

Maggie Banks hasn’t figured out her life yet, she jumps from job to job and finds herself still living with her parents.  So when her friend invites her to Bell River to run her little bookshop, Maggie jumps at the chance to take some time to figure out her life.  She expects to sell modern books to the residents of Bell River, but when she gets there, she finds out she can only sell books published prior to this century.  

The bookstore is already having financial issues before she gets there, and then when she makes some mistakes,  she puts the bookstore on the road to financial ruin.  She doesn’t want to disappoint her friend who is on maternity leave, so she finds some creative ways to sell more modern books to the good residents of Bell River.  But, selling banned books under the nose of the strict town historian is a recipe for disaster.  

My Thoughts: 

I read the previous book by Shauna Robinson, Must Love Book, and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it.  But, I loved this second book.  It’s everything I want in a bookish book.  A cute bookstore, with a book-loving main character, a handsome love interest who also loves books, and a small town full of book lovers.  

Maggie is a bit of a mess, but also adorable.  She has no idea of the power she has in bringing people together and she’s convinced herself that she’s not a success.  I loved her energy, her wit, and her courage.  She’s someone I could be best friends with.  Malcolm, her love interest is the opposite.  He’s a rule follower, and a bit shy, but, together they make a wonderful match.  She brings out his fun side, and he keeps her grounded and gives her the support and encouragement she needs.  


I highly recommend The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks to anyone who enjoys romantic comedy.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Shauna Robinson

Shauna Robinson’s love of books led her to try a career in publishing before deciding she’d rather write books instead. Originally from San Diego, she now lives in Virginia with her husband and their sleepy greyhound. Shauna is an introvert at heart—she spends most of her time reading, baking, and figuring out the politest way to avoid social interaction. Must Love Books is her debut novel.

Have you read The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks?

45 responses to “Book Review: The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson

  1. This sounds so good! I feel like there is a bit of a balance when the main character is a bit of a mess. Sometimes they can be too over the top chaotic and that can be annoying but it sounds the author did a great job here. I’m adding to my TBR!

  2. Well I was sold on the book about books and struggling bookshop premise and Maggie sounds like a good character. Then you end with recommend for “romantic comedy”. I just finished Beach Read and it was too much romance for me; don’t think I’m ready for another sweet romance right now but I’ll put it on the back burner as a ‘maybe’. Great review.

  3. Sounds lovely. Always good to have a book set around a bookstore and book lovers. Enjoyed reading your thoughts on this one🙂🙂

  4. This sounds so fun! I’d love to run a bookshop, especially one in a quaint town, so the premise immediately appeals to me. 🙂 Although of course here she has a few obstacles, sounds like! 🙂

  5. Joanna @ TheGeekishBrunette

    Glad you enjoyed this one too! It was such a surprising read for me. I loved it.