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The Midnight Library: Predictable yet relatable


Rating: 3 out of 5.

🌸 Title: The Midnight Library
🌸 Author: Matt Haig
🌸 Release Date: September 29th, 2020 
🌸 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Retellings, Romance
🌸 A non-major spoilers review.

“It is quite a revelation to discover that the place you wanted to escape to is the exact same place you escaped from. That the prison wasn’t the place, but the perspective.”

Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

Goodreads summary:

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

My review:

This book, in every sense of the word, was predictable. I knew exactly what was going to happen at the end, and the problem with that is I think that predictable endings are boring. I did enjoy the inner monologue and revelations that Nora had at the end, but throughout they seemed…tenuous and lasted way too long. I skimmed a lot at times.

The “multiverse” reminded me too much of Marvel (the new spidey trailer, anyone?) and just confused me beyond belief because it went back and forth between just being something in her mind to being broader. I may have missed things because I found myself skimming some of the monologues she had, but still.

As someone who has had depression and anxiety, the topic of suicide is handled well by the author. I can say that at the very least.

Overall, it was mostly boring and predictable but I still liked it. It’s not something I’d wish to experience since I guess you’d have to be between living and dying, but it would be interesting to see my other lives if I had made other choices. But then I’d just be wishing for the impossible (as Nora did for a while) and realize that I needed to make a difference in my own “root life.” And that’s what we all should realize: we only have one life to live, so make it worth it!

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