Sometimes you read books that you need to finish once you start them, and I seem to have a knack of finding such books lately. Today’s featured book – The Library of Lost Things – definitely fits the bill, though it was vastly different from another book reviewed recently – A Wish in the Dark; which was also one I needed to finish as soon as I started reading it (And then I was sad I had!)
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The Book Review
The Library of Lost Things
Fangirl meets Jane Austen in this deeply heartfelt love story about hiding the worst parts of ourselves, and the people who love us anyway.
“How could I open that door and let him see the messiest part of me?”
From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary.
But then Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide behind her carefully constructed ink-and-paper wall.
Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.
The Library of Lost Things is one that leaves you with a whole library of feelings. It is a wonderful combination of family drama, new loves and old friendships, the escape found in books, mental health issues, and so much more. Each and every one of these elements meld together like magic under Namey’s pen. You can even say it is a serious teenage rom-com with all the sweetness you can expect along with many heart-warming as well as heart-breaking moments.
We go along on a beautiful journey of a story; that of Darcy, a girl who lives within books, and who gets all she needs from the words within them.
“I had enough literature inside me to recite it by heart; a storehouse of pages and passages.”
And we rejoice and cheer as she steps out of those bookish walls and into the real world. (Not really a spoiler!!)
What I Loved
The Bookish References
- The cover and the title of the book
- Each chapter’s title and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter, ranging from Austen to Hawthorne to Shakespeare, and of course, J.M.Barrie
- That awesome thing that was the story within a story within this story; or rather the book within a book within this book; the parallels drawn between that story within (of Peter Pan) and Darcy’s story.
The Characters and Their Relationships
- Marisol (Darcy’s bff) and her family!! I loved the friendship between Darcy and Marisol. Marisol’s family fills and spills over the pages it occupies with love and warmth and laughter and life; and all that is family!
- Asher who is sweet, and just falls short of perfect; and the slow and sweet love story between Darcy and Asher:)
- Darcy: While Darcy sometimes appears as a book-snob, I am sure that each of us has different pet peeves and likes as far as books are concerned. And she is a fellow book-lover! So I could overlook that ‘book-snob’ attitude that showed up sometimes. But for all that she was real, I simply loved the other characters (namely Asher and Marisol) way more than I did Darcy!! What I did love and admire about Darcy is her super-cool superpower. I know I would not mind having the ability to recite whole passages (even whole books sometimes)…
- All the other characters! Namey has fleshed out each one so well that every character has a role to play; and adds so much to the story, even if their appearance is brief.
- And of course, I loved the focus on Darcy’s relationship with her mom; with all its layers and complications.
Everything Else in the Book
- The focus on the issue of hoarding. It shows how people with severe problems can look completely in control, and even perfect in the eyes of the world. I appreciated the thoughtful and realistic portrayal of mental illness; and learned a bit too.
- Totally enjoyed the ‘word of the day’ game that Darcy and Marisol play often in the book! Added all those cool words to my dictionary and enjoyed the made-up meanings from Marisol for those words.
- And that perfectly swoony ending (but not saccharinely so).
- The whole ‘books are an escape’ concept; as well as the need to grow up and step away from that escape towards reality.
What Could Have Been Different
- Not much that I can think of, honestly.
There were way too many I had marked up so just picked a few randomly.
- “Great books give us spine-tingling plots or twists that reach right into your lungs and snatch your breath. I knew about those; I knew about stories. Enough to realize I was sitting in the middle of one and already hated the ending.”
- “I sipped water and breathed deep, hiding my thoughts inside her nesting dolls and glass vases.”
- “For years, I’d hidden my mess carefully from everyone but Marisol, keeping quiet, sticking to the shadows. I rooted for love in stories. I filled empty, invisible arms with storybook kisses and the happily ever-afters authors gave to other heroines. At night, I folded my truth between the pages.”
- “My smiles always came too easily around him.”
- “How could I hold real love inside an invisible heart?”
- “Tonight, the books all around me held the clear endings my life could never promise. Some of them were even happy.”
A book that will make smile, and make your heart warm and fuzzy; like I said before, give you a whole library of feelings!
Get It Here
Disclaimer: Thanks to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for the digital review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Would You Rather
Would you rather be locked in an amusement park or a library?
Duh, a library, of course – for me!!
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, do you have any other interesting facts or memories of rare books or libraries? Do let me know.
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