The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Okay, this book was a surprise to me. I’d see it on the Book of the Month Instagram page for what felt like forever (No, I don’t have a BOTM subscription — yet), and I was in a rut with my reading. Wasn’t sure what to pick up next. So I ordered this one on a whim and was pleasantly surprised!

Here’s a quick synopsis from Amazon:

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?

Sounds interesting right? As we move forward, I’ll avoid major spoilers as much as possible, but proceed at your own risk!

The Good

This story really moved. It hooked me from the very beginning with the line, “Nineteen years before she decided to die…” I mean, talk about a hook, right? The book kept with this theme throughout, and it kept the events moving along at a good speed. I wouldn’t say it was quick, but the pacing was about perfect for the story at hand.

I also liked that the main character, Nora Seed, does undergo change throughout the book. Nothing worse than a character that goes to hell and back completely unchanged.

I really enjoyed the concept as a whole. I think we’ve all wondered what happens after we die, and this was an interesting exploration of that.

The Bad

This isn’t really a negative for me, but it could be for others. This book does focus heavily on suicide and the state of mind leading up to the act; this could definitely be triggering for some people. So bear that in mind as you move forward.

At first, for me, the main character was kind of…annoying? Insufferable? I’m not totally sure of the best word there, but I think you know what I mean. Her feelings of sadness at how her life turned out felt quite repetitive to me at times. However, as I read on, her state of mind became clearer and I was able to empathize with her, as well as see her change — what’s more, you could actually see her wanting to change.

My final negative is that I felt the story was a bit predictable in terms of knowing how it was going to end. Everything was all wrapped up in a nice bow and Nora came to an obvious realization (well, obvious in my opinion). While I do think there’s something to be said for a story leading to the ending that you expect, I thought there was opportunity for different decisions to be made with regards to the ending.

The Verdict

All in all, I still give this one 4.5 stars. Maybe even 5 if I’m in a good mood. It was a really enjoyable read, and overall it felt like a fresh, new idea.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s