Books · Review

Disappointing | Book Review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

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Goodreads Synopsis:

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?”

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, 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 Thoughts:

I have really mixed feelings about this, I find myself pretty disappointed.
The reviews I’ve seen have been absolutely amazing and the premise was so interesting and cool, I thought I’d really love it too. The more I think about it more I dislike it. It’s a real shame because it was one of my most anticipated books of 2020.

This is a super short book (less than 300 pages) I thought it would be a quick read. Although I finished it in one day, it wasn’t as binge-able as I hoped.

I’ve now read 5 Matt Haig books, 3 fiction, 2 non-fiction – there is a reoccurring theme. I really love his non-fiction, it resonates with me fully. His fiction on the other hand, always sounds amazing in theory to me, I really like his ideas and concepts, but the execution always lets me down. I was hoping The Midnight Library would break this cycle, unfortunately, it didn’t.

The Midnight Library has such an amazing premise and concept, which I really love and enjoyed that aspect of the novel. The writing was bland and boring – it wasn’t the easiest to read in terms of style or content.

Although I wasn’t super attached to Nora, as we didn’t really get to know her much, I could emphasise and relate to her mental state. I just wish there was a lot more insight to Nora. I feel like I barely know her even after finishing the novel.

The opportunity to see alternate lives in the library should’ve been more fun and interesting than it was. It found myself pretty bored at times. I kept hoping it would pick up and be amazing but it never did. I pushed myself through it, as it was short.

It deals with heavy topics, such as suicide and death, really good discussion points and the overall message is a hopeful and inspiring one. However, due to the lack of development of the protagonist, it really lacked depth for me. It was too brief and too impersonal for me to really feel connected.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Serious trigger warnings for this book. This book is one massive trigger for suicide and death.
If you’re depressed and don’t want to be further depressed, please stay away from this novel.

Have you read this one? What are your thoughts?

12 thoughts on “Disappointing | Book Review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

  1. I totally agree with you! My expectations were really high after reading all the positive reviews but for me it didn’t live up to the hype. The idea around the library is actually brilliant but it isn’t very well developed. Neither are the characters. It has a really important message tho so I’m nevertheless glad that it’s given so much attention.

    Liked by 1 person

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