Book Review: The Midnight Library – Matt Haig

Book Review: The Midnight Library – Matt Haig


Release Date:
August 13th 2020
Publisher: Canongate Books
Pages: 295
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this book online
Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Synopsis

Between life and death there is a library.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.

The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.

Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

Review

The Midnight Library is the latest release from How to Stop Time author Matt Haig. This story has a really fascinating premise: Nora Seed is a young woman who is unhappy in her life. When she decides she can’t bear it anymore she finds herself in the midnight library, a place where Nora can revisit her past and do things differently, changing the things that she regrets. The goal is to find a life she will be happy to live, but will she manage it before the time runs out?

This is a pretty quick read, but it does quite a lot in a small amount of pages. This story is a really fascinating one and it was really interesting to see Nora as she lived the lives she felt she had missed out on. Nora ends up trying on so many different lives and so many different occupations. There is quite a lot of character growth as Nora begins to understand more about her life and the people around her.

This is a really beautifully written book and I think it will touch a lot of people. I don’t know if it was because there has been so much buzz about this book but it didn’t quite live up to the hype for me. I still really enjoyed it, but I was expecting something a little bit more. I think I am absolutely in the minority with this one though because so many people have named this as one of their favourite books of 2020.

The Midnight Library is a well crafted story and one that definitely sticks with you long after you’ve finished reading. If you’ve read other books from Matt Haig I’d recommend giving this a go because you’re sure to love it.

Book Review: How To Stop Time – Matt Haig

Book Review: How To Stop Time – Matt Haig

BOOK REVIEW - 2019-05-10T102446.693
Release Date:
July 6th 2017
Publisher: Canongate Books
Pages: 325
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly gave me a copy of this book when I was an Intern.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis

“The first rule is that you don’t fall in love, ‘ he said… ‘There are other rules too, but that is the main one. No falling in love. No staying in love. No daydreaming of love. If you stick to this you will just about be okay.'” 

A love story across the ages – and for the ages – about a man lost in time, the woman who could save him, and the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history–performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life.

So Tom moves back to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher–the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city’s history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him. But the Albatross Society, the secretive group which protects people like Tom, has one rule: never fall in love. As painful memories of his past and the erratic behavior of the Society’s watchful leader threaten to derail his new life and romance, the one thing he can’t have just happens to be the one thing that might save him. Tom will have to decide once and for all whether to remain stuck in the past, or finally begin living in the present.

How to Stop Time is a bighearted, wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself, the inevitability of change, and how with enough time to learn, we just might find happiness.

Review

33590076I was really struck by the eye-catching cover for How to Stop Time and so when I picked it up and read the synopsis I just knew I had to read it. I really loved this book and absolutely raced through it. The writing is so addictive that I honestly couldn’t put it down. I loved the premise of this book, mainly because it was a unique spin on the being who lives for centuries idea. Tom is not immortal, he simply ages slower than the rest of humanity. It’s a rare condition, and this idea makes the book seem all the more believable.

I loved reading about Tom in different time periods, as he interacts with some of those most well known in history, each time period really comes alive and Haig’s writing really brings out the sights, sounds and smells of those periods. I think it’s definitely a mark of a fantastic story and a fantastic writer that each time period is so distinctive and vivid. The book is of course split into two different points, one from Tom’s past as he adapts to live in different periods, and his present day life as a history teacher in London.

This book was really the kind of book that sucked me in for hours on end, and definitely stayed with me after I finished reading it. There’s been plenty of hype about this book, and in this case I can say it is absolutely justified. It’s beautiful and will make you happy and sad in equal measure. Tom is a wonderful protagonist and this is a stunning book. This is my first time reading a book by Matt Haig, but after this whirlwind it definitely won’t be my last.
5 stars