The Midnight Library Book Review

The Midnight Library has a really intriguing premise and one I thought could provide endless possibilities. What if, when you die, you have the chance to live your life again, except this time, make different decisions? Well that’s exactly the situation that Nora Seed is facing when she visits The Midnight Library; a place between life and death, the library offers her the chance to change the things she regrets and in doing so, allows her life to turn out differently. But faced with this responsibility, what will she change? And are the things she wished she’d done, actually worth it anyway?
“A person was like a city. You couldn’t let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don’t like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worth-while.” 

All in all, I did like the book. I think it was a novel and unique idea with a relatable protagonist and likeable characters. The problem was just that it was a little predictable. I don’t think predictability is a bad thing necessarily, but I would have like more of an unexpected twist in this to keep me hooked, because for the most part, I was very engrossed.
Once again, Haig has used his platform and voice to comment profoundly on the human struggle with mental health. I think it would be a challenge to find someone who couldn’t relate to Nora’s situation in one way or another – I’m sure we’ve all had days where everything just feels a bit much! I also think he dealt with Nora’s death in a very sensitive way; there was no need to dwell on how she ended her life, so he didn’t.
I was really excited to receive this book for Christmas; Matt Haig is someone I admire, and I think his work to bring discussions around mental health to the forefront of the conversation is fantastic. I’ve read his book Reasons to Stay Alive and enjoyed that, so I went into this knowing I’d probably like it!
Title: The Midnight Library
Author: Matt Haig
Type: Fiction
Published: 2020
Pages: 288
TW: Suicide, alcoholism, death, car crash, drug abuse, depression, anxiety
The Midnight Library was a refreshing and important read. It’s not very long and the plot is easy to follow so I think this is the sort of book just about everyone could read and would enjoy. Despite the couple of qualms I expressed, I still think that Haig’s work to raise awareness of mental health struggles is very commendable and this book is a great way to present that information to people so they can reflect on it, and apply it to their own situations and lives.

My only other qualm with this book was the fact that when Nora entered a new life, she had no memory of its past which pushed this already implausible book even further from any kind of plausibility! It didn’t really matter, but I think trying to live a life you know nothing about would be pretty damn difficult (phone passwords, work schedules, people’s names, medication routines etc. etc.) And as it had such a relatable protagonist, I would have liked it to be more plausible to help the reader understand what it would be like in Nora’s shoes.

Sign up to my book club on my Patreon!

Review overview




7.8Unique, Compelling, Predictable

Posted by Contributor