Reviews

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

allykat's review against another edition

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challenging hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

rachelf31's review against another edition

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5.0

This book hit me hard and made me contemplate my life

jessicary's review against another edition

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5.0

The Midnight Library is an exceptional read. It’s one of those books that you want to share with EVERYONE. It would be a fantastic choice for a book club. The main character, Nora, struggles with having regrets and letting other people down. She gets the opportunity to try out variations of her life (in parallel universes) when she is close to death. I couldn’t put the book down. I’m an over-analyzer, so some of the author’s messages really spoke to me. It also tugged on my heart because it made me think of my dear cousin who took his own life last year.

“But it is not the lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It’s the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people’s worst enemy.”

“We just have to close our eyes and savour the taste of the drink in front of us and listen to the song as it plays. We are as completely and utterly alive as we are in any other life and have access to the same emotional spectrum. We only need to be one person. We only need to feel one existence. We don’t have to do everything in order to be everything, because we are already infinite. While we are alive we always contain a future of multifarious possibility.”

charleygates's review against another edition

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hopeful informative reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

rjjens's review against another edition

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5.0

Okay. This book was FANTASTIC!!!! It had such a great approach on how to face life. It made me smile. It made me (almost) cry. I highly recommend it to EVERYONE !!

hayleybeale's review against another edition

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3.0

This is one of those books that you know every book club is going to read and sure enough, my book club got to it eventually.

In the opening section, we live through the last day of Nora’s life. We know this because there is a count down at the start of each section. But instead of dying, Nora goes to the midnight library, staffed by her old school librarian Mrs Elm (shout out to school librarians!) where she has the opportunity to live different versions of her life, ones where she makes different choices about things she now regrets. She didn’t give up swimming and became an Olympian, she didn’t give up music and became a famous rockstar, she works in the animal shelter, she becomes a glaciologist, and so on but there’s always something wrong with each iteration. Will Nora ever find the choice to make to give herself the perfect life before her time runs out?

There’s some interesting and thought provoking ideas about regrets and what might have beens - I certainly spent a lot of time thinking about what might have happened if I’d made different choices (what if I’d gone to Bath University instead of Coventry Polytechnic?). But then the novel gets a bit bogged down in the metaphysics of it all and some of the scenarios seem a bit loaded against success, so though I was engaged in the first half my attention began to drift a bit once I could see where we were going.

bethanystone13's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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economydreams's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

niccasillo's review against another edition

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2.0

The idea of the book is fantastic but the execution wasn’t quite there in my opinion. The ending was nice but definitely didn’t evoke any kind of emotion that i thought it would

yates9's review against another edition

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3.0

A fictional story built around themes of growth and psychological discovery. The writing is not bad but I found it impossible to suspend disbelief because of its huge continuity errors interpretations of physics translated to nonsense actions.

- if you were to junp onto a parallel universe you would jnot retain memory of the one you left by definition. Because the new parallsl universe is parallel on all levels, down to the atoms in your brain
- you would also have all the memories of what you lived through / no third person view of these parallel universes is possible or tbey woild not be parallel