There are no spoilers in this review.
The Library of Lost Things had earned its place in my most anticipated reads of 2019 for a little while, because honestly… this book seemed to hold everything I could possibly love:
✅ Family relationships – here, a complex mother-daughter relationship
✅ Potential, very swoony romance.
Friends, let me tell you: The Library of Lost Things did not disappoint and, right now as I’m writing this, I feel like I can safely say, this is one of my favorite debuts of the year.
A WONDERFULLY RELATABLE MAIN CHARACTER CARRYING THE STORY
The Library of Lost Things feels like, at first, one of these light and swoony contemporary books you can easily fall in love with, but don’t let that first impression fool you. I found so much more depth and harsher themes packed up in this story than I expected it to be and still, they were perfectly balanced with the lighter tone of the romance, friendships and Darcy’s growth overall.
The Library of Lost Things tells the story of Darcy, a teenager working in a bookstore, finding solace and comfort from her every day life and her hoarding mother in her books. Darcy was such a fantastic main character carrying the story. She wasn’t perfect, yet she felt so relatable in so many ways to me, which made me immediately care for her. I loved the way she escaped in stories, because that felt like me, too. I loved how she managed to catch every sentence and paragraph in books, keeping stories inside of her at all times somehow with her magical brain -something I wish I could do, honestly. Also to be clear, there is no magic here, just an awesome memory.
As the story went on, Darcy grew and, slowly, from reading and living in other stories, she took control of her own words and started living in her own story, too. I loved how much she grew and changed, little by little, realistically, too, from putting up walls and keeping secrets to, slowly but surely, letting it all down and trying to live her life to the fullest that she could. I loved Darcy so much.
A STRONG CAST OF CHARACTERS, FRIENDSHIPS, ROMANCE & FAMILY
The Library of Lost Things felt like one of these slice of life contemporaries. The ones that feel a little quiet as you read and get into these characters’ lives, discover their issues, their friendships and their relationships, their school life and internal struggles. Yet, thanks to the strong cast of characters, I found myself caring for every single one of them and wanting to see what would happen to them, too.
Aside from Darcy, we have such incredible side characters. I adored Marisol, Darcy’s best friend, such a bubbly character, somehow perfectly completing Darcy and helping her get out of her comfort zone, while still entirely respecting these moments when Darcy just needed to stay inside of it. I love strong female friendships in my books and I was so happy to find one here that I loved.
Something I always love in my contemporaries is when there is a slow-building romance and, with The Library of Lost Things, I got it all and more. Asher and Darcy’s interactions start off slowly and their feelings for each other only grow stronger with time and interactions. I loved that it didn’t feel like instant-love, I loved that it took time and turns and detours, because this is always something that makes me, somehow, root for the relationship even more.
Asher was such a wonderful love interest, just as well. Caring and sweet, he was far from perfect and dealing with his own issues, yet he was always patient with Darcy and their relationship, something I appreciated seeing a whole lot.
Oh and the family. The strong presence of family made this book what it was, too: difficult to read, at times, but beautiful as it ended, too. Darcy’s mother is a hoarder and Darcy has to live with it every day, doing her very best to handle it all. Darcy has such a complex relationship with her mother due to her mental illness and I really appreciated how this was explored, explained and some moments even surprised me, too. I don’t have experience with hoarding and can’t speak on its representation, though, but I thought that mental illess was well-developed and thought of overall. Most of it all, this book keeps it all realistic, from beginning to end, showing the happy and messy moments of life dealing with this kind of mental illness and I appreciated all the more for it.
The Library of Lost Things is one of these little gems I will be recommending for years to come, because it surprised me so much. With its main character I could relate to and rooted for, with its adorable romance, strong friendships and family relationships… this book had everything for me to fall in love with it and, friends, I really did. I hope you’ll pick this book up and will love it, I really do.
Final rating: 4,5 drops!
A million thanks to Inkyard Press for sending me an ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Trigger warnings: hoarding, abandonment.
Diversity: mexican-cuban side character (Marisol).
Laura Taylor Namey, The Library of Lost Things, Published on October, 8th, 2019 by Inkyard Press.
From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.
While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.
Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.
Did you read The Library of Lost Things? Do you want to?
What was the last “bookish” book you’ve read and enjoyed? I’d love to hear from you in comments!