The Midnight Library - Matt Haig

Reading Challenge Category: Recommended by friends

Official Blurb:

Nora's life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived. Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?

My Thoughts:

I really liked the premise of this as I’m sure that all of us at some point in time have had forks in the road that we could have taken. All of the choices we make through life result in the existence we are currently living, but what if we’d made different decisions? Where would they have taken us? This book explores those concepts.
To begin with, I was quite intrigued by how the story would pan out and the lives Nora first visits make sense. However, as the book progresses, she starts to experience more and more outlandish versions of herself. It made the book a little farcical, and I felt it started to lose the essence of the bigger picture.
Nora was quite an annoying character; she is low enough in her root life to take her own life. However, every life she jumps into, she does so with a lot of confidence. Such as pulling off being able to sing in front of a sold-out stadium. She should have still had the same downtrodden personality, but in the alternate realities, she became a different version of herself and not just how she was living that alternate’s life. She also gave up on some of the lives too quickly. She was enjoying the arctic circle experience until she had disappointing sex. I don’t think this was enough reason to give up on that life; just don’t sleep with that guy again and see how other parts of the life pans out.
So I started to get very frustrated with the book. Even though the chapters are short and fast, which should have propelled me through the book, I took a long time to read it. It wasn’t calling to me to pick up where I’d left off and keep reading.
The ending and Nora’s epiphany were a little predictable, and I didn’t need to read her journey through the other lives to know how the story would end up. So, overall a very disappointing read. The idea and premise were there; I’m just not convinced it was executed to its full potential.

The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig
Date Started
14th March 2022
Date Finished
20th March 2022