Book Review: “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig

The cover of "The Midnight Library" by Matt Haig is shown on an iPad. The iPad is held with one hand while in the background you can see two bookshelves.
picture © Blattzirkus

Book Information

  • Title: The Midnight Library
  • Author: Matt Haig
  • Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
  • Type: eBook
  • Pages: 289
  • Publisher: Viking
  • Published in: August 13th, 2020

Put The Midnight Library on your Goodreads shelf!


Nora believes she is living a miserable life where nothing goes right. She almost got married, almost was in a successful band, almost studied glaciers and almost went on a trip to Australia with her best friend. Now, sitting lonely and depressed in a flat in a small English town, full with regrets, Nora decides she can‘t live like this anymore and decides to die. After taking an overdose of sleeping pills, she wakes up in the middle of the Midnight library where her former school librarian Mrs. Elm greets her and tells her that each book in the library is a life that she could have lived. Now she gets the chance to live them and see what her so called root life could be.

My opinion

The Midnight Library was a steady read which I enjoyed to go back to after I stopped reading it for a while. The chapters are short but make sense since they are written after Nora‘s various lives. 

I‘ve never read a book by Matt Haig before – I wasn‘t even sure if I would like this writing style. But after finishing The Midnight Library, I felt quite calm. Matt Haig‘s writing is calming, comforting, not over the top like some sort of over excited-cheerleader (sorry for the comparison) and it simply was an enjoyable book.

I enjoyed the moodiness of the book. Nothing of this is a bright, happy story and it is meant to not only teach the protagonist Nora but also the reader a lesson or two. Personally I think that Nora is likeable, because she is not a perfect human and she got her edges. Nothing works out for her just because the plot wants it. It doesn‘t make feel Nora a „safe“ character where the reader is sure that it will turn out alright for her in the end.

The Midnight Library itself feels like a safe space. Time stops there and you can play around with lives and return them if you don‘t want them. On the other hand there‘s this tiny edge, a knowing, that this safe space is not so safe after all, but it makes you feel okay. The reader just knows that something is wrong with the library, that it‘s not 100 percent bulletproof and that it might collapse on someone‘s head one day. Well, feels like a safe haven, but in reality it isn‘t one.

At some point, and I‘m again sorry for saying this, I got bored at a point or two, where Nora‘s lives were continuing and continuing and it simply didn‘t seem as if the story was leading somewhere in particular (and maybe that was a teaching as well, but well). It was nice about reading those lives, but without feeling a red threat, it didn‘t make sense for me to read about so many of them. Okay, Nora came to necessary conclusions during those lives, but still they were a bit too much for me. To mention here, I‘m complaining on a high level.


I give The Mightnight Libary by Matt Haig 4 out of 5 stars simply because of these few parts that made it a bit boring for me. It was a very good book, but it didn‘t feel like a 5 stars book for me. There are a lot of people who gave this book 5 stars and I‘m sure that I‘m nuances off a 5 star review, but it is what it is.

This is a book I can recommend to people who enjoy moody reads which a big message behind.

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