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Fenton InPrint Online

The student news site of Fenton High School

Fenton InPrint Online

The student news site of Fenton High School

Fenton InPrint Online

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Bookmarked: Midnight Library book review


Editor’s note: the following story contains spoilers for “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. 

Written by Matt Haig, “The Midnight Library” follows protagonist Nora, who after dealing with depression and its subsequent suicide attempt, finds herself in a peculiar position. 

Following her “death” Nora is transported to a library, and greeted by her elementary school librarian and symbol of guidance, Mrs. Elm. 

Nora is handed a book of regrets, in which she reads every single thing, small and significant, that she has regretted throughout her entire life.  Ranging from “I wish I never quit swimming” to “I wish I loved my mom more before she died,” Nora is completely emotionally overwhelmed. 

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She then embarks on the journey of opening books from the library and instantly being transported to lives that she could’ve lived if she had made different—minute and important—decisions in her life. 

Nora is immersed in a slew of “what could have been” and experiences firsthand the possible lives she could have lived. These ranged from continuing to swim and becoming an Olympic swimmer, staying with her fiance Dan and opening their own pub in the countryside, living in Australia and even a life in the Arctic where she works as a glaciologist. 

Eventually, Nora’s midnight library is ultimately destroyed, and her journey through all of her potential lives lead her to return to her original life, and become fully dedicated to the life she had prior. 

Haig’s work is deeply emotional and is insightful in such a way that inspires inner reflection. This book encourages his readers to live a life that is free from regret and encourages them to live, act and move with intention and an atmosphere of gratitude. 

I found his writing to be immersive and highly detailed, while still being easily digestible and thought-provoking. This is sometimes a struggle with young adult authors, to tow this line of understandable content and a complex, emotional storyline—without being too underdeveloped or immature. 

The Midnight Library was Fenton High’s book club pick for January. For more information, follow the Instagram

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