The Library of Lost Things

Inkyard. Oct. 2019. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781335928252.
Gr 9 Up–Darcy just has to hold on until her 18th birthday, when the state will no longer have the power to remove her from her home. Suffocated by her mother’s hoarding and confronted by the possibility of others finding out, all Darcy can do is burrow into her books. Books, after all, are safe. Until Asher, who is recovering from a life-altering accident, enters the picture. Now, Darcy must decide whether to keep hiding between the pages of her book or take the risk of nonfiction by living life. This book is, first and foremost, a gentle love letter to books and book lovers. Through her story, Darcy articulates the importance and transcendence of words with which many readers will identify. With a number of strong themes, including the humanity and imperfection of parents, the trauma of having to grow up too fast, and what real love is, the storytelling is elevated by its thoughtful prose. Yet readers will be pleased to find a lack of melodrama, which is instead balanced and measured in ways that give the novel its intuitive sense of reality. Although the prose gives the book a more adult feel, Namey uses references and dialogue to keep Darcy’s world otherwise relevant and contemporary. Readers will also enjoy Darcy’s cast of family, friends, and classmates as people they recognize from their own lives.
VERDICT For fans of Katie Cotugno, John Green, and Melina Marchetta, this will be a reader favorite.

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