I received this book as an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Any quotes are from the ARC.
I initially really enjoyed this book. It had some really amazing moments and quotes. The Library of Lost Things is a book about a girl struggling to deal with her a mother who has a hoarding problem, who spends her days largely hiding in books.
I want to start with what I loved. I loved Marisol, who is the character’s best friend and is a half-Cuban and half-Mexican fashion savant. At times, I wanted the story to be about Marisol, because Darcy was a character that I had difficulty relating to at times.
One thing I wanted to point out is at one particular point, Marisol had a very real reason to be angry at Darcy, but it seemed like she wasn’t allowed to be mad for very long, and it was mainly for plot reasons. This, in my opinion, made her seem like she fell into the person of color side-kick trope, which is obviously not a good thing. In general, she was a very developed character. But in that one instance I questioned whether that’s how she really would have reacted, if it hadn’t been convenient for the plot.
Darcy is obviously dealing with a lot, with her mother being a hoarder, juggling her job, school, and her MIA dad. But I just can’t find myself rooting for her 100% of the time, despite how terrible that sounds.
It’s hard to write this book review spoil-free. But I had a hard time rooting for a character who not only wanted someone who was dating someone else, but kept putting herself in situations where she would be alone with him. Granted, he should absolutely not have been putting himself in those situations either, and most of the blame is on him. But there were dateable boys that were single, and she fixated on this one boy who was unattainable.
I get that people aren’t perfect, but I didn’t feel like she felt very guilty about what she was doing–it seemed like she justified it, or the narrator did, by disparaging the other girl. If she had seemed more guilty about it, I think that would have changed how I felt about her as a character.
The middle part of the book dragged along, and I didn’t like the ending, I felt like it ended too neatly and unrealistically, especially considering what else had happened in the book with her mom.
One of the characters had a disorder that caused anger and lashing out. I felt overall that was depicted well. However, I think it needed to be more spelled out that just because that’s part of that character’s disorder, that it is not an excuse for being emotionally abusive (I’m not saying that character is, I’m just saying it felt a bit excused and made me uncomfortable how it was written).
Now, am I being too picky? Am I expecting too much because of how much I liked the beginning, and because I felt let down by the end and middle of the book? Perhaps. But I have to judge the book as a whole. I’d give this book 3.5 stars, if I could give half stars.