Book Review – The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Genre: Fantasy; Fiction

Note: There are NO spoilers in this review. When discussing in the comments, please provide a spoiler warning if needed.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5 / 5

I picked up The Midnight Library by Matt Haig last year after seeing  the hype on Bookstagram and Goodreads. My expectations were high and maybe that’s why I was more critical of this novel than others I’ve read.

The Midnight Library lives in the space between life and death with endless shelves full of every possible life you could live. All you have to do is decide what choices you want to change and open a new book to experience all that particular life has to offer you. You can change a regret – like giving up on a dream you had as a child – or something small – like not saying yes to that date.

Our main character, Nora Seed, finds herself in the Midnight Library holding a heavy book full of her life’s regrets and working her way through all of the ways she could have avoided those regrets. But, of course, nothing turns out the way she thinks and there is no magical solution for a perfect life. She follows different career paths, undoes break-ups, says yes to things she previously avoided, and experiences her lives full of dreams she never followed. 

And although it was the hype that brought me here, it’s time to share my unpopular opinion – this book did not change my life. Maybe I’m too cynical or just wasn’t in the right mental space, but this was not the book for me. 

Disclaimer: I rarely like books or stories with a neat and happy ending and I’m never a fan of a predictability.

From the moment we arrived in the Midnight Library with Nora, I knew how this novel was going to end. It was well written and a fun read, but it was also predictable. 

I also found it unreasonable that Nora would be wildly successful at every career path she chose. Life doesn’t work out that way – we can’t just decide to be an Olympic athlete or a world renowned scientist. Sometimes, we decide to follow a dream and it doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. 

All that to say – there are some beautiful parts of this novel. Matt Haig is a spectacular writer and it’s apparent on every page of this book. 


“Nora had always had a problem accepting herself. From as far back as she could remember, she’d had the sense that she wasn’t enough. Her parents, who both had their own insecurities, had encouraged that idea.

“She imagined, now, what it would be like to accept herself completely. Every mistake she had ever made. Every mark on her body. Every dream she hadn’t reached or pain she had felt. Every lust or longing she had suppressed. 

“She imagined accepting it all. The way she accepted nature. The way she accepted a glacier or a puffin or the breach of a whale.

“She imagined seeing herself as just another brilliant freak of nature. Just another sentient animal, trying their best.

“And in doing so, she imagined what it was like to be free.”

In this chapter Matt Haig captures a struggle that is so human, something I think we all struggle with and should all be working toward. At the heart, this chapter sums up what this novel is about – not focusing on our regrets and how we can change ourselves, but learning to love ourselves no matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done. 

I know my rating here isn’t high, but if you are someone who loves a feel good story – I recommend this novel. I guess I’m more of a doom and gloom reader.

All I Want For Christmas (Bookish Edition)

It’s Day 13 in the #WonderlandBookChallenge and the prompt for the day is “Ornament – Favorite Bookish Merch.” I do a LOT of scrolling on Etsy, so I thought this would be a good time to put together my Bookish Wishlist. These are the stores and items I keep coming back to, eventually talking myself out of buying them for whatever reason. 

Ultimately this is one big hint for my husband. 😉 

If you have other stores or items you want to share, please list them in the comments! I’m always looking for new fun things to treat myself or friends/family to. 

Laptop Stickers

You cannot go wrong with a good laptop sticker, or just stickers in general. I spend too much time flipping through Instagram trying to find the perfect one, so here’s a fun mystery pack that eliminates my need to make any kind of decision. 

Coffee Mugs

There is no such thing as too many coffee mugs. My husband definitely disagrees, but he’s often wrong. The possibilities are unlimited when it comes to the perfect coffee mug, but I found two I really liked on Etsy. As a HUGE Gilmore Girls fan, the Stars Hollow mug immediately caught my eye. Then, of course, is the book dragon mug I saw, lost the link, then spent a millenia looking for the exact same one again. 

Coloring Books

Fun fact – one of my favorite things to do in my, very limited, free time is color! I have my own set of “not for toddler” color pencils and a few coloring books. It just feels so nice emptying your brain every once in a while, and that’s what coloring does for me. It also makes me feel artistic, which I am not. This year definitely needs some positive vibes, so the choice for coloring book felt natural. 


Candles. Candles. Candles. When you are ever in doubt, just buy me a candle. They are all over my house and used OFTEN. I am constantly using them until they won’t light anymore and heading out to get new ones. To stick with the bookish theme, here are some cute bookish candles from Briarwick. Couldn’t just pick one, so it’s the link to the whole store. 

Stores Mentioned Above:

  • EmilyCromwellDesigns – Seriously perfect Lisa Frank vibes with this one
  • MirkwoodScribes (pictured) – This one just feels so adventure-y and cozy, I love it
  • Briarwick – For all of your candle needs 
  • HopesPallette (pictured) – I spent HOURS looking through all of the adorable stickers in this shop
  • The PaintboxLetters (pictured) – More beautiful stickers and artwork for your bookish whims 
  • IncrediblePrintShop (pictured) – Can’t get enough stickers, so here’s another one full of perfect stickers and artwork 

What are your favorite Etsy/bookish stores and items? Share in the comments below or on Instagram!

Wonderland Book Challenge

This month I am participating in the #WonderlandBookChallenge on Instagram. Each day in December has a different wintery theme, and I’ll be posting all month.

I’ve really liked some of my pictures I’ve posted so far, so I thought it would be fun to post a gallery to the blog. I’ll update this throughout the month, but you can also see everything on the @DisappearHereBookBlog Instagram.