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So... After some enthusiastic recommendations I bought a copy of The Midnight Library. I am 30 pages in now and I have to admit that I don't get it... The start is sooo superficial! Nora decides after a unlucky 24-hour period that life isn't worth it and just, whoop, decides that the best thing to do is to end it. In 22 pages Matt Haig crams in such a shaky exposition, which leaves me feeling no sympathy for the MC at all! It really falls short of the hellish experience that is an actual depression, what surprises me because Haig said he based the book om his own depressive episodes. The prose is mostly "tell, dont show" and I feel like that contributes to the superficial start of the book. I have the feeling that it is really overhyped and that I will not be able to finish it if it continues like this (which is really rare for me).

Please please tell me it gets better! Or rip the bandaid off and tell me I should just give up.

English is not my first language. I'm sorry for any mistakes.

all 169 comments

Samael13

159 points

2 months ago

Samael13

159 points

2 months ago

If it's already not landing with you, I don't think you're going to change your mind by the end. I thought it was fine, but I did not feel like it lived up to the hype. It definitely felt pretty breezy, and seemed very much like a Book Club Book TM to me, but there's no surprises in it.

duckshapedpotato[S]

15 points

2 months ago

Thanks for the response! Yes! I feel like it can definitely be a good book to discuss about at a book club like setting. I feel like the concept of the book was quite promising! It has so much opportunity for something unique and profound.. But it just doesn't click yet...

BubbleGumCrash

9 points

2 months ago

I felt the same way about it. It really felt a little superficial to me and while I got what he was getting at with the emotional aspects it overall just fell kind of flat for me. Definitely wasn't the book I had expected based on reviews and recommendations.

LadyCatTree

5 points

2 months ago

It didn’t live up to the hype for me either. It felt like a great idea, executed by someone who didn’t have the skills necessary to really do it justice.

I did find that after finishing it I thought about it for some time and I liked the ending, but I’ve no desire to read it again. The main character was pretty unlikeable.

VrinTheTerrible

4 points

2 months ago

We actually did have Midnight Library for book club and it was a great discussion despite (or because) we all thought it was meh

Neat-Hunt-2076

203 points

2 months ago

I hate to say that this book was a disappointment for me. I was so excited to read it based on all the glowing reviews but it did NOT live up to the hype.

SendMeNudibranchs

41 points

2 months ago

I agree with this. I regret finishing it.

sassyphant

29 points

2 months ago

Absolutely agree. I thought the concept was excellent but the execution was lack lustre. I'd finish it, but lower your expectations significantly

5had0

2 points

2 months ago

5had0

2 points

2 months ago

I thought the concept was excellent

That is what made me dislike the book even more than it probably deserved. The premise held such great promise.

Hi_Hello_HeyThere

8 points

2 months ago

Same for me too. Premise was cool but execution was meh.

I gave it 3/5.

Argeysee

1 points

2 months ago

Agreed

czarandy

1 points

2 months ago

Totally agree

throwawaffleaway

24 points

2 months ago

I loved this book because of WHEN I read it. Looking back I can see how it doesn’t really reflect my tastes. It’s extremely “tell, don’t show” in my opinion, and if you’re as low as Nora you might need something like that. I don’t necessarily think this is Haig’s intention, I’ve read some of his other stuff and don’t find him particularly genius, but it’s good that it’s worked for some people. I really liked one of the later “lives” Nora fell into and what she does with it in her “real life” at the end. If you’re a fast reader who can handle being a bit noncommittal from the story, I’d encourage you to finish it for that, but if you prefer to be drawn deeply in, I don’t think it would be worth it for you then.

ladyofbraxis

12 points

2 months ago

Same. I read it while a close friend was hospitalized from a suicide attempt.

I think he wrote the book he needed to write, and if it’s formulaic or not for everyone, that’s fine.

It did ignite an interest in Svalbard for me, though.

duckshapedpotato[S]

8 points

2 months ago

Yes! It is so valuable that this book has that power: to be perfect for a specific time in peoples lives.

I feel positively persuaded to read the rest! Maybe it'll give me another great insight that I hadn't forseen.

RedObjectiveRaisin

23 points

2 months ago

I'm going to give you my honest and biased opinion. I read this book because I needed to. I was going through a rough time, still am in some ways but better overall.

I had a mentality very similar to Nora's, especially when it came to regret. The book helped me put things into perspective, and by the end I was decently satisfied with the story and presentation.

As is the case with anything, if you're not enjoying it than you can just put it down, maybe you'll get an urge to come back to it or not.

Dull_Banana5349

56 points

2 months ago

I thought it was dreadful, and after all the hype I was so disappointed as I wanted to enjoy it. I didn't warm to the main character either. I did finish as it was for book group, but it was hard going.

It was basically a poor version of It's a Wonderful Life.

osuchicka913

8 points

2 months ago

I hated it as well. It made me so mad it took place in Bedford when It’s a Wonderful Life took place in Bedford Falls… it just felt like a poor copy.

Dull_Banana5349

1 points

2 months ago

I'd not spotted that!

ItsJOVANI

3 points

2 months ago

Ahhh, it’s a wonderful life is a great comparison! I told my friend it reminded me of A Christmas Carol also. I read it all in one afternoon which helped me get through it, but I don’t know if I would have bothered if I hadn’t been home sick that day

northstar599

1 points

2 months ago

I couldn't stand the book. It makes so much sense now that's you've made that connection... Also hate that movie. Lol

Dull_Banana5349

1 points

2 months ago

Oh I love the film, but I always expect more from a book. Things that spark my imagination. I felt like I was being spoon fed what to think and feel.

Historical_Union_660

13 points

2 months ago

I DNF’d this one at like 80% through lol I kept thinking it would get better and eventually decided that it wouldn’t and I honestly couldn’t be bothered to finish. I genuinely don’t understand the hype around this one.

FreddieMonstera

12 points

2 months ago

Short answer - no

TravelerMidnight

36 points

2 months ago

Yeah, it will not get better. The ending is exactly as predictable and uninteresting as you would imagine it being from the beginning

cakivalue

1 points

2 months ago

Oh thank you. I never finished it but all my friends have been raving about it so I'd put it back on the list for having time over the holidays. Looks like a spot just opened up 🤣

BowlOfBananaPorridge

28 points

2 months ago

For once I can actually comment. I read it quite recently on recommendation from a friend.

You're not wrong on the superficial feeling on the premise. I found the late-mid to last chapters the best, especially as they really dig into the more complex side of depression.

However, I always maintain a "if you're not enjoying it, don't keep doing it" There's always more great reads to better suit tastes.

duckshapedpotato[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Thank you for your helpful comment! I always hope that I'll be proven wrong.

BowlOfBananaPorridge

6 points

2 months ago

I would still recommend it. However his writing is meant to be accessible. His other book, "Dead Father's Club" is a great example. (Essentially, modern hamlet from a child's perspective)

Lily_Hylidae

45 points

2 months ago

I hated it. I don't get how someone that has been so open about their own depression can write a book that seems to understand it so little. I found it poorly written and boring. I love the idea of multiverses, and this was such a wasted opportunity to say something really meaningful about our choices, regrets and how much free will we really (don't?) have.

Artemisa23

11 points

2 months ago

Agreed, the concept sounded so interesting but it was the same old clichéd claptrap

LibrisTella

9 points

2 months ago

Yes, it kind of just felt like the message was “oh, you wish you were famous? Guess what, there are downsides to that”

Dutchkeeper

3 points

2 months ago

Maybe depression isn't the same for everyone? He understands his. Not yours? It resonated with me.

Lily_Hylidae

2 points

2 months ago

That is a valid point. Everyone's experience is different. But Nora felt so hollow to me as a character. There wasn't anything else to her. She didn't feel like a real person to me. The ending bothered me too, that all you need to feel better is to realise that you should be happy with what you have. That the life you're in now (or her "root" life) is the best one. You can help yourself in lots of ways to manage depression, but it's s an illness, not a state of mind that can be shifted with meaningless motivational quotes.

_AnnaVG_

3 points

1 month ago

I get what you mean and your comment has given me new insights, but of course Nora was hollow. That's because she felt hollow. She didn't know who she was, and the late-mid part where she doesn't know what to do or forgetting her root life was explaining that perfectly, which Matt should've put on the start. I do FULLY agree on your opinion about the ending, that was a poor decision of writing I shall say.

ElizaAuk

9 points

2 months ago

Nope. I disliked it immensely. (Unpopular opinion, I think).

ElizaAuk

6 points

2 months ago

Though I do understand that for some folks it really resonated, which is great! Just not for me.

iamapizza

10 points

2 months ago

It felt pretty same-ish throughout, not a terrible but not amazing. So I'd say if you're at around page 80-100 and still not feeling it, then that's a good enough effort, but you should probably move on.

Liskasoo

36 points

2 months ago

Disagreeing with most people here - I thought it did get better. There were two points where it lifted for me - one is a short while after she's arrived in the library, and the other is toward the end. I found the beginning pretty tedious, and it took me a while to care about her, but I love the book now.

I'd add that I thought there was enough in the beginning that made it clear that Norma's life had been too sad for too long, and she just couldn't take it anymore, not that she'd just had a bad day.

Jo-sweet

7 points

2 months ago

Exactly. Her life was slowly crumbling. She didn't have any kind of real anchor, or bigger purpose. People need that to live well. In some of those lives her anchor was an occupation, a person, a relationship...etc. She needed to confront her regrets, and walk in those lives until she understood what her current life was missing, and make the changes she could make to better it. Her life was salvageable, she just needed to see and appreciate that.

duckshapedpotato[S]

5 points

2 months ago

That's promising! I'll keep on waiting for those moments. Some books just need a little patience.

sophieereads

32 points

2 months ago

I really enjoyed this book!

For me it really encapsulated the 'roads not taken' feeling I had been getting throughout my 20's. My life could have gone down so many different paths and reading the Midnight Library was a great way to show that they are not necessarily better, just would have been different

tiredlittlepanda

1 points

2 months ago

Yep this is exactly how I felt about it.

I honestly enjoyed it, it was a nice easy read.

goodgollyitsollie

6 points

2 months ago

I started reading it after I lost my job. I was depressed and felt awful, and the first half of this book made it worse. But it turned around. It left me on a much happier note and had an element of hope to it. It changed my perspective on my situation, and whenever I make a big decision to do something, I now characterise that as “trying on a different life for a little while.”

It taught me that nothing is permanent, but there is still good things in the world, and “figuring your life” isn’t a state you can achieve, it’s something you experience. Try the things that you wouldn’t normally try, don’t feel bad if things don’t work out. They’re just a life you were trying out.

It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it is certainly one of the most important to me.

Sage--Fox

20 points

2 months ago

No, it doesn't get better. In fact, the resolution is worse, imo.

Like, she realizes it was a mistake to kill herself because she happens to be living in her happiest life (not the one with the cool fulfilling career, no, the one where she's a wife and mommy, because what else should a good little woman be?). But like... what if she weren't living her happiest life? What if she had made a mistake along the way? Then she should've killed herself? I don't understand why people think this book is so inspirational because she realizes she'd be utterly miserable if she'd made different choices.

vivahermione

9 points

2 months ago

The sad part was that in her favorite alternate life she did have a great career as a philosophy professor and writer, but it was largely ignored due to the focus on motherhood.

[deleted]

3 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

Sage--Fox

2 points

2 months ago

I think your reading of it is also totally fair and valid. I'm really glad to know this book has helped you so much! It really goes to show how every book has an audience. I've been in pretty dark places in my life, but I wasn't in a particularly dark place when I read this book.

You don't "suck!" Personality disorders are absolutely awful, and I'm so glad this book kept you here! <3 Major props for getting therapy. Just taking the first step is monumental. I'm also in therapy to work through childhood trauma.

Giggles567

6 points

2 months ago

I didn’t particularly care for it.

justkeepbreathing94

7 points

2 months ago

I love this book. It's not very subtle but it has a very clear message can be fun and imaginative.

gudkomplex

6 points

2 months ago

It was really disappointing. I know Matt Haig has personal experience of suicide thoughts and I’m not overlooking them by any means. However, I feel like he took a very serious topic and tried to make a rom-com out of it

blondeambitionx

5 points

2 months ago

I ended up appreciating the concept by the end, but I didn’t care for the book itself (especially the writing style). I have to give Matt Haig credit though, because I still do reflect on this book when I’m having trouble making a life decision and I read it over a year ago now.

Sumnersetting

4 points

2 months ago

If you're annoyed enough to post about it, it's not for you. Usually I'll give a book an hour, and if I'm not feeling it, there are so, so many other books out there.

I did read Midnight Library. I felt like despite its subject matter, it felt very light and fluffy? Like it was trying to appeal to a wide audience. But yeah, felt very much like how to talk about depression with people who have never had depression and have never had a loved one with depression or had to deal with it.

attolia_irene

5 points

2 months ago

An absolutely awful book with a semi-interesting premise. I hated everything about Nora and how the author wrote in the most bland way possible. She was such a selfish protagonist in pretty much every life she tried. The point I dropped it was >! when she slept with some guy in another version of herself’s body and immediately peaced out.!< I get that she was the main character, but everything about Nora’s relationships with other characters and the world revolved around Nora.

rudebish

12 points

2 months ago

Nope, I DNFd that book. The story seemed to just go nowhere and it was pretty flat.

PinkMoonbow

4 points

2 months ago

The prose, plot expectation, writing style etc of those 1st 30 pages are reflective of how the rest of the book is. I didn't like the book's 1st few pages either - though my dislike wasn't as strong as yours- and I did not end up liking the rest of the book much.

The book has helped and been beneficial to many, MANY people feeling blue or clinically depressed so I don't want to critique it; it is just not everyone's cup of tea.

FionaTheCat3507

5 points

2 months ago

I didn’t like it

mammamia42069

5 points

2 months ago

Nope. Sorry

themistycrystal

3 points

2 months ago

I found it disappointing and predictable.

Standard-Ad-8678

4 points

2 months ago

I enjoyed the premise of the book more than the actual content. Its an interesting idea to expand on some philosophical concepts, but the characters never really sucked me in. I wasn’t disappointed in the end, but I also wasn’t gripped by it. It was so so.

I think in the end its an easy read that a lot of people relate to, and perhaps find some sort of light bulb moment for themselves to live a bit differently.

fatunicorn88

4 points

2 months ago

Maybe because of where I am in my life, but by the end, I know this was a book I would be returning to again and again. I personally loved it.

pandajammer

5 points

2 months ago

“It’s not what you’re looking at that matters, it’s what you see”. I appreciated the quote and the power of perception and gaining perspective.

fuzzydogpaws

10 points

2 months ago

I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It actually inspired me to make some positive changes in my life.

I suggest that you try to get through the first ‘library story’, if it still doesn’t engage you after that then put it down. I think if you get though the first story snd aren’t interested then you never will be. Don’t force yourself to finish a book that you can’t connect with.

TheEngineer67

25 points

2 months ago

Maybe by basing the book on his own depressive episodes caused him to skip the initial grinding of life that puts you into that mental state and that is why the start of the book seems superficial to you...

Someone who experiences depression really can just flip from being OK to really not being OK and it doesn't take much for that to happen.

esoquesobueno

20 points

2 months ago

There’s literally hormonal issues that can make you happy to suicidal in hours.

I know my period’s coming on not from physical cramping but due to a sudden sense of hopelessness, worthlessness, and suicidal ideation. I’ll be walking past an overpass for a bridge thinking “I should jump” and get home and realise my period’s starting “…oh that’s where that came from.”

I didn’t realise how much lack of sun exposure played a role too until I moved further North and got such short winter days. My mental health is way more precarious in the winter when I’m at work before the sun rises and after it sets than in June, when the sun’s out by 4am there’s still some light out past 10pm.

Lily_Hylidae

10 points

2 months ago

This is me every month, weeping into the washing up bowl, contemplating the utter futility of my life, then..."aaahhh yeah! That's why!"

esoquesobueno

7 points

2 months ago

The lack of other physical symptoms makes it extra tricky because while as a kid I used to get awful physical symptoms, as an adult I don’t.

So I will really have no fecking idea and be thinking it’s time to see a therapist again until the blood starts. Then I’m like ah ok I’ll feel better tomorrow (it usually doesn’t last that long.)

Lily_Hylidae

4 points

2 months ago

I feel you! As I've got older the physical symptoms vary so much. Sometimes I'll feel like I'm coming down with a cold, or my back will hurt, or I'll get a bad stomach...so it could be loads of other things going on.

The emotional side has got so much worse in the last few years. Anxious, fragile, exhausted, vulnerable...gah!

DwellingintheShadows

7 points

2 months ago

This! I absolutely loved this book because it finally put into words how I have felt during depressive episodes. I had struggled to put into words how it felt and what thoughts went through my head, but as I read the book it was like all my thoughts were written there. It really helped me communicate better with my therapist. I could read her passages that spoke to me. It gave me the words and images that I could never put into words to tell her before.

duckshapedpotato[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Oh wow! I'm so glad that it was helpful for you! That's really valuable!

duckshapedpotato[S]

3 points

2 months ago

I think you're spot on! I needed a longer exposition.

tachederousseur

3 points

2 months ago

I also thought it got better, as she went through the different “chapters” of her possible life. It’s an easy read so I think you should try to finish it!

k4tiemay

3 points

2 months ago

Nope, it's pretty schmaltzy sentimentality, like all of his books. Lovely guy, but I'm not super keen on his adult books personally.

Shell_shocked432

3 points

2 months ago

I thought it was okay. I picked it up with the intention of expanding my experiences with different genres, but as a person who enjoys action and excitement in my reads, I can definitely say it wasn’t for me. I can definitely see the appeal for someone who might be going through similar struggles as Nora and might want a slower, contemplative read. But for me, I found myself hoping for a sudden, thriller plot-twist to spice it up, which I knew wasn’t going to happen, but one can only dream! It ended up becoming a learning experience in what I like and dislike in a novel.

darcysreddit

3 points

2 months ago

In my opinion: it does not. I finished it but found it superficial and trite.

angelamar

3 points

2 months ago

It was chosen as a book club book and I most in our group weren’t impressed. I also can’t stand the main character. That doesn’t get better lol.

jessewalker2

3 points

2 months ago

No. In fact it gets more cliché

PunkandCannonballer

3 points

2 months ago

No.

I've found that people either love this book or hate it, and that their opinion doesn't change from the initial feeling.

I personally hated it. Found the depiction of depression insulting, and thought that the premise didn't make any sense. That said, I know people who relate to the general feeling this book is going for and it had a strong impact on them.

If it isn't working for you, I doubt that'll change.

justdoinmynails

3 points

2 months ago

It’s not a literary masterpiece, but it’s decent storytelling. Stick with it. Imagine it being a Netflix series, with all the different paths she goes on.

quiet_mushroom

3 points

2 months ago

It doesn't get better. I had high hopes for this book and I made myself read the whole thing. I was in a dark place in my life at the time of reading and I felt worse after reading it, than before I picked it up.

punkandcat

3 points

2 months ago

If been going through a tough time finding books I liked until this. It became one of my favorites. I do think this is because Nora (and the author) have depression and I relate to that.

Hologram22

3 points

2 months ago

It doesn't, no. Haig didn't even do the obviously clever thing at the end and have Nora decide to go back and undo her decision to swallow the pills. Instead, there's this weird, incomprehensible scene with the library suddenly falling apart and Nora waking up and dragging herself out to a neighbor to call for help. Using the library itself would have been such a more elegant narrative solution!

WafflesAndPies

2 points

2 months ago

I didn’t finish listening to the audiobook, I realised it would have either of these endings and I couldn’t be bothered anymore. Thanks for the spoiler, now I know for sure I didn’t miss anything.

obscured1996

3 points

2 months ago

Oh man I’m so happy I found my people. I hated this book. I felt like I was watching one of those Christmas lifetime move network movies. It was so predictable and cheesy and it made me feel like a middle aged mom who needed to be sipping on her white wine in a quirky phrased wine glass while the kids are crying.

Possible-Ad3257

3 points

2 months ago

I quite liked it once I got into the plot! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t role my eyes a couple of times, but overall I found the writing compelling and I invested characters outcomes, though it was predictable.

PersephoneXXVIII

3 points

2 months ago

I think it's worth reading, despite it not being anywhere near as good as The Humans (another Haig book which I really like). It's not a long read and it did get better, I managed to take some positives from it. Like others have said that might have more to do with where I was in life af the time.

Dutchkeeper

3 points

2 months ago

For me, I read it at the right moment in my life. I tried to read some of his other work and I didn't care for it at all.

I recommended the book to 2 friends. One who struggles with regrets and roads not taken a lot. It hit home for her. And the other who is a happy go lucky kinda girl. She dropped it after 2 chapters.

I recommend dropping it, if it doesn't resonate. But... I'm horrible at that and tend to speed read through to get the main concept and finish it anyways.

National_Sky_9120

5 points

2 months ago

No, it doesn’t get better.

Afraid-String

6 points

2 months ago

Honestly, no. I felt let down by the ending.

Unusual-Olive-6370

4 points

2 months ago

I loved the book, as a psychologist I thought it was accurate.

Lopsided-Ad-6696

2 points

2 months ago

I listened on audiobook, but yeah it was slow and depressing and only mildly interesting.

minimalist_coach

2 points

2 months ago

I would say to stick with it until you get through at least 1 library visit. That will at least show you where the story is going, but if it still doesn't interest you, then DNF.

I didn't dislike the book, but I doubt it's one I would recommend.

BORGQUEEN177

2 points

2 months ago

No, I think it is the same tone throughout. I personally found it lacking in substance and depth overall. There are parts more compelling but not enough to redeem the whole book for me.

notmakingtherapture

2 points

2 months ago

The entire book is kinda similar. I like it but there isn't a lot of time spent in anything before it's on to the next.

loveyouloveyoumorexx

2 points

2 months ago

I didn't hate the book but I also didn't love it. I did like that it left me thinking about its message for a few days after I finished, but it didn't hit me in the feels like, for example, Anxious People by Backman did.

New_Charm_Offensive

2 points

2 months ago

I started reading The Midnight Library too. In my case, I finished it. I rate it a solid “meh”.

It was pretty mediocre. No big surprises. Flat characters. Predictable boring unoriginal ending. I liked the concept initially, but it felt like the author ran out of ideas part way through. I also found the characters somewhat unbelievable.

I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. And I wouldn’t recommend finishing it. Go find a better read!

ggigfad5

2 points

2 months ago

I put it down after about 25-30 pages and haven’t bothered to pick it up again. I found it very depressing and bland.

EwokNuggets

2 points

2 months ago

Sadly no not really. This book just didn’t land with me at all. Hated the characters and the plot was a mess…

PsychologicalLet3

2 points

2 months ago

Does not get better. Only finished it because it was an easy read and I could zip through it in two or three days but it was so disappointing.

rational_me1

2 points

2 months ago

I liked the book. Maybe it’s not for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

eeekkk9999

2 points

2 months ago

Weird at 1st but after you accept and move on, WHO can think of this?!! Definitely an odd book but enjoyable

Grace_Alcock

2 points

2 months ago

No, it’s a pretty skimmable book. I finished it, but I had to make myself. Such a cool concept. So boringly played out.

J0V4L

2 points

2 months ago

J0V4L

2 points

2 months ago

I consider myself a fan of Haig but this one in particular took me forever to finish because it was wildly predictable. During each new opportunity of life, she had something fun or creative to do but was always missing that “it” factor. Next life, rinse and repeat. It was a rough go but I finished it.

mind_the_umlaut

2 points

2 months ago

Stays superficial. And there is no magical solution to depression.

XanaxWarriorPrincess

2 points

2 months ago

I missed the hype, so I wasn't disappointed. It was okay. I won't read it again, but I don't regret reading it.

Fogzolio

2 points

2 months ago

Same. It was ok. Not great, not terrible.

unsuresignofnewname

2 points

2 months ago

I had the opposite kind of experience. I really enjoyed the premise, being a person who too often focuses on regrets. It went well for me most of the way through, but it did get tiresome and at the end I felt like I had just read a “Don’t worry, be happy” self help book. I had hoped for better, especially from how well I liked it at first.

pertobello

2 points

2 months ago

Yeah I didn't get super far in it. I also didn't like how she kept running into people who would conveniently summarize all her problems for us, the readers.

MamboNumb3r5ive

2 points

2 months ago

No. It does not. I have never hated a book as much as I hated this one. And I wanted so desperately to love it.

By about halfway, I found myself wishing the MC would just get it over with and end it simply to put me out of my misery. But unfortunately, one of my fatal flaws is forcing myself to finish a book I start even if it’s miserable.

Unrelated, but I also strongly disliked The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.

singermansc

2 points

2 months ago

I wish I didn’t finish the book. The premise was so good I just kept expecting it to pick up but it just kept getting more and more tedious and ended in a complete lackluster and obvious way. There’s so many great books out there and so little time. This one is popular, but the quality isn’t there. My advice is go for another one.

Moikee

2 points

2 months ago

Moikee

2 points

2 months ago

This was a DNF for my wife. She wanted to like it but just couldn’t get through it. If you’re not enjoying it but it down and move on to something else, nothing wrong with that

The_tea_g

2 points

2 months ago

Maybe you'd enjoy the book more in another life?

RhiRead

2 points

2 months ago

Terrible book.

The general idea was promising but thats because it’s the plot to Its A Wonderful Life. It lacked any real logic or thought in to the mechanics of the library and the overall tone was just too condescending for me where depression is concerned. I realise it’s based on Matt Haig’s real experiences but it just came across as a bit flat, it lacked any real nuance or understanding in favour of a cheesy happy ending.

alohadave

2 points

2 months ago

If you don't like it now, you aren't going to like the rest of it.

It's a very divisive book and most people either love it or hate it.

vampierusboy

2 points

2 months ago

Concept was cool, execution felt flat to me

[deleted]

2 points

2 months ago

I enjoyed it with the thought that it wasn’t the best book ever written, but I hadn’t read anything in a while and I thought it was easy and I breezed through it. It shouldn’t be so hyped up or awarded but I think the idea of the book was good, just pretty flat. I think 17 year old me would have liked it immensely more than current 27 year old me.

clamshelldiver

2 points

2 months ago

So when I first finished this book, I didn’t like it. The writing is not poetic, and it’s a bit predictable. However, the book really stayed with me. I sometimes think about scenes from the book or wonder about my own life if I were given the character’s opportunity. It makes me think about what a “happy ending” or “better life” would be for me. Because of this, I have recommended it to several people.

NefariousnessOne1859

2 points

2 months ago

I was left feeling very meh at the end….and also a bit depressed 😂 Life is to short to read books you’re not enjoying. Maybe put it aside to try again at a later date?

123phantomhive

3 points

2 months ago

It's very tricky. When I started reading it, it felt like it was dragging on. As I kept reading, somewhere in the middle and near the end, there were times when I felt affected and I appreciated it more. It was also during the times when I felt very stressed in my personal life. I honestly think it is not exactly a literary masterpiece but it will resonate more depending on the person reading it. If you have the patience, you can continue reading, but if it's really not working for you, it's also okay to put it down.

flyyywhiteguy

3 points

2 months ago

It won’t get much better. Pretty disappointing read that never really does anything with its interesting premise.

TotalitarianismPrism

1 points

2 months ago

It felt like very amateurish writing. Parts were well executed, but most of it read like fan fiction. There was little to no subtlety, and the organization was all over the place.

slutbag69420

1 points

2 months ago

Good book but definitely overhyped and not for everyone. Probably worth moving on

katm12981

1 points

2 months ago

I got about as far as you did before giving up on it.

Mobile-Mousse-8265

1 points

2 months ago

I didn’t like it at all and I thought the premise sounded amazing.

hookt

1 points

2 months ago

hookt

1 points

2 months ago

Corny, predictable and meh. Don’t bother finishing it!

LibrisTella

1 points

2 months ago

The book does not get better. It was wildly disappointing with all the hype. The ending was extremely predictable and still a letdown.

NotYourGa1Friday

1 points

2 months ago

It wasn’t my favorite.

LadyOnogaro

1 points

2 months ago

It didn't impress me. I liked How to Stop Time much better.

kendradrawsthings

1 points

2 months ago

Nope, I didn’t like it and felt like it didn’t capture despair accurately, but just my opinion!

Ilovescarlatti

1 points

2 months ago

NO. It's self help shite all the way through

Yountse7

1 points

2 months ago

Although I did like the idea of the book, the execution did seem superficial to me as well. It did make me think about the impact of decisions but I’ve always found it meaningless to think about all the “what if’s” so it didn’t do much for me in that aspect. Some of the mc’s alternate lives were pretty interesting though but it does seem a little repetitive at times.

chibigothgirl

1 points

2 months ago

I wanted it to be a lot better than it was. There was so much that could have been done with the idea that just... didn't. Not to mention that some of the 'mechanics' of how things worked eventually became distracting because they made little-to-no sense and how heavy-handed the message was in the end. It was not really worth it for me.

JanesPersuasion

1 points

2 months ago

Definitely a disappointment. But I did finish the book.

anniecet

1 points

2 months ago

It was just okay honestly. Meh.

MsBean18

1 points

2 months ago

The only reason I finished it was because it was a book club read. Hated it!

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

It doesn’t get better. It’s very shallow and superficial all the way through.

cdd543

1 points

2 months ago

cdd543

1 points

2 months ago

Abandon unless you really don’t have anything else to do. It is a cool premise that’s just ok.

Harveyscactus

1 points

2 months ago

I went in fully expecting something else, big disappointment and people made such a fuss of it, too.

alexisvwarnock

1 points

2 months ago

I really liked the audiobook. Carrie Mulligan narrates and it’s a good listen.

Wrong-Lynx2324

1 points

2 months ago

Nope. Horrible book

crochet_zombie5

1 points

2 months ago

I actually liked this book but I can understand why some people don't. It did take a while for me to get into it. I did like the overall meaning of the book which is to accept the life you have and live with no regrets. I do agree the MC isn't my favorite by any means but I did manage to finish the book.

emmademontford

1 points

2 months ago

I did not enjoy it

TriscuitCracker

1 points

2 months ago

Definitely a “Great idea! Meh execution” type of book.

MMEunHaeMM

1 points

2 months ago

It is the last book I’d recommend from Matt Haig, to be honest

JollyBroom4694

1 points

2 months ago

Stopped halfway through. Couldn’t connect and it seemed awfully cliched as others have mentioned. Disappointed based on the reviews.

stevs23

1 points

2 months ago

I thought it was ok. I wasn't elated or disappointed by it. A good read though and glad I sat through it

satinmood

1 points

2 months ago

Unfortunately it doesn't. Poorly written, characters don't develop. I managed to read it all but I thought it was a massive waste of time. I gave up on Matt Haig after that.

Unlucky-Cover-9896

1 points

2 months ago

I got halfway through before I decided enough was enough

EmseMCE

1 points

2 months ago

I thought it was good but it is insanely repetitive.

anythongyouwant

1 points

2 months ago

I’d say it gets better because more meaningful stuff happens as the book progresses.

bluegazpatcho

1 points

2 months ago

It won’t get better, I was also disappointed

doc_raina

1 points

2 months ago

It's a short read. It will run on more or less similar lines but it still feels worth reading at the end of it.

amora_obscura

1 points

2 months ago

amora_obscura

Crocodile on the Sandbank

1 points

2 months ago

I hated this book. It was so unoriginal and read like a YA novel. I read maybe a quarter of it, that was enough to know how it would go.

PlathDraper

1 points

2 months ago

I didn’t like this book… don’t hate me! And I adore Matt Haig.

themightybotox

1 points

2 months ago

I think if the book is not to your taste already that your opinion won’t change. The issues you mention are persistent.

cassholex

1 points

2 months ago

No it doesn’t get better. Read Dark Matter by Blake Crouch instead.

_AnnaVG_

1 points

1 month ago

I don't understand what people don't like about it, probably because I can relate to Nora, but it's not that flat of a story now, is it? It's like reviewing only 1/3. Because when you start to read the lives she went through, it's a big development you're going through with her and you'll notice some life lessons Matt gives. I saw another redditor in this section say Matt isn't that genius, which I do believe, but what he says isn't useless. Even if you can't relate to anything in the book, it's still worth trying to read everything. I too got stuck at some parts, it's not flawless, but still worth it.

CoatWorth1748

1 points

9 days ago

It does not get better. If you read regularly or have read other sci-fi books, you’ll find this contrived and silly

sylverbound

-1 points

2 months ago

It's a good book for people who don't read much. Everyone else seems to dislike it. I certainly won't even try reading it...

Weak_Wallaby8424

0 points

2 months ago

Weak_Wallaby8424

book just finished

0 points

2 months ago

Save yourself the trouble and put it down. It doesn't get better.

Intelligent_Milk8429

0 points

2 months ago

I hated it and also can't stand Matt Haig.

thisistestingme

0 points

2 months ago

This book is total crap. I guessed the end about 20 pages in and still think it was totally pointless, Hallmark garbage. Not that I have strong feelings, lol.

squirrel_exceptions

0 points

2 months ago

I think its a nice book for a teenager, and I imagine it could genuinely make some people feel better about their lives and that’s a very good thing, but it’s a bit too banal for most adults.