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The Library of Lost Things

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From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.

While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.

Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.

339 pages, Hardcover

First published October 8, 2019

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About the author

Laura Taylor Namey

6 books791 followers
Laura Taylor Namey is the New York Times bestselling author of A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, a Reese Witherspoon YA Book Club pick, as well as A British Girl’s Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak, When We Were Them, and The Library of Lost Things. A proud Cuban American, she can be found hunting for vintage treasures and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two children.

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5 stars
2,001 (23%)
4 stars
3,289 (38%)
3 stars
2,520 (29%)
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1 star
174 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,393 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,315 reviews44.1k followers
April 2, 2022
Four in the name of romantic book nerd and hoarders’ love, lyrical, family-troubled, emotional, heart-warming, making you sigh incessantly stars!

If you’re not a YA romance fan, what is still intriguing about this book?

-Complex mother and daughter relationship: Check!

-Amazingly developed real best supporting character and sidekick: Marisol’s existence on the book: Check!

-References from the great classic authors from Bronte, Austen to Shakespeare and bringing a different and creative approach to Peter Pan’s story: Check!

-Heart-felting, sometimes a little bit more dramatic but still swoony and sweet love story between Darcy and Asher( I know you may not love YA love stories but the age is not important when you read a heart-warming one!) : Check, check and check!

-When you need an urgent summer read and looking for a book that brings you the softest, sweetest and most genuine story which makes you smile: Check!

- When you need a quick escape from daily dramas, stress, turmoil and irritating people around you by reading with a soul-brushing, mind-relaxing story: Check!

If you also checked all the listed reasons to love this book, grab it, read it and fully enjoy it!

Special thanks to Inkyard Press and NetGalley to provide me this lovely book in exchange my honest review! I wholeheartedly loved this one!
Profile Image for emma.
1,871 reviews54.8k followers
October 28, 2020
I have decided to no longer be excited about things.

I'm manually opting out.

It only makes the intense disappointment and pain of disliking a book more intense when I was excited for that book. I could have gotten away with a "meh" if I hadn't anticipated this one so much.

Instead, I saw the cover and heard the words bookworm protagonist and was a lost cause.

Because I just...didn't like this.

Our main character ranges somewhere between boring and unlikable. Her romance feels like nothing. Her best friendship is inexplicable, honestly - I AM SO TIRED OF PROTAGONISTS WHO ARE BAD FRIENDS.

Bottom line: I said our main character is somewhere between boring and unlikable, but really...that was this whole reading experience for me.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.5k followers
February 5, 2020
4.5 stars.

Sometimes in order to write our own story we need to find ourselves first.

Darcy Jane Wells lives a life immersed in stories and books. Other than her best friend Marisol, books have been her closest companions since childhood, because she finds that other people’s stories are better than the story of her own life. She goes everywhere with at least one book in her possession, even to parties and other social events. (Sound at all familiar?)

Her mother is a hoarder. She’s a perfectly functioning adult with a real job and everything, but she cannot stop buying things to fill the void Darcy’s father left when he abandoned them before she was born.

Darcy has always stood guard to ensure her mother’s compulsion, preventing friends from visiting, running interference with the building manager, handling necessary repairs in secret. But a new building manager looking to make changes, dwindling money, an ultimatum from her grandmother, and the arrival of a shocking surprise leave her struggling.

When Darcy meets Asher, a former aspiring pilot whose dreams were dashed by injury, suddenly she is tired of hiding her story and her feelings. She’s tired of romance only between the pages of her books. But it will take courage and self-discovery, and much more.

"But I spent so much time battling the clutter scaffolding my life, so much time hiding. Dreams came, settling inside me. When they did, I lived in a new house, clean and free. I kissed the prince and danced with the hero, maybe even one like Asher Fleet. But I had to move those dreams out, every time. Evicted. How could I hold real love inside an invisible heart?"

I really enjoyed this! I thought the book was poignant and emotional, full of lovely and special moments. Namey’s characters are so appealing as well and added depth to this story. Plus, any book that celebrates the love of reading and the power of stories is all right by me!!

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html.

Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Olivia (Stories For Coffee).
611 reviews5,661 followers
December 14, 2020
*sighs* This... was a book that I read...

I wanted to enjoy this book, but the clunky dialogue that felt incredibly unnatural and always related to literature somehow- to really push the fact that our MC was a reader - got on my nerves. Books centered around a character who loves reading always seem to try a little too hard to sell the fact that their protagonist loves literature, forcing every conversation they have to have some book reference or another, or they simply have overly fluffy dialogue (because, you know, they're a reader and their conversations with friends are all lyrical to the point of where it's unbelievable).

At other points, the scenes felt cheesy or absurd- like the reason why Darcy's mother hoarded in the first place- and, all in all, this writing did not win me over. I could go on about this novel, but I won't.

Sadly, I just was not a fan.
Profile Image for Jaye Berry.
1,398 reviews129 followers
October 25, 2019
I wanted to love this book so much but unfortunately I just had too many problems with it.

The Library of Lost Things is about a girl named Darcy who loves books. One day at her job at a bookstore, a boy from school named Asher walks into her life. But Darcy has a secret- she's dealing with her mother's crushing hoarding problem and with a nosy new apartment manager, time is running out on her ability to hide it.

I don't know what it is with books about characters who love to read but they always gatekeep the FUCK out of being a bookworm and I'm honestly so tired of it. "You're not a reader if you x y or z!!" No, if you like stories and like to read you are a reader and there are no exceptions. You don't have to have been a fan of reading your entire life or even read 20 books a month to call yourself a reader and anyone who says otherwise can choke.

This book wants to pretend it's written for lovers of books but it is really: if you aren't a genius obsessive geek like Darcy who thinks about books 24/7, you are just a fake fan. Speed reading? Oh yeah doing it wrong. Even reading on an ereader is bad! Darcy makes the most bullshit comment ever and I literally almost dnf'd the damn book right there because of how much that pissed me off.

Stories are stories and ereaders are just another way to easily access them (ESPECIALLY the accessibility for people who can't get print copies easily due to location / digital ends up being cheaper because of sales / borrow digital from library easier than print / have trouble holding a heavy book because of various medical issues or disabilities / terrible eyesight / space issues- seriously I could keep going. But fuck those people in particular I guess!)

We're in 2019 still with that bullshit hot take that "wItH a ReAl BoOk, yOu FeEl tHe StOrY mOrE". I read this ON my ereader and huh, still felt the bullshit story here. I am a fan of books because of the stories they tell, not just the damn feel of paper. Turn on your location Darcy, I just want to talk.

So although I was okay with Darcy in the beginning, as I got to know her more, I started to dislike her so much. She's super pretentious and just endless in how perfect and genius she is. She has a photographic memory and get this- it is explained she got that way because she has "fallen in love with words" and from all the reading she's done. Wtf, where is my skill then?? I have tons of reader friends and none of us can do that either, dang. Oh right- we aren't all real readers anyway because ereaders or digital. 🤷 (Don't ever tell Darcy about audiobooks!! Oh shit she would LOSE IT.)

Maybe I had the wrong idea of this book going into it but she barely ever "deals" with her mother and her problem. Darcy goes on and on about how much she loves her mother but we never actually see it and instead she just kind of acted shitty to her mother with an untreated mental illness. Also she got distracted by a boy for most of the book??

Asher though, who by the way HAD A GIRLFRIEND FOR ALMOST THE ENTIRE BOOK. I could never get myself to think any of their bonding and flirting was cute because besides a little tiny part of Darcy, no one really cared he was taken?? Marisol even being like: "You say it like him having a girlfriend is a problem." GIRL WHAT???

The pacing of this book was so bad. The plot moves through phases of things it would focus on 100% before moving onto something else and then never mentioning the last thing and it was so weird to me?? Like at one point it randomly jumped to Darcy having to do some play and I had no idea where that even came from. (Of course she was amazing at it lol Darcy is without flaw!!)

I didn't like the writing either that tried to be deep and meaningful but was so cheesy and fake. The constant pop culture (and random popular YA books) references were obnoxious too but that's always a me thing. There were also all these threads of plotlines going on and ???? why. It was just TOO much and everything took a backseat to the mediocre romance anyway. Also I wanted more of a hard-hitting emotional book and not some annoying MC gatekeeping reading a book but alas.

Once the romance plotline is resolved near the end, suddenly the book is like "okay now back to my mother who I barely ever interacted with and who was barely in this book" and it tried to get all deep and emotional and I felt nothing. Just nothing. Also gross to compare loving stories to the actual mental illness of compulsive shopping and hoarding just to be dramatic but okay. "i'M a HoArDeR oF sToRieS" haha okay Darcy but your mom needs fucking help.

An attempt was made but I hated it all.
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,868 reviews2,246 followers
April 9, 2023
4 stars

The story of teenage girl Darcy who spends most of her time hidden away in a book. Darcy’s mother suffers from compulsive shopping and hoarding, and Darcy copes by getting lost in the words inside her head. When she starts running into Asher, a former teen pilot, the two form a friendship that begins to be something more.

I really enjoyed this teen novel, it’s exactly what a contemporary teen book should be. I loved being in Darcy’s head and seeing how she saw the world. It’s so cool that she had a somewhat photographic memory. The development of her friendship/romance with Asher was a slow burn but really well done. And I loved all the characters in this book. I think this is a great book about coming out of your shell and embracing a new world around you.
Profile Image for L. | That_Bookdragon.
252 reviews12 followers
September 26, 2019
4/5 ⭐

E-arc received from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

"Since kindergarten, my mind has been a story bank. I read and read, and I remember."

When I first read about this book, I knew I had to read it and was lucky enough to receive an e-ARC of it. I believe it is safe to say that the majority of the pages on my Kindle are highlighted with quotes I loved, moments that warmed or broke my heart and, just in general, how great this story is. Even though the main character is a bookworm, I think this book is very different from what we are used to have in YA books. Of course there are a lot of recurring elements that are classic to YA, but one thing in particular made me think it was bringing something new: the mother/daughter relationship. Darcy and her mother have a complex relationship due to her mom's hoarding. Mental illness in this book is well-developed and explained through Darcy telling the reader about their session with a counselor and how to handle her mother's compulsive shopping issue. To escape reality, Darcy found a coping system in hiding in books and their characters, referencing them all the time because it's the only way she knows how to deal with the real world and it's complexity.

Darcy can also count on one of the most well developed supporting character I have read about in a very long time: her best friend Marisol. I loved Marisol, she is an amazing friend and she gives so much love and support to Darcy. Their relationship was really heart-warming. The love interest was also incredibly well-developed. His backstory is gut-wrenching but his courage and determination show one should always keep hope, even in the darkest of times. In general, I would like to say the entire "cast" of characters was amazing. Tess, Darcy's grandmother, Mr Winston, they all have their flaws and qualities that make them unique and completely believable. They all bring something to the story and are not just there like some books tend to do. It was amazing.

Moreover, the writing in this book is phenomenal. It is extremely poetic and beautiful, filled with references to great writers and it flows amazingly. It seems like we are living within this book the same Darcy lives within books herself. Her relationship with fictional worlds and words was completely relatable and I could see myself within her. The comfort she finds in books is the same as mine, so what she was going through was understandable.

As a conclusion, I would highly recommend to every bookworm to put this little gem on your TBR because it is a really great book that deserves to be in the spotlight. Everything from the portrayal of the characters to the writing is fantastic. It definitely was a bit slow to start but I liked this aspect of it. The story unfurled in front of my eyes and I enjoyed getting to know Darcy and the other characters more as I went through the story. The portrayal of teenagers was also fairly accurate and seemed genuine, which I highly appreciated.

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Profile Image for Vicky Again.
602 reviews811 followers
May 11, 2020
such a sweet romance, and a lot of really strong family feels in this story!
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,994 reviews690 followers
November 16, 2020
What I like about this book is Darcy. She reminds me of me. Like her, I found books are my solace and confort. I can relate to books than human being. I spend my time reading. Or listening to audiobook.

What I wish from Library of Lost Things is the flow of the story. The wording and writing style does not really suit my appetite. Dragging, a lot of self conversation.

Combine it all, I give this book 3 stars.

3 stars
Profile Image for Stephanie Wilcox.
268 reviews22 followers
November 20, 2019
This was... Not great.

Darcy (haha Pride and Prejudice reference because she's soooo bookish!!) felt like the epitome of the whole "not like other girls" subgenre of YA I thought we were years past. Reading this book, everything about the tone, plot, and character development felt incredibly dated--largely because I haven't read anything written in this style since I was 13 or 14 (almost a decade!).

Here's the basic idea:

Darcy is the sole child of a single mother, who also struggles with hoarding. The only place where her mother won't move her hoard to is her bedroom, allowing Darcy to place the books her mother hates in there. For most of the book, we're told that Darcy's mother hates books because the man she fell in love with--and the father of her child--was an English teacher who left them and moved to Thailand 18 years ago. To cope with the loneliness of having to parent her mother (i.e. pay bills, do household shopping, and prevent anyone from ever setting foot in their home), she buries herself in books, with the book frequently noting that she has such a knack for books and reading, she can memorize whole texts and large passages and recite them with ease.

I often find that books designed for "bookish people" can be the worst--alternating between patronizing and pretentious. The Library of Lost Things spends more time with the latter, but still touches on the former. See, Darcy is also a book snob: she derides e-readers (aren't we past this now?), and immediately thinks less of Asher (romantic interest) because he speed-reads.

But we haven't yet gotten to the parts I hated the most about this book. See, Asher has a girlfriend for 90% of the book. Her name is London, she's a theater kid, and we're supposed to believe she sucks and is a terrible girlfriend because... Actually, we never were really given a reason. Because the whole book takes place from Darcy's POV, and so we're just told "London is bad."

But here's the thing, I don't believe she is. She's actually shown to be nice and sweet at various points! She just seems like a Sharpay-ish type girl who works really hard at the theater, but because she's involved with the romantic interest, she's automatically a Bad Person.

Most of the characters in The Library of Lost Things were little more than caricatures: the judgmental wealthy grandmother, the destitute mother, the cheerful best friend who sets aside all her problems for the MC, the love interest who deserves better than his current girlfriend, the aforementioned current girlfriend vilified for her crime of being with the romantic interest... It was a lot. These characters ultimately reveal themselves as objects designed to prop up Darcy as some wonderful, different, quirky, hard-done-by girl who frequently mentions that she's not pretty or beautiful. Yeah, we really hit all of them in one book--I was almost impressed if I wasn't suffering.

Finally, Darcy's mother. At the end of the book, Darcy confronts her mother's hoarding and draws a line in the sand. Remember how we were told her mother hates books because of Darcy's father? Turns out that was a lie. The real reason she hates books is because she (get this) abandoned Darcy at 9 months old and took off for four months, leaving her in the care of her grandparents. But when she decided to turn around and come back, she realized Darcy was exceptional (their word, not mine).

Why was Darcy exceptional, you may ask? The memorizing books thing. Apparently everyone was so blown away by her ability to memorize books from a very young age, that her mother felt like she didn't deserve her daughter, and began to resent books because of how naturally she took to them. So there you have it. The hoarding is because a mother got jealous of her child's ability to memorize and read literature. Wow.

The only thing that saved this book was that first kiss scene in the last couple of chapters. That was some good swoon.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,921 reviews33.1k followers
September 17, 2022
4 stars
He was the home for all my words, even the ones I hadn’t defined yet. He was the home for all my stories, even the ones I hadn’t imagined.

A young adult novel about a girl that loves books… that sounds right up my alley. And it was! I love books that give me the feels and this one had just enough feels to make me happy. Darcy and Asher’s friends to lovers story kept a big smile on my face. I especially loved the growth of Darcy’s character and the confrontation with her family at the end. The relationships in this book were my favorite thing. Darcy and her best friend Marisol were friendship goals. I do wish we would have had a big more closure on her reaching out to her dad, but that’s okay. I'm impressed that this was a debut novel and I'll be checking out more of Laura Taylor Namey's books in the future.
Audio book source: Hoopla
Story Rating: 4 stars
Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Contemporary YA
Length: 9h 46m

Profile Image for Майя Ставитская.
1,454 reviews142 followers
March 25, 2022
A girl named Darcy, in my understanding, is more suitable for a man, lives in a small California town, graduates from school, works part-time in a bookstore, is friends with a classmate, has the imprudence to be in love with a guy who was a local star, until he crashed in an accident last year and now he has, in addition to the collapsed brilliant life prospects, the knee joint is made of composite materials, but it's still the best (you know).

Darcy loves to read more than anything in the world and hates her apartment, which is filled from floor to ceiling with things, between the rubble of which there are passages to common areas. The fact is that the girl's mother is a hoarder. Hoarding syndrome is a widespread mania in the modern world, which is expressed in the impossibility for a person to part with things. By any means.

In the old, pre-digital times, stacks of newspapers and all kinds of printed products, which our boxes were spammed with, tended to accumulate, lining up, if not thrown away and/or burned, in stacks, like columns. And there are also second-hand shops where junk is sold by weight. And just trash cans - people throw away so many wonderful things!

No, no, Darcy's mom is not one of those who dig in the trash. She works and makes good money selling cosmetics "Eliza B" (a euphemism for the brand "Mary Kay?"). She is a well-groomed beautiful woman and drags into the house only new things from sales. But this does not make it any easier: the apartment is in the rubble, there is no money, there is a strain with paying bills. In general, not ice.

Кое-что о гене накопительства
И в главе, когда все развалилось на части, девочка отредактировала все свои невозможности так, что они стали возможностями.
Лауре Тейлор Нейми стоит быть благодарной, ну. хотя бы за возвращенного Шекспира, все комедии которого я перечитала лет в 14, одним каникулярным летом. у бабушки было собрание сочинений и, начав читать, понемногу одолела все. Комедии, я имею в виду. Из драм только "Ромео и Джульетту" и "Макбета" тогда. История несчастных влюбленных скорее не понравилась (кроме Меркуццио), а Кавдорский Тан со злодейкой супругой, которая все пыталась отмыть, блуждая по ночам во сне, от крови руки - их история подарила странным мрачным очарованием, которое и теперь со мной.

С комедиями было куда приятнее, хотя запомнились и полюбились больше всего две ночи (двенадцатая и сон в летнюю), да "Укрощение строптивой". Остальные слиплись в памяти неразделимым комом. Потому, когда, в "Библиотеке потерянных вещей", дошла до места, где герои ставят в любительском театре "Много шума из ничего", я поняла, что помню об этой пьесе примерно ничего. И перечитала.

Вот так с нами, книжниками, всег��а. Начинаем говорить об одной какой-то книге, плавно перетекаем на другую. соскальзываем к третьей, перескакиваем на четвертую. Просто это континуум, в котором мы существуем. Тот, где не бывает скучно и одиноко. Я имею в виду, по-настоящему скучно и смертельно одиноко.

Так-то, конечно, книги не заменят радости живого общения, теплоты рукопожатия, нежности объятий, наслаждения сексом, удовольствия от встречи глазами и дурацкого смеха вместе с кем-нибудь, глубокомысленных рассуждений во время совместной пьянки и той особой беззаботной атмосферы во время праздничного застолья. Не заменят, но позволят не упасть духом. когда преходящие земные радости в очередной раз предают тебя. Или просто недоступны по каким-то причинам.

Девочка по имени Дарси, в моем понимании больше подходящем мужчине, живет в небольшом калифорнийском городке, заканчивает школу, подрабатывает в книжном магази��чике, дружит с одноклассницей, имеет неосторожность быть влюбленной в парня, бывшего местной звездой, пока в прошлом году не разбился в аварии и теперь у него, в придачу к схлопнувшимся блестящим жизненным перспективам, коленный сустав из композитных материалов, но все равно он лучший (вы ж понимаете).

Дарси больше всего на свете любит читать и ненавидит свою квартиру, от пола до потолка заставленную вещами, между завалами которых устроены проходы к местам общего пользования. Дело в том, что мама девочки накопительница. Синдром накопительства расп��остраненная в современном мире мания, которая выражается в невозможности для человека расстаться с вещами. Любыми.

В прежние, доцифровые, времена стопки газет и всякой полиграфической продукции, которой спамили наши ящики, имели свойство скапливаться, выстраиваясь, если не выбрасывать и/или не сжигать, в стопки, наподобие колонн. А есть еще секонд-хенды, где барахло продают на вес. И просто мусорки - люди выбрасывают так много замечательных вещей!

Нет-нет, мама Дарси не из тех, кто роется на помойке. Она работает и неплохо зарабатывает, продавая косметику "Элизы Б" (эвфемизм для бренда "Мэри Кей?"). Она ухоженная красивая женщина и тащит в дом только новые вещи с распродаж. Но от этого не легче: квартира в завалах, денег сроду нет, с оплатой счетов напряженка. В общем, не айс.

А тут еще красавчик Эшли принялся заглядывать в перерыв в книжный. где работает Дарси. А его девушка, противная зазнайка с не менее странным, чем у Дарси, именем Лондон, попыталась выставить эйдетическую память героини на посмешище. В общем, все непросто и есть множество проблем, с которыми предстоит разбираться девушке. Но вы понимаете, она справится. Они справятся.

Когда бы не накопительство матери, книжная одержимость девочки и возвращенный Шекспир, было бы банальным подростково-любовным романом. А так, очень даже ничего.

Profile Image for Laurie.
Author 19 books3,477 followers
June 3, 2020
This turned out to be exactly the gentle, charming read I needed during this difficult coronavirus time - a contemporary YA gem of a book for book lovers (and I adore how this author started her creatively named chapters with quotes from classic literature from Shakespeare to Louisa May Alcott). Teen-aged Darcy spends her life lost in books and words, shutting out the reality of living with a mother with a serious hoarding problem (their apartment is a jumble of "goat tunnels" through piles and piles of stuff). Darcy's one refuge is her room that she's turned into a library. When a former teen pilot, the swoony and complicated Asher, enters her bookish life, Darcy has a choice to make - either keep barricading the world out with a wall of books and stories, or start creating a story of her own. Lovely writing, charming details and one of the most engaging, hilarious best friends I've read in a long time - aspiring fashion designer Marisol (Marisol's warm & wonderful Cuban/Mexican family is another highlight of this book - and the luscious food descriptions - I LOVE well-done food descriptions "pan dulce, crowned with cinnamon and butter"...prepare to be hungry and googling Cuban/Mexican cuisine when reading this book). And I'd love a spin-off book about cheeky Marisol :) I also loved the metaphors and language revolving around airplane flight - and the unique, very atmospheric setting of an airplane hangar for romantic scenes of budding first love (and may I take a moment to congratulate the author on one of the swooniest almost-kisses I've ever read). An engaging, highly-enjoyable read. Looking forward to this talented author's next book (with one of the most charming covers and titles I've seen in a while :))
Profile Image for Rida Quraishi.
456 reviews70 followers
November 29, 2020
*1.5 stars

This was such a boring book. I couldn't bring myself to care for anyone 🙄 I wanted to dnf it so many times but each time I thought, maybe now it'll get better, maybe now it'll get better... Spoiler alert - it doesn't get better 😒😒
Profile Image for Christie«SHBBblogger».
965 reviews1,248 followers
October 1, 2019

Title: The Library of Lost Things
Series: Standalone
Author: Laura Taylor Namey
Release date: October 8, 2019
Cliffhanger: No
Genre: YA romance

He was the home for all my words, even the ones I hadn’t defined yet. He was the home for all my stories, even the ones I hadn’t imagined.

This book had me at "literary genius heroine." I loved the secret gift she had for memorizing passages of her favorite books. Darcy Wells is exactly the type of character I have a weakness for. Shy, intelligent, not exactly nerdy but feels socially invisible. Then to find out that she's named after my ultimate book hero, the dashing Mr. Darcy??? How could I possibly dislike her after that? Spoiler alert: I couldn't. Books are the center of Darcy's world, they're her escape from the harsh reality of her mother's shopping and hoarding addiction. Inside the pages of her books was invaluable information she could stockpile in her brain to get her through a stressful time. Because her mother just isn't there for her to give advice and guidance the way she is supposed to be. She's a young girl trying to cope in the only way she knows how.

What skills had my mother taught me? How to fall apart, but still look presentable? How to pretend and lie to survive, or shop your bank account dry? I’d learned more about life from books than my own mom.

She knows her mother loves her, but through the years, their roles have become reversed and Darcy has taken on the responsibility of many things she shouldn't have to worry about at her age. Her mother has completely checked out and spiraled into an anxiety ridden maze of denial and comfort spending. If you've seen the show Hoarders, you probably have some horrific images in your head about what kind of filth they're living in. Their situation isn't quite that dire. Her mother holds down a well paying job selling make-up, and on the outside, you'd never guess that their home is stacked with so many piles of stuff that you barely have enough room to walk from room to room.

Darcy has adapted and learned how to project the perfect image and blend into the background so no one asks too many questions. Her best friend's cousin is called in for a favor when a repair needs to be made in their apartment. Her grandmother's monthly allowance is used to buy groceries or pay a bill that wasn't taken care of. And no one, absolutely no one, is allowed to step foot inside her home, because the fear of child protective services removing her is one that she lives with every day. She's one month away from turning eighteen, and she needs to keep their skeletons firmly in the closet until that day. Then suddenly her house of cards starts tumbling down around her. She's hit with one problem after another and everything is on the verge of collapsing with one wrong move. It's all she can do to take one shaky breath at a time.

Asher was such a refreshingly sweet hero. Yes, he's a little moody and unapproachable in the beginning, but his behavior wasn't just teenage angst or bad manners. When Darcy runs into him a few times and starts to get to know him better, she realizes that his mixed messages are coming from a place that he has no control over. Asher is one year ahead of her and just recently graduated, but he's been working for family while he heals from a traumatic car accident that destroyed his plans for the future. I enjoyed the fact that these two formed a friendship first and you could tangibly see their feelings grow into something deeper. To Darcy, he is the unattainable popular guy that she could never hope to capture. She's quirky, secretive, and would rather read a book at a party than socialize. He sees much more of her true self than she thinks and there isn't a part of her he doesn't like.

“I watched you almost every day.” He smiled. “Watched you tuck hair behind your ear and fall in love with words. And you’re more than pretty. You’re all the places I want to fly to. Your mind is brilliant and so full, it spills out all over you.”

Darcy's best friend Marisol was amazing and every girl should have a supportive person in their life like her. The Peter Pan book that plays a big part in the book was pretty special, and I really enjoyed the relatable quotes at the head of each chapter. I guessed early on how the book tied into the plot, but it was such a creative thing to do that I didn't mind at all. Throughout the story I thought this would be a simple and sweet teen coming of age romance that's low on the angst and high on the cute factor. Then out of nowhere at the end, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself choking back emotion as Darcy navigated the broken relationship with her mother. This is definitely more than your average YA fluff, it has lots of heart and introspection in it.

I thoroughly loved Laura Taylor Namey's debut and I cannot wait to read more from her in the future.



Profile Image for Zitong Ren.
504 reviews158 followers
May 3, 2020

I mean, it was alright, nothing special, though it wasn't bad either. I liked the characters well enough. It was certainly sweet, but I dunno, it didn't really make me feel anything. If anything, I feel sort of empty after finishing it.

I suppose it was just a normal contemporary romance.

I will say that I have started reading romance, albeit YA for the first time in my life due to this whole pandemic situation which has me wanting happy stories, but I dunno. This is like probably the 4th romance I've read the space of a month. Yes, they're cute and fun to read, but I don't really feel satisfied in any way after finishing it.

It's all pretty predictable tbh.

There' always some minor complication after the characters lives and family issues or whatever, but you always know it's going to have a happy ending. There's no thrill or any real excitement since it's obvious at how things are going to go.

Plot twists = negligible, it's really zero, but maybe some things could be considered plot twists? maybe? ehh?

While I do want to read some more happier books in general, these light fluffy YA contemporaries, in fairly significant doses probably aren't the right thing either to read since it gets boring and predicable really quickly.

oh well

Profile Image for Heidi.
1,237 reviews144 followers
March 4, 2020
Really lovely YA romance that doesn’t shy away from real issues. The heroine was a bookworm of epic proportions (exactly why I adore it, truth be told) and carrying a lot of adult-like baggage.

Highly recommend, especially to teens who may need a happy ending in their own stressed lives.
Profile Image for CW ✨.
670 reviews1,714 followers
July 17, 2020
A sweet book that also packs an emotional punch about mother-daughter relationships, slow-burn romance, and hiding who we are.

- Follows Darcy, a teen who has extraordinary memory of the books that she has read, and lives with her mother who struggles with hoarding and compulsive shopping. And then she meets Aster, a teen boy and former teen pilot who suffers from PTSD (I think?) and a traumatic brain injury.
- I think this is the sort of book you'll love if you like stories that explore relationships and is 'slice of life'. The relationships are slowly and carefully explored and developed, and I liked that a lot.
- The story explores the impact of hoarding and compulsive shopping has on Aster, and how this strains the relationships with everyone around her.
- It's also a story about identity - being proud of who we are, being true to ourselves, and not hiding the parts of ourselves.

Trigger/content warning:
Profile Image for ATheReader- check my bio.
199 reviews59 followers
March 10, 2021
Now, I really wanted to love this book. I REALLY DID but I DNFed it on page 82 (chapter 8). The concept sounded so promising but between the terrible writing and clear instalove I couldn't put myself through this.

When I saw this book I knew that I had to get my hands on it. From this line, in the synopsis "literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books" to this one "walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart" I just had to. What a mistake that was.

Like Tony Stark planning an announcement party for spider-man becoming an avenger, acting suspiciously to Peter, and having to fake his proposal to Pepper for the press.

Like Dumbledore taking the invisibility cloak from Harry Potter's dad the day Voldy decided to show up on their doorstep.

Enough with the Marvel and Harry Potter references. No number of Marvel or Harry Potter references could cleanse this book or my feelings towards it. I am angry and now I will go into everything I hated about this book.

The terrible writing:

*Deep breath* HAHAH I can't do it. Here are some of the quotes that noted after I realized what I was dealing with:

"No matter how expertly Marisol dressed me, I was basically a living party foul underneath the trendy sweater and scarf." pg. 71

I included this because 1. what is a living party foul?? 2. there were a bunch of random references like this that I, an avid book nerd, could not make any sense of, and 3. this just shows HOW UNTEENGERY EVERYTHING WAS. The MC is 17 but the references, slang, and thoughts were extremely cringe to me.

"But my hands wanted books." pg.71

Same, but not in the way you do. The MC Darcy Jane (Yes, her mother allegedly named her after the two Pride and Prejudice MCS) craves books like other book nerds but SHE IS NOT LIKE OTHER BOOK NERDS. She is calm when she is holding books. She reaches out to hold books when she is agitated or nervous. Yeah, I don't know either. (I get the calm when near books things but this was some next-level stuff.)

"It was the small-time between sunset and evening when the sunset and evening when the sky turned the color of crushed plums, bruised from the wounds of another day. I followed the shoreline toward the jetty, a wide peninsula of jagged stones poking into the Pacific like a giant stick of black rock candy." pg.74

Sure, this may seem like a nice book quote but I put it here for a specific reason. The writing is so jam-packed with figurative language that I feel like I am actually choking. I do love figurative language but it needs to be used strategically.

"My thoughts fizzled" pg. 75

One of many terms used that are similar to this. How, may I ask, can you thoughts fizzle ? I hope that your brain isn't boiling, because that would be more than mildly concerning.

Another thing that is more than mildly concerning is the fact that the love interest is in an active romantic relationship and Darcy is already obsessed with him by page 70. From other reviews that I've read for this book, she continues to pursue him when he is clearly dating this other girl. If you have read any of my other reviews you would know that I can't stand this type of "romance" as I view it as CHEATING and I also hate instalove. So clearly this book was for me.. to write a bad review about.

By page 82 we have only really met Darcy and her best friend Marisol. I liked Marisol and I thought she was a great character, but I didn't quite like Darcy. She seemed pretty self-centered and overly annoying. I also had the feeling that she felt like she was the best book nerd ever and that she was so much better than other bookish people.

I will admit that I didn't really register the hoarder mother part of the synopsis but I was slightly concerned at the way they were going about her mental illness. Something felt slightly icky to me.

Overall I would recommend that you not read this book to spare yourself time or your brain cells might show up in The Library of Lost Things like Darcy's entire common sense.
Profile Image for Jacqueline Firkins.
Author 4 books275 followers
June 20, 2019
I was lucky enough to get an ARC through NetGalley so I could dive--or rather fly--into this charming book.

I love a good love story and I thoroughly enjoyed my read. TLOLT has lots to recommend it beyond its central romantic arc. 3 generations of family drama expand the story and lay the groundwork for an engaging mystery. The answers tie seamlessly into the main character's arc of self discovery and self acceptance. There are plenty of literary references (both direct and implied) within the material to please any avid reader who picks this up. It's awash with Easter eggs to enjoy. Austen. Bronte. Barrie. Shakespeare. And more. The love interest in swoon-worthy and says all the right things at all the right times. The best friend has the necessary sass to push the heroine out of her bookish shell. The side characters are quirky and lovable, replete with a funky wig-shop owner and a frumpy bookseller who have a history of their own. The book requires some suspension of disbelief, but I had no problem letting go to enjoy the ride. I rooted for the main character, I enjoyed the thematic symbolism, and I appreciated the author's sense of detail. Can't wait to see what she does next!
Profile Image for Meggie.
472 reviews87 followers
September 24, 2020
3.5 stars

(Disclaimer: My ratings have become more discerning over the years, so know that a 3.5 now is NOT the same as a 3.5 from 2018. Now, it means what it is supposed to mean: a little better than average).

Let me start off by saying that the writing was damn near perfect in this book. I think I can maybe summarize my feelings in one sentence: It was a good BOOK, I just didn't love the STORY. I didn't feel it. I liked the characters, but I didn't love them. I liked the details, but I am not sure I loved the execution of the details. In other words, this could very well all be a ME thing and you shouldn't listen to a single word I say.

Darcy Jane Wells is a senior in high school and a self-proclaimed nerd. She is obsessed with books: she reads all the time, bookshelves cover her walls, and she works in a bookstore. She even can recite stories off the top of her head. She has a best friend named Marisol, a mother that is a hoarder, and a father that ran off to Thailand that she has never met. The story consists of her dealing with all of that, as well as the budding friendship- and eventual romance- with a boy named Asher Fleet. Asher has some demons himself: he was in a bad car accident that ruined his dream of flying in the Navy (or something to that effect; he loves to fly and I remember him saying that his pre-accident plans included him going to Annapolis). He has lingering physical health problems as well as mental ones that affect his mood and energy level. But Asher has a popular girlfriend, and besides, he would never want to be with anyone like Darcy... right?

The friendship between Darcy and Marisol was probably the best relationship of the story, because it had the most depth. This author definitely celebrates female friendships and let's be honest, that needs to happen a lot more in this genre. In fact, I would give this author another shot strictly because of the friendship she created. The romantic relationship between Darcy and Asher, though? It lacked... spark. Of course, not every love story has to be passionate and intense. But if it's not, I feel like there has to be something else, whether it's some fun banter or some sort of mysterious details about the love interest. Instead, it was just a tad... boring. And as for Darcy's mom and the hoarding storyline, well, let me just say this: I have watched TLC. I know that hoarding is an illness, that it masks some sort of trauma or a void in the person's life. Honestly, I have more sympathy than most when it comes to mental illness. The problem is that in this story, all we know of the mom is her hoarding. She has zero other personality traits (besides maybe stubbornness, since she is in denial that she even has a problem). I felt like a bad person because the second Darcy turned 18, I was like YOU'RE FREE! RUN! I mean, Darcy's mom made zero effort to actually BE a mom, whereas Darcy had the weight of the world on her shoulders before she even turned 18. So I already didn't like mom, and then the big secret was revealed and... IT GOT WORSE. The dislike turned into almost a hatred. Like, really? You made a bad choice for a few months and felt so guilty about it that you... spent years making even worse choices? This is harsh, and probably unpopular, but Darcy's mom wasn't a mother and she probably never should have been, either. She should've given Darcy up to a family that really wanted a child, to someone (or some people) that was stable and loving. Or even let her parents raise her. In other words, I was never convinced that she deserved Darcy's steadfast loyalty, so it just annoyed me every time Darcy chose her but her mom just chose more things instead. The girl lived in a two-bedroom apartment with goat tunnels. The very least a mom could've done was, like, buy groceries instead of bags of dog food that were on sale even though they didn't own a dog!

Again, it's possible I don't understand the mental illness that goes along with hoarding as much as I think I do. But at the same time, in my opinion, just because someone is mentally ill doesn't mean a loved one has to stand by them. It should be a give-and-take; the sick person should be (at the very least) open to getting help, to getting better. If not, loving and supporting can turn into enabling, which is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from codependency. I have seen it with my own two eyes: this kind of "support" can end very badly, whether it's an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or stuff. So, okay, maybe my dislike for this part of the story was a little personal. Maybe y'all should try the book for yourself. If you do, let me know if I'm just a heartless bitch. (You wouldn't be the first person to say as much!)
May 16, 2021
An unputdownable YA contemporary story with endearing, consistent and relatable characters. This book was well written and evenly paced. So many great quotes in here. It felt like a 4 star for most of the book but the surprise conclusion bumped it up to a 5. Sometimes the lengthy inner monolgue This will be one of my favorite books of 2021.

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Profile Image for Melissa (Semi-hiatus Very Behind).
4,650 reviews2,121 followers
July 2, 2020
2.5 stars rounded up
A heartfelt YA romance with some serious issues surrounding hoarding and all of the implications of that. It wasn't an easy book for me to read because I have such a difficult time with parents who can't see past their own issues in order to raise their children. I get that hoarding is a mental illness, but I just truly felt for Darcy and the burden put on her for her entire life. If her mother was together enough to go to her job each day, she was together enough to address her problems. Plus, when Darcy tries to, I don't know, justify the hoarding by saying that she herself is a hoarder ("of stories"), I didn't buy it. Just because Darcy escaped into books because her life was so screwed up didn't make her a hoarder, it made her a teenager trying to deal with her anxiety and frustration at her terrible life.
I enjoyed the literary references and the fact that Darcy worked in a bookstore, and her relationship with Marisol was delightful.
I didn't care for the snide comments about e-readers and speed reading. If you're going to celebrate books then why not celebrate them in any form that someone reads them in without making value judgments.
I listened to this book as an audio book and the narrator Brittany Pressley is excellent. She has narrated many books that I've listened to before and her narration actually made me connect with the story more than I would have otherwise.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Marianne (Boricuan Bookworms) .
809 reviews403 followers
October 23, 2019
Those last few chapters had me swallowing my tears. This is a wonderful book. It has a romance yes, but it's much bigger than that. I loved all the characters and how family relationships are portrayed. I felt really connected to Darcy.

The audiobook was great, though there were some parts in Spanish that didn't sound well. Regardless, really engaging.
Profile Image for Karen.
124 reviews80 followers
June 30, 2020
An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a charming and sweet book! I love books about books and book lovers.

I loved Darcy and her amazing memory about books. She essentially lives inside the books she loves, and would love nothing more than to spend all her time reading books instead of socializing. And I mean. Wow, that was me in high school so 100% can relate. Not that she's socially awkward (usually) - she just takes great comfort in books, in stories with romances and happily ever afters. It's also the best way to escape the mess that is her own life.

I really enjoyed her friendship with Marisol. Marisol is half-Mexican, half-Cuban and I loved the incorporation of her big Spanish family. She's also a fashion designer with a bad gum-chewing habit, but her and Darcy are best friends, and their opposing personalities work so well together.

Of course, I also loved Asher. I was a bit unsure about him at first, since his attitude could change randomly. However, there was a rational (surprise!) explanation for his behaviour. And he was just generally super sweet and cute. He and Darcy had the best discussions about books and ways of reading (slowly to savour all the words, or speed-reading by reading in chunks) reminded me so much of my boyfriend and I!

Finally, I really liked Darcy's precarious relationship with both her mother and grandmother.

I thought this book was really unique for its portrayal of hoarding and concussive effects after a traumatic accident. In general, I really loved the various relationships Darcy makes and has, and how she begins to live her own story instead of hiding in a book.
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