The Library of Lost Things

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

I connected with the themes in The Library of Lost Things on many levels - hiding from life within the pages f beloved books, "hoarding" the things that make us feel safe, struggling to feel worthy, etc. - and I think most readers will too. In particular I liked that Darcy's struggle to deal with her mother's hoarding was not the main plot (which may have limited this book to "problem novel" status) but instead was just one part of her deeply felt journey of self discovery. Also - Asher - swoon!
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The title of this book deceived me. I was hoping there’d actually be a library involved and there sort of is but it’s not the kind of library I was expecting. The main character has a personal library at home and that seems to be the library insinuated by the title, although the word library is never applied to it. That being said, that is the only disappointment that I had with this book. Namey’s woven a touching and moving story that handles mental health issues, and chronic illness with compassion and empathy. For me this is up there with The Fault in our Stars in terms of moving stories. It didn’t make me ugly cry like Green’s famous tearjerker, but I was incredibly moved by the story in a way I haven’t really been since I read the story of Hazel and Gus. Asher and Darcy are up there with them for me.

Darcy is a girl with a big secret, her mother if a hoarder. Darcy has had to grow up a lot quicker than other girls her age in order to deal with that. In that regard it’s a classic case of the child having to parent their parent, she goes to school; has a job to help try and keep the financial ends meeting with her mother’s shopping habits; does her homework; plays middle man between her mother and the property manager so they don’t get kicked out; and manages her mother’s mental illness. That’s an awful lot of burden on a girl who isn’t even 18 yet at the start of the story.

Then Asher Fleet walks into her life. He’s got baggage too, almost as much as Darcy. He’s lost his life’s dream because of a car accident that he’s also still fighting the physical repercussions of while his relationship with his girlfriend is deteriorating. These two meet at the exact moment in their lives where they just need someone who can understand the shit they’re dealing with. They find that in one another and watching their friendship blossom throughout the book is so beautiful. The love story itself is not surprising in the least – you can see exactly where Namey is going with it and predict exactly how it’s going to play out from very early on in the book. That doesn’t make it bad though, because in this instance it’s watching Asher and Darcy get there that matters, the journey they go on together, the growth and realisations that happen for both of them along the way to the happy ending are what matter. It’s not a sappy love story, but it is an emotional and moving one.

Life is messy, but it can also be beautiful, and it took each of them finding someone with a life as messy as their own for these two to realise that. And that’s a lesson we can all learn from that even in the messiest life there are going to be moments and pieces and people and places that can make it beautiful. That doesn’t make the shitty parts good or erase them, but just knowing that the beauty exists can sometimes make the shit a little less shitty. We know that Asher and Darcy aren’t getting a perfectly happy happily-ever-after where they ride off into the sunset together, their lives are still full of baggage, but they’re no longer alone to deal with that baggage, which is a more realistic version of a happy ending.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. The original posting of this review can be found on my website: https://twobirds1blog.wordpress.com/2019/11/11/the-library-of-lost-things-by-laura-taylor-namey-review-bookreview-arc/
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This is a sweet romance about a girl who’s forced to become an adult too soon, because her mom is a hoarder. I work with young adults, and I particularly liked the way Darcy and her friends seemed so real, from the dialogue to their actins and reactions. A fun read!
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Darcy Wells not only loves books but she was named after one of the most memorable characters in literature, Mr. Darcy of Pride & Prejudice. She has withdrawn from most teen activities and immerses herself in the tales of her favorite characters. Luckily she has Marisol, a best friend, who saves her from living a hermetic social life. One of the main reasons she has isolated herself from other teens is her fear of anyone learning of her mother’s compulsive hoarding. When Darcy starts to open up to a boy who is adjusting to a life-changing injury, it’s a step toward letting others in.

What works best here are the characters. Marisol brightens the scene every time she appears. She is the epitome of a best friend. Darcy is sympathetic and her relationship with her mother and grandmother are realistically portrayed. Asher is a likeable and admirable young man who has had to adjust to his own situation. His relationship with Darcy is given time to develop slowly and that works well. The one flaw might be the rationale for the hoarding which doesn’t completely work. Despite that, Darcy lives with fears that she must face and Namey nicely brings about change that is believable.
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It took me a little while to get into this, but in the end I enjoyed it. This is the story of Dacry Wells, a tee who lives in books rather than show anyone her truth - her mother is a hoarder. Only one person really knows her secret, her best-friend Marisol. As senior year begins though, it is getting harder to stay invisible, especially when she meets Asher Fleet, a boy with struggles of his own.
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Darcy’s real life was sometimes difficult to face, and therefore, she has chosen to live in her fictional worlds. Then, during her senior year of high school, she has met the perfect someone, and her financial and living situation are both threatened. With the real world crashing in, Darcy has to decide if she is willing to take a risk, open herself up, or remain hidden behind the wall she has erected to protect herself and her mother.

It was so easy to connect with Darcy as a book lover. I adored all the quotes and word games incorporated into the story. I also found her really easy to empathize with. She was a child being forced to assume the adult role in her home due to her mother’s struggle with mental illness. I, too, had such a childhood and for much of the same reasons. So what I enjoyed most was seeing Darcy slowly remove her protective barrier and begin to let more people into her life. She expanded her social circle, and even made an effort to make peace with her father’s absence. I was so proud of her as a character to see how far she grew throughout the story. The supporting cast of characters in her best friend Marisol and love interest Asher enhanced the story as well. 

Overall: This was a lovely and touching story, which incorporated romance, friendship, forgiveness, mental health, and books in a captivating way. A stellar debut, which has me looking forward to more from this author.

Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read and review this book.
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The Library of lost things was a great easy read that tugged at my heart strings and got me really invested in the lives of the characters. Darcy is navigating her senior year feeling as though her carefully safeguarded life is careening towards destruction. Every moment of her life has been spent protecting her mother's secret hoarding problem. From counting down the days until CPS can no longer remove her from the household to hoping the new landlord won't find out and choose not to renew the lease, she has way more on her plate than she should. The only person in her life she trusts is her best friend Marisol, but all that changes when a new friend appears in the form of cute boy Asher Fleet with the tragic back story. 

One of my favorite thing about this book was how well it flirted with being cheesy without ever approaching too much or poorly done. There were a lot of romcom tropes sprinkled throughout the book, but the characters still felt genuine, and it didn't have too much of the mean girl cattiness that I can't stand in many contemporary romances. 

Overall, this was a 4.5 star read for me!

Thank you to Laura Taylor Namey, NetGalley, and Inkyard Press for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion
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Darcy Wells is an exceptional young lady. However, she does not realize it. As many know, life as a teenager is fraught with hills and valleys, and Darcy definitely has her share of them and then some.  Added on top of the complex life of a teenager is the fact that Darcy’s mother is a hoarder. Every spare area in their home except for Darcy’s room, is covered in “stuff”. Darcy has spent her whole life keeping people out, until she isn’t able to do it anymore. A certain young man by the name of Asher, slips past her guard and makes Darcy want to live again. Her relationship with him helps her to open up and embrace her truth, messy mother and all.
This book is well written and a great coming of age story. In this story we learn that dysfunction is a point of view when it comes to family, and that it is possible to work through issues. There are a lot of quotes from a variety of books which is perfect for a book worm. Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to review this book.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy!

This book took me a long time to get through. I liked the characters enough and I enjoyed the plot, even though it was more fluff than I had expected. The hoarding storyline hit close to home for me and I feel like it kept me reading. There were a lot of beautiful pieces of writing throughout the story and I really could relate to Darcy. I think the issue for me was the slow burn was a little too slow and it made it a bit hard to root for Darcy and Asher when he was already in a relationship. Overall, I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it, but it won't be on my list of favorites.
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I could not get into this one and DNFed pretty early on. I could tell that the writing style and the characters were simply not for me.
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The Library of Lost Things is an excellent coming-of-age story that takes place in San Diego featuring 17-year-old Darcy and her single mother.  They live in a small apartment complex and have been coasting along in life until the complex comes under new management.  Darcy fears their secret will be discovered and she will be forced away from her mother if that happens.   Her mother is a hoarder.  Their apartment is loaded with boxes upon boxes of all kinds of stuff that was incredibly important at the time it was ordered, but remains sorted and stacked - and unused.  Darcy accesses her room by "goat tunnels" through the boxes that allow she and her mother to navigate the tiny apartment.  Their therapist coaches Darcy on the best way to help her mother but Darcy leaves for college soon and the new manager is getting more and more insistent on entering the unit.  Thankfully her friend Marisol and Marisol's family fill in for her neglectful mother.  Darcy has a funny, kind and quirky extended family, including her bookstore employer and his ex-wife who owns the wig shop next door.  Laura Taylor Namey does a magnificent job with the characters, as well as explaining Darcy's mother's illness and relating more about the disease than I was aware of.  She makes Darcy so relatable that I think everyone will find something or many things to like about her.  Darcy's dealing with a lot, but not all bad.  There's a handsome, enigmatic boy who has his own troubles.  With his help, and Marisol's and the rest of Darcy's extended family, Darcy is able to come to terms with her biological family and her own life as well as to encourage her mother to get the help she needs.  This is written for young adults but I think adults would enjoy it as well.
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Even though I am posting this review on the first of November and the book came out on Oct 8 I got the okay to read an arc thanks to NetGalley. I thought I give this a try. I am glad I did because I completely LOVED this book. I loved the characters and plot of the story. I thought Darcy was such a great character. She is this massive book lover with a gift. She would memorize different parts of a story to someone and she knew a lot of "big" words. I also liked the friendship she had with Marisol it was honest and true. This story also deals with the major topic of hoarding and how it can effect the person who hoards and their loved ones. I also love how the romance between Asher and Darcy was a slow burn and they started to get to know each other when Asher takes his breaks at the bookstore Darcy works at. This is a great story of finding yourself and learning to live outside of a story.
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I'm a book nerd so I knew this book would be right for me.  Someone that works in a book store, my dream, but most likely for another life.  While I'm not a hoarder nor do I know any hoarders (or at least I don't think I do), this gave me an insight into people that do hoard and why they do it.  I would love to have Darcy's ability to memorize books, not so I could memorize them, but so maybe I could remember them months after I read them.  I don't read a lot of YA but this one seemed not quite as silly as some I have read are.  I don't necessarily like romance, but the romance was well done in this book.  It was about Darcy and how she grew throughout everything that was put in front of her.  

The storyline was believable and the characters were well thought out and also believable.  The author took her time with the romance of Darcy and Archer and having both of them have a past and present that could have kept most people from moving forward, this allowed both of them to grow together.  

I hope this author writes more books as I really enjoyed this one and hope to read any of hers in the future.
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The Good
-All the Peter Pan references (LOVED THIS!)
-I didn’t really care about Asher until he made this pilot analogy near the 80% mark which made me go, Yes, go ahead and take my heart. 😆
-Marisol!!! Yes girl! She was such an awesome, very supportive, and very understanding character. THE best friend.
-It’s a book with/about books. That’s always a good thing.
-I liked the way Darcy’s mom was written.
-Sweet, cute, #FEELS
-Darcy’s awesome brain. If I can quote Shakespeare (or any book) whenever I want, I’ll be extremely happy.
-Awesome characters. I got attached to them (even the supporting characters!)

The Not-So-Good
-Too dramatic to me at some points even though the current circumstances weren’t dramatic at all
-Took quite a while to get into. I’m gonna be very honest here, I thought I was gonna DNF it. I just found the first, maybe, 35%-40% so uneventful
-I don’t know why I don’t feel satisfied even though things ended well

Overall

A light and easy read. I believe most people will be able to relate to Darcy (and/or the other characters). A good debut novel.
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This was such a great read. Not just because it spoke to the book nerd in me but for all of the additional growth that is in those pages. From the start of the book we get the reality of what it may be like to hide a hoarder and the anxiety that goes along with it. I would probably spend a lot of time lost in books as well.
The main characters stands on her own and doesn't need a man. But when said man steps into her life with his own baggage it makes your heart swell that much more. Instead of a perfect man we get baggage and growth. Darcy and Asher must learn to trust each other and more importantly lean on each other. 
This is the perfect book for any bibliophile. If you are into depth of characters and tons of personal growth in a sweet romance this is for you.
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This is one of those special books that makes you wish every read was the first time. A book that makes you stay up way too late because you don't want to put it down, and keeps you thinking about it long after you've finished. I had it on good authority that I would enjoy this book, even though it was YA, but I didn't know how much this book would give me all the feels. I cannot recommend this enough.
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I'm honestly not a big fan of romance novels, and I was especially not in the mood for romance novels this year. However, I went into this book not knowing anything about it and am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed reading about the characters and their lives, it's a light and fun read and even though the book didn't feel very eventful to me, I enjoyed it all the same and would be interested in picking up the author's works in the future.
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This book was ok. Not terrible but not great. I enjoyed the references to other books within the story and getting a feel of what it’s like to live with a hoarder. I can understand Darcy wanting to be there for her mom and try to help her because I’m a big believer in sticking by family, but at the same time I think she should’ve left when her grandmother gave her an offer. You need to take care of yourself first and being with her mom was not good for her at all. I loved the friendship between Darcy and Marisol. Those two were great together and I wish more books would show such a strong and honest friendship as this.
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Darcy lives for books. She's the definition of a booknerd. A quality that Darcy has is she memorizes stories from beginning to end--she can quote almost any book. To Darcy, her books are her comfort zone and the escape she needs from real life. Unfortunately, real life is becoming too real. Her living and financial situations are both threatened and she's basically the one that has to carry the heavy burden.

I felt so much for this beautiful character. Darcy is dealing with so much and she's still going forward, one step at a time. Thankfully, she has the support of her best friend, Marisol, and her bff's family. I have to point out that I felt like I was one of Marisol's family members because how the author described this family is exactly how Puerto Rican families are. We are loud, we are always eating, we are a whole bunch of people. But when you're introduced to the family, you're one of us for life. The author was able to portray this so well and so vividly. I give her all the kudos!

Then we have Asher, a beautifully broken guy who's trying to move forward from the accident that cost him his dream of becoming a pilot. When he came into Darcy's life, he was still dealing with the emotional pain, but he was still able to be there for Darcy, show her there's more to life, give her a different perspective from the angle she was looking at situations, teach her about the magic that is speed reading, and ultimately, give her all of his support through everything she was dealing with.

I totally enjoyed Asher and Darcy together. They were made for each other! And I just loved how sweet the slow-burn was, seeing them become friends and ever so slowly seeing them grow closer to one another until a romance starts blooming.

One of the aspects of the story that touched my heart was the mental illness Darcy's mother was dealing with. I have never read a book on hoarding before and never really understood much of it until now. I believe the author did a wonderful job in enlightening the reader on this particular Mental Health. It broke my heart to read about someone going through something like this, especially Darcy. She wasn't the one hoarding, but this still affected her life in so many ways. What broke my heart even more was when her mom confessed why she began hoarding in the first place. Ugh, my heart broke in pieces. I just wanted to hug both of them.

Overall, The Library of Lost Things is truly beautiful and insightful. I have nothing bad to say about it. The rating I'm giving the book is more a, "It's not you, it's me." I still very highly recommend this because I know it will resonate with so many readers!
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Laura Taylor Namey does a fabulous job of creating Darcy, the "literary genius" main character, and every bookish teen is going to wish they have her super power of recalling favorite passages from the books she reads and rereads to feel safe. Namey also handles the hoarding issue in such a real way. My own mother was a hoarder, and I could hear her in Darcy's mom's words. 

If you like complex and dynamic characters (yes, even the supporting ones), all things bookish, adorable love stories, and herbal tea, this book is for you.
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