Cover Image: Elodie’s Library of Second Chances

Elodie’s Library of Second Chances

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Member Reviews

This is the perfect book for those that love books and stories. 

Elodie works for her family media company, she wants out and takes the chance to work as a librarian at Willow Grove, her true love. When she goes to Willow Grove Elodie wants to escape the life that’s she left behind and get the library back on its feet. She has a task on her hands to save the library, but with the help of journalist Finn and some locals it might just be possible. 

Discovering the history of those that Elodie meets in Willow Grove not only sets Elodie up to save the library but they are able to unearth an understanding of each other and those in their community. 

From the start I related to Elodie (obviously, she’s a bookworm) and fell in love with her story. The relationship that she builds with Finn is great and you can feel the romance coming through the pages. 

This book has everything you could want; perfect setting, romance and friendship, journeys of growth in confidence and the lesson to never judge a book by its cover. 

And if the cover doesn’t make you want to pick this book up, I don’t know what will.
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I am a big fan of Rebecca’s Van Lifers series, having read about Tea, Books and Christmas stories. So I was eager to escape into what was sure to be another heartwarming tale that involved books and saving a library. 

‘What will a town without books look like? Where will those who seek comfort in reading go? What about those who find joy in walking along the colourful racks in search of a fictional friend?’

These reads are never about big plot twists, rather a collection of often quirky but lovable characters who work together and make a positive difference to communities. On this occasion it’s unique to see both the way the main character is inspired to save the library that allows author Rebecca to cleverly present tales of courage and affirmation. There is the requisite romance which is lovely, however, this is definitely more about community and learning from past mistakes. 

The one thing I simply adored about this book, working my highlighter overtime, was the absolute joy and love of reading that is regularly offered. Thank you Rebecca for so many confirming thoughts and affirmations about the importance of reading to bibliophiles who gained much reassurance that they are not alone in this solitary pastime. 

‘I do prefer books to people, but that’s a  bookworm prerogative, right? … the only place I’ve ever felt like me is when I’m reading.’

Whilst I am onboard for books such as this, I found things to be a little too syrupy on this occasion and found myself just wishing for that bit more. Everything worked out too cleanly and easily. So this book is definitely light, fluffy and swimming in feel good vibes. I appreciate the message Rebecca is trying to get across - not to judge a book (person) by the cover and giving space to learn of another’s story. Yet for me, it was all too well sorted and delivered. 

This is a book to read when you need reassurance that there is good out there in this world. That family and community can come together to right wrongs and make the world a happier place. It is sure to warm your heart and leave you the better for having read it. 

‘Reading is my happy place, my go-to where I can forget the world and relax no matter how short a time I have to get lost in the pages …. When I’m lost in a good book, I escape reality for hours on end and things don’t seem as hopeless. I can relate to a heroine in a bind, a woman whose life isn’t what she thought it would be. It makes me feel less alone, and how funny is it that my best friends are all fictional?’



This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.
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A brilliant heart warming story about a girl called Elodie who is fed up with being the face of Astor Media empire her parents have built up and her every move followed by the media and her mother. She loves nothing more than reading a book. When she sees a advert for a  job for a  librarian in peaceful Willow Grove where she spent her childhood she applies under the name of Ellie and gets the job.
Elodie sets about saving her childhood library from closure and along the way helps people come together.
This is a charming book and highly recommended.
Thanks to NetGalley & HQ for a advanced copy.
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Oh My Word!!
I am absolutely smitten by this book.  I fell into it from the very first pages and lived in Willow Grove until I was ejected (against my will) at the end of the book.  It’s a wonderful, uplifting read about community spirit, family and romance, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Elodie is an amazing character – so sweet and kind but born into a lifestyle that really doesn’t suit her or that she simply isn’t passionate about.  Her passion for books and libraries is strong and what perfect way for her to spread her wings and reach her dreams.  I loved how she treat every member with respect and even when people were less than well behaved towards others, she still empathized and tried to understand. 
I’m a sucker for books with a community spirit feel and this one really hit the spot.  The community of Willow Grove have been less than thoughtful about some members and it was great to see how their opinions changed through the ‘Borrow a Human Book’ initiative.  It’s something I have read about before and I think it’s an amazing idea.  I am tempted to start one at school to allow children to share (safe and appropriate) things with each other and develop friendships.  I adored all the ‘human books’ but my absolute favourite was Alfie and his amazing calendar skills.      
I thoroughly enjoyed being part of Elodie’s, the library’s and some of the character’s journeys to find their place in the community and to be accepted.  I ended this book feeling hopeful and uplifted and it’s simply wonderful.
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Libraries are the lifeblood of communities, a safe space where residents converge, and literature is free for one and all.

Like most book loving people, I like to read books about bookish things which is why I couldn’t resist reading this! 
Elodie loves books and despite being next in line to run the family company she has other plans. Plans that involve saving a library! 
This book was such a charming read and I absolutely loved all the characters that Elodie met once she got to Willow Grove and began transforming the library one “book” at a time. Every character throughout the book was believable and completely developed with their own back stories that you couldn’t help but want to know more about. 
This book is a must read if you want a cosy story about bookish things and interesting people .. just remember to never judge a book by its cover! 

Huge thanks to Net Galley and HQ Stories for sneaking me into the library early! I will also be posting my review on Goodreads, Twitter and Amazon when published.
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This certainly isn’t the first book I’ve read this year about saving an ailing library (and I’ve enjoyed every one…), but there was a real freshness and originality about finding a solution when the usual activities just don’t seem to be working.

After spotting an article in a newspaper, Elodie decides to walk away from her high intensity corporate role in her mother’s media empire to use her almost forgotten librarian qualifications to see if there’s anything she can do to save the small library at Willow Grove, the “happy place” of her childhood. Hiding her true identity, she joins forces with Finn, the local reporter who wrote the article – but no matter what they try (and, it should be said, there are those who aren’t particularly supportive of their efforts), they struggle to bring people through the doors, as time runs out for them to be able to apply for a grant to secure the library’s future. And it soon becomes very clear that it’s not just the library that needs some intervention – the whole community is broken, individuals ostracised or ignored, harmful gossip is rife.

Elodie befriends some of the outsiders – “Homeless Harry” who sleeps in the library porch, eleven-year-old Alfie with his particular needs and total absence of filter, Sofia whose husband’s bad behaviour turned the village against her – and comes up with the idea of allowing them to share their stories, to be “borrowed” by people using the library, to show how wrong it is to judge a book by its cover (or a person by their reputation). The programme’s a real success, as more people join and sometimes sign up to share their own stories – the rifts in the community slowly begin to heal, and Finn and Elodie become ever closer. But they both still have their carefully guarded secrets, and Elodie’s former life starts to call – despite all they’ve achieved together, there really seems very little possibility of a happy ending.

While it’s a lovely and particularly heart-warming story, beautifully told, what I really loved was the people – life’s misfits, special people who have powerful stories to tell, struggling with their lives and the way others ignore or mistreat them. You’ll have your own favourites – I particularly loved young Alfie, and can’t imagine anyone who could fail to do so. I did struggle a little at the beginning though with Elodie herself – it took me a while to warm to her, although it’s evident that her heart is in the right place – but her character became more fully fleshed out as the book progressed, and I began to engage more fully with her background family issues and her relationship with the lovely Finn. There is the loveliest focus throughout on friendship and support, on families and their complications, on the power of stories, on things not always being what they appear and the need to read between the lines.

And it all made this book a particularly enjoyable read – with a rather perfect emotional touch, plenty of gentle humour, and an uncertain outcome that certainly keeps the pages turning. I really enjoyed it – a book I’d thoroughly recommend.

(Review copied to Amazon UK, link not yet available)
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I was completely hooked on this book from the very start. It's such a lovely read, which I couldn't put down, with some fascinating, well written characters.

Ellie is trying to save a library she went to when she was younger but has no funding. She comes up with a concept where you can "borrow" a person and hear their stories. The 4 people were so diverse and their stories needed to be told. I especially loved Alfie.

There is a strong moral to the book in that you shouldn't judge people and listen to idle gossip which is something many people are guilty of. This is one book that will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Rachels Random Resources for my ARC copy and spot on the tour.
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Elodie is the CEO in waiting of the family firm Astor Media, but she wants to follow her own dreams .  When her childhood library faces closure, Elodie leaves the family firm to use her librarianship qualifications and business knowledge to save the library.
An easy read with lots of messages; don't judge a book, or a person; follow the dream; everyone and everything deserves a second chance. Some of the characters seem too good to be true but don't be put off by the sometimes cheesy storyline any book that advocates the saving of libraries gets my vote!
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Having read and enjoyed a few of Rebecca's books, I hoped this would be as good. It is even better. Wonderful setting, great characters and an excellent story line.
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Thank you to #NetGalley and #HQDigital for my advance copy of #Elodie’sLibaryOfSecondChances
This summer’s perfect beach read, this book will make you smile and make you cry. 
Elodie is trying to escape her overbearing mother and find her own way and in Willow Grove she tries to do just that. 
The people she meets and their stories are a perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon. 
Lovely 🥰 
 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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I found Rebecca Raisin’s book last year and honestly she has become one of my auto buy authors now. Her books are a mix of love, tough topics and hallmark movies all wrapped up in a wonderful hug. This book did not disappoint. 

In this book we find Elodie Halifax or Ellie Astor living out the life of an heir of a media company. But, even at the beginning of the book you can tell she wants more from her life than living the life her mom has mapped out for her. She finally gathers up the gumption and leaves her posh life in London to follow her dreams and save a failing library in Willow Creek. Upon getting there she finds out not all of the residence are as nice as you would expect in the small town. 

Through her journey to save the town she finds a group of residents who some would call misfits but I think they are just misunderstood. Through the process she comes up with an idea to save the library of having people tell their story and people learning about them instead of just believing all the town gossip. 

This book y’all was too cute. Also the cast of the misunderstood from the town was so good. As a person on the spectrum I really appreciated their being a person who had autism but also the accurate representation of what it is like being featured in the book. Please read this book. This is a book I will continue to love for years to come.
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I really enjoyed reading this and loved elodie I wasn't sure on maisie if I'm honest to start with but once i had started going through I then realised why she was so off. I loved the aspect of giving someone a second chance when you don't know what their story is and your guessing or going on gossip. But honestly I would love to work in a library your perfect job I your a book lover.
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I've been a fan of this author since I read her traveling series and this book did not disappoint. What I like about this author and her writing is that she draws you in from the beginning . The story keeps you wanting more. 

This was an interesting storyline. The main character is from a well off family in the publishing industry. She wants more than this life offers her, so she gets a job at a library on the brink of closing. No one knows who she really is. Funds are lacking and she is unable to purchase anything to update the library. She encounters people in the community who have a bad reputation, but Elodie is the one person willing to give them a chance. She creates the Human Library. The community can schedule time with these human books and hear their story and squash the rumors that have been spread about them. Don't judge a book by its cover. Don't judge a person but what you see. 

This is a wonderful story and a good reminder to not dismiss people based off what you see or hear. 

Thank you NetGalley and HQ for the opportunity to read and review this story.
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Very sweet and a fabulous read. It was warm and witty and a great reminder that we can change our own lives and never to judge a person (or book) by their cover!
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I absolutely loved this book. I love reading about libraries and having worked in a library before, I know about the struggles to keep them open. This book had a unique idea to keep the library open.
There was a wide range of characters in this book and I liked hearing about their stories. Harry's story was not what I expected at all, it was very sad. Finn seemed almost too good to be true, but he also had a story.
 As someone who has been bullied in School and at work in the past, I could relate to how some of the characters felt. It is very easy to judge a book, or in this case people, by their cover. Willow Grove did not sound like a nice place to live to begin with.
This is a nice, easy read. I wanted to find out how Elodie saved the library and revealed who she was. I really enjoyed reading this book, and can't wait to read Rebecca Raisin's next book.Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my ARC.
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This is an uplifting story of Elodie, desperate to escape the privileged, but demanding life she was born into and rediscover her true self. She does this by moving to a small village where she finds a job to save the local library from closure. 
Let’s be honest, any book that realises the importance of stories, books and libraries is going to be a winner and this one certainly is. 
Elodie’s character feels so real, she’s very relatable and I was willing for her to succeed from the beginning. She just wants to be genuinely happy, while making all those around her happy at the same time, her brother, her new friends and neighbours and the man she meets along the way. The characters are very likeable. There is just the right amount of romance, suspicion, and the storyline flows nicely. 
Overall, the moral of the story is to not judge a book by it’s cover. If we all treat each other kindly, giving a little more time and respect and a little less judgement, oh what a better place the world would be. Rebecca captures this perfectly! 
If you'd like to add this book to your reading list, click here to head straight to Amazon. This new book is a brand new publication and frankly, deserves a place on your bookshelf :)
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A small town, a library, and a new beginning for Elodie Halifax. Coming from a life much different than the one she lives now, Elodie has moved to Willow Grove. 

Elodie needed a new beginning--a life away from what was planned for her. A life that was making her miserable. The question is--will Willow Grove be that for her? 

This story was so well done. I absolutely feel in love with the town of Willow Grove. And Elodie's journey to finding herself--her purpose was one that I thoroughly enjoyed being on. 

Rebecca Raisin is masterful at writing books with dreamy settings and intriguing characters!
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This was such a good book!!! I absolutely loved this and found myself not wanting to put it down, not only is the main character a book lover but she also lands a job in a village library. As well as having the perfect setting this book also has the perfect characters. They all tugged on my heart strings, especially Alfie - I mean he’s just the greatest kid ever!

The relationships and friendships in the book where the main part of this book and it really is true that we’re all a bit quick to judge a book by its cover. This book makes you think twice abouts things and people - often things aren’t quite what you’d first think. 

It also shows the power of the rumour mill and how disruptive it can be. But it’s never too late for a second chance and Elodie highlights this perfectly. 

I feel like this book will stay with me for a while and I can’t wait to read more by Rebecca
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This was such a lovely read that really made me feel good. A lighthearted chick lit read in some ways, but with some very serious underlying messages. The people library was such genius that i wouldn't be surprised if it takes off for real. A real lesson in not judging people by what you see or hear from others. Take time to get to know the real person and you might just be pleasantly surprised. Elodie's "books" were such a great group, and who else would have taken such an interest in them.  Just a lovely way to spend a few hours. #netgalley #elodieslibraryofsecondchances
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What's it about (in a nutshell):
Elodie's Library of Second Chances by Rebecca Raisin is a heartwarming tale of self-discovery, empathy, and being true to yourself.

Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):
This is my second book by Rebecca Raisen – the first being Flora's Traveling Christmas Shop – and based on that, I expect a quirky, funny, and heartwarming story. Just look at that cover. Doesn't it totally say quaint and cozy, and what warms the heart more than quaint and cozy? The blurb confirms my thoughts, describing the story as an uplifting tale about new starts.

Actual Reading Experience:
The story is just as heartwarming as the cover and blurb said. I love a book that can wrap you in a warm hug, and this one does just that!

First, I loved the messages in the story. It's about not judging a book by its cover and the stories that go along with that…well, at least one brought me to tears. It was so incredibly moving. Willow Grove is a small village full of small-minded people, and Ellie, with her open mind and big heart, strives to change that one person at a time.

I also enjoyed witnessing Ellie's struggle to get enough members to keep the library going. She approaches it in such creative ways it becomes an absolutely fascinating plot. So many ideas and the one that saves the library is the best and most creative. It completely opened my mind in unexpected ways.

Lastly, I loved the laugh-out-loud moments, of which there were plenty. The comedy is more natural and relatable humor rather than absurd, and I love that kind of humor most of all. This is the kind of story I didn't want to end because I enjoyed it so much and it made me incredibly happy to read.

Characters:
The characters are all so believable, for good and for bad. You will recognize them as your friends and neighbors if you look around you. The character development is exceptional for the primary and minor characters since we see them through Ellie's eyes. She tends to see people in a way that very few do.
Ellie is a wealthy socialite expected to take over the family media empire. Still, it's not what she wants to do. She wants to make a difference in the world in more heart-led ways, not amass as much money as possible. You can't help but love Ellie for her love of books and her acceptance of everybody she meets.

Narration & Pacing:
Elodie (Ellie) tells this tale in first-person narration. I think it's the perfect style of narration to achieve the most significant impact. Ellie is so relatable and good that you understand everything she does and want to be like her simultaneously. The pace stays at a steady pace which is relatively quick from start to finish.

Setting:
The setting is the small village of Willow Grove in the UK. It's a quaint and peaceful village that's on the verge of losing its library, and they need a new head librarian for the dying library

What It Reminds Me Of:
This story definitely reminded me of Raisin's other book that I read – Flora's Traveling Christmas Shop.

To Read or Not to Read:
Why would you not read this book? It will make you laugh, warm your heart, and even draw a tear or two – what more can you ask for in one book?
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