Cover Image: Elodie’s Library of Second Chances

Elodie’s Library of Second Chances

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Member Reviews

This is such a light, easy, feel-good read and it features plenty of book mentions (as Elodie’s double life is in publishing and in a library respectively), so is ideal for book worms!

Not that the story is actually all about books though; instead it is about people – the people who make up a community and those who fall through the cracks – and about giving people a chance instead of judging based on gossip, rumours and appearances. In other words, the phrase ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ could have been written to apply specifically to this plot and these characters!

I felt a bond with the main character, Elodie, as her obsessive love of reading felt very familiar to me and I vehemently agreed with her sentiments about the importance of access to books for all. I did find her a little bit of a Mary-Sue character at times though, as she was so good and calm and kind all the time and seemed to have not a single fault – all of her problems were caused by other people (especially her family… grrrrrr!).

The whole idea of human books was a really novel one to me and I think it is an absolutely fantastic one and really gave the story its heart and emotional impact – the ‘books’ were all so lovely and so brave to put themselves out there to be re-judged like that. This aspect of the story was so moving and memorable that I did a bit of Googling and found out that this is something that you can actually do in real life! (Check out The Human Library if, like me, you are interested in finding out more about this.)

If you enjoy heartwarming stories about found family, saving a community hub, and opening up some closed minds, then this is a lovely, uplifting read. It might even make you look at the people all around you with new, kinder eyes.

Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
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I am a huge fan of Ms. Raisin’s writing. Including this new gem of a book. It combines everything I love libraries and people. Everyone has a story in this book. It is about combining the two things to being the library a new lease on life. We can all learn from that thought.
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"Everybody deserves a second chance." And a third, and a fourth, and a fifth...
While this is a maxim most of us can easily agree with, it is more frequently than we think that we fail to apply it in our own lives. This lovely, cozy story reminds us of just that, and it does so in a most enjoyable way, in a story where not only people - but also books - and more than one type of "books" - get a second chance. Such a charming story, all revolving around a library and the love of books? Yes, please! And thank you!
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Born into a highly successful entrepreneurial family, Elodie yearns to be able to live her own life rather than the one determined for her by her ambitious mother.  Branded a ne’re do well by that same mother because of the occasional youthful indiscretion, Elodie’s younger brother longs to take his rightful place in the family board room.  A social media post offers Elodie the chance she has wanted and the siblings contrive to escape the destinies devised by their mother and tread their own paths.  Elodie’s path leads her to a rundown library in a provincial town.  Evading her famous public identity, now calling herself Ellie, she embarks on an ingenious strategy for saving the library and bringing the little town together.  Along the way we meet a collection of characters, each with their own story, who like Ellie, are not quite what others think they are, among them, Finn, the handsome local news reporter.

I enjoyed this book.  It’s a quick, light and easy read and the ending is inevitable, but there are plenty of likeable, quirky characters and a rundown library makes an interesting setting, especially for booklovers.  I especially enjoyed the life-affirming message within the story, that we shouldn’t judge books – and especially not people – by their covers.  A warm and gentle reminder about the damage caused by judgement and gossip which gives the book a contemporary twist.  

My thanks to Net Galley, the author and publisher for the opportunity to read an advance review copy in exchange for an independent review.
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Thank you @netgalley for my copy of this eARC in exchange of my honest opinion. 

Unfortunately, this was a DNF for me. While I enjoyed the premise of the book, the writing just didn’t flow for me. I tried to return to this one a few different times and had to give up after about 40%. 

This one gets 2.5⭐️‘s from me.
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There’s something about Rebecca’s books that I love and I think it’s the simplicity of it all. Quirky characters that love to read and escape into fictional worlds… characters that are definitely relatable for this reader 💕

I enjoyed it. It was a quiet type of book and not my favourite of hers but still found it to be a calming read if that makes any sense. No big plots or twists, just an easy read. 

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy in return for an honest read. If you’re looking to Rebecca’s books (to try); start with “The Little Bookshop on the Seine” 

3.5 ⭐️
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This was an absolutely gorgeous read and has joined the list as one of my favourites in this genre for 2022. It is emotional, dramatic, heart-warming and romantic.

Elodie and Finn make great central characters. They both have interesting back stories that help you to invest in their future and see where their attitudes and values have come from. I identified with Elodie’s need and desire to live a simpler life in a close-knit community.

Of course, the problem with living in a close knit community is that your secrets don’t stay secret for very long. This causes a lot of drama and tension in the book, and as a reader you’re left hoping that the community will accept Elodie for the selfless, brave, motivated character she appears to be.

The concept of ‘saving the library’ is one that’s very close to my heart, as an English teacher and all-round lover of books. Elodie’s ideas are great, and through her efforts and determination we meet a wider cast of characters through the library. Every character you meet in this book carries their own story, and serve as a reminder to never judge a ‘book’ by its cover.

Maisie was a character who intrigued and infuriated me. We are all wary of change but her attitude towards Elodie and her job in general seemed, at first, completely unreasonable. She is another character who Rebecca peels back the layers for in order to give the reader a deeper understanding.

Overall, a stunning read about books, libraries and everything they stand for – empathy, community, romance and society. I would recommend this book and author to fans of Holly Martin, Portia Macintosh and Hannah Lynn.
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A charming tale of new beginnings, fresh starts, forgiveness and acceptance. Exhausted by the demands of her family's high-powered publishing empire in London, Elodie Halifax steals away to the quaint village of Willow Grove to slow down, smell the roses and save a struggling library.  Elodie meets a colorful cast of quirky locals and quickly devises a genius plan to salvage the library, strengthen the community and serve as a tender reminder to never judge a book by its cover.
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This was a cute feel-good novel. Elodie is living the life her high-stung CEO mum wants her to live and finally decodes she's had enough. She comes across an ad to work at a  small town library that is closing in hopes to save it. She falls in love with it and the town. She comes up with a brilliant idea to save it and meets a group of wonderful people. Some of the characters felt so real. The only negative thing I can say is that I wasn't buying Elodie and Finn's romantic relationship. It just didn't seem real to me, their connection wasn't explored enough. But Elodie's relationship with the townspeople were so sweet. So if you're looking for a quick lighthearted read, this is for you!
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Elodie is actively defying her family to find herself and follow her dreams. She always wanted to be librarian and be able to escape into a book whenever she wanted. When she discovered that her favourite childhood library was under threat due to dwindling membership numbers, she decided to try to make a difference. Elodie finds its not as easy as she thought to change the mindset of villagers of Willow Grove but as she befriends local characters she is struck by an idea which may help. Charming story.
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Another great book from Rebecca! I love her style of writing, her chapters are shorter which is great when your a busy mum! This book as always didn’t disappoint. We start with the high profile life of Elodie. She is main character of the story and we follow how her parents push her to be at the forefront of their successful business. Elodie however we ain’t enjoying life and when she decides to take a chance to help a floundering library she used to go to, life takes a very different route! She has some fab ideas to take the library back to the heart of the community. Along the way we meet some misfits of the village who have been misunderstood for a long time! That’s where the idea of the people lending library comes, the community hear the real stories behind them. Some great characters and a very feel good story to remind us not to judge a book by its cover! There’s also a love interest who also has a wee secret but I won’t spoil the story! Definitely a feel good read and I recommend reading it!
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Plot. Ellie Astor is the face of the Astor Media company and she has a hectic life all set up according to her mother's company.
One day she reads one article about a library that will close and she remembers going there when she was in high school, but most of all since she is a bookworm she wants to try to do something to save it.
So she goes there, to Willow Grove, under her real name Elodie Hallifax, to try to save the library. She meets 4 people that are at the boundaries and, since she has no money to buy new book,s she comes up with the human books: these people will be borrowed for a certain time, 30 minutes, and they tell thier stories, the people listening will just have to listen, no judging.
My opinion. I have to say that the concept behind this book is good: listening to others before judging them, speaking up more, but… don't know. Since it's "just a book" it makes me sad that it would be great in our societies but… it's not happening.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This review is my own honest opinion.
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5 Word Review: Community, family, books, belonging, love.

This book, man. Got me right in the feels. And made me want to read All Of The Books which was perfectly timed as I had been in a bit of a slump.

Elodie/Ellie is such a gem and I loved her from the start. I loved how her kind heart hadn't been smothered by her life and the expectations of being an Astor, and that she got herself free. She's so genuine and layered that I couldn't help but love her. She's the ray of sunshine the world, and especially Willow Grove, needs.

Finn was brilliant too - as much as I knew Elodie wanted to keep her life as an Astor a secret, I did enjoy the added tension and hesitancy it brought to the relationship. Finn is such a bright spark too, and I fell for him along with Elodie.

I really enjoyed the small conflicts in this story, and how they were used to challenge perceptions. Whether it was convincing her parents to give Teddy a second chance to prove himself, or bringing Henry in from the streets, my heart swelled with the care offered by Elodie.

I loved the themes of friendship and found family, how such a motley group came together to do such good and rally against judgement. This really is a story about second chances off all sorts, and it is such an uplifting read. Perfect for brightening up a rainy day.

I can't believe I haven't picked up a Rebecca Raisin book for so long, but now I'm off to dive into their back catalogue. I have a lot of catching up to do!
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I loved this book. The perfect mix of great characters, friendships, setting and how we all must learn not to judge a book by its cover. A must read this summer
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Another fantastic read from Rebecca Raisin. Thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Elodie (Ellie) the story’s main character and her little community. A very readable & enjoyable tale
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Another smashing read from Rebecca Raisin, another book that is well written, has a comfortable and cosy feel and contains warm, interesting characters the reader will grow to love.I have enjoyed the authors previous books but this one is my favourite I think.

Ellie Astor has everything, face of a massive company where she is in line to take over from her parents and although she loves her family she knows she wants more from her life. A chance advert shows the way – becoming the librarian in a small town where someone is needed to turn things around and quickly. Applying under her full given name and actual surname, she becomes Elodie Halifax.

Elodie has a huge task in recruiting new members but sets on a massive idea, she just needs the help of some key locals and persuading them is no easy task, especially when it seems someone is out to sabotage her and reveal her “true identity.”

I love Elodie, she is an amazing character and sees the good in everyone, she’s a million miles from the conceited, rich, stuck up type she could be. She cares about people, the library and she loves her family no matter what. Her relationship with her brother is great, she is so supportive and encouraging. I love her and she instantly makes those around her feel special. 

Her genius idea is impressive to say the least and could be the only chance to save the library and help some of her friends. There are four characters in particular who are an integral part of the story and Elodies plan, as soon as I came across each one I loved them, what brilliant characters that each have their own tale to tell.

I was engrossed from start to finish, I didn’t want it to end! A book full of heart, kindness and compassion; a great setting and well written characters. Highly recommended read.
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Elodie’s Library of Second Chances was both a heartwarming and sweet tale!

It was very easy to get caught up in Elodie’s plans to save the library. Wondering if she would be able to manage it. I was right there with Elodie, rooting for her from the very beginning. The story itself moved at a lovely pace and I loved getting to know the characters. It was great to see Elodie grow in confidence and see the her connect with people.

The story had an uplifting and heartwarming feel to it especially as the reader begins to see the wonderful friendships being made. I got so much more than a story about a library that needed saving. I ended up with a beautiful story that put people’s lives at its centre. In turn we see that there is much more to a person than first appearances might show.

Elodie’s Library of Second Chances ticked so many boxes. It was a story that was very easy to get caught up in. Especially with the characters, their friendships and even a hint of romance. Then add in the fact that a library can be many important things and not just a place to lose yourself in books. Well, let’s just say that I loved the messages this book portrayed. It really was a delight!
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I read Rebecca Raisin's previous release at Christmas and adored it, so couldn't wait for this one. 
This was a brilliant and magical story, I loved the idea of the library.
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Another great book by author Rebecca Raisin.
This is the 3rd book by her i have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing, and i have grown to love her work so much!
her books are perfect beach reads, the plot is steady and the characters are well written.
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I love books about libraries, but this is more than just a book about a library. This is a book about people, and getting the chance to tell your own story. The beginning of the book which describes Elodie’s experiences as the daughter of media moguls is not as interesting, but it takes on a completely different life when she arrives in Willow Grove and starts planning to save the library. I am not always a fan of the “poor little rich girl” theme, but this book won me over.

I especially loved the way Elodie was drawn to the town outcasts and wanted to know about their lives. The misunderstood, ostracized, bullied, and betrayed were given a voice. They became living books in the People’s Library, which I think is an extraordinary part of this novel. Elodie’s idea to have library patrons meet with a person at the library for 30 minutes and hear their story is completely inspired. I can think of so many people I would like to “check out” at the library in real life. There is a sweet romance, and somewhat of a villain in this novel, but overall this is not a complicated book. Elodie’s Library of Second Chances is a meaningful book that teaches us an important lesson–everyone has a story to tell, if we are willing to listen.

I received a free copy of this book from the pubishers via Rachel’s Random Resources. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
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