Cover Image: Elodie’s Library of Second Chances

Elodie’s Library of Second Chances

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Member Reviews

I love Rebecca Raisin’s books, true I haven’t read as many of them as I should have, but the ones I have read absolutely loved them, so I was so pleased that I had the opportunity to sit down and read another.

I instantly loved this from the moment sat down and started reading to when I closed the last page, I loved everything about it. I was particularly drawn to the saving the library storyline, we are losing our libraries so fast, we lost our local library years ago so I loved that this is all about a few people coming together to save theirs and in a very original way.

Elodie is a great character, she has had enough of the rat race and the constant stress of her high-powered job in her mother’s compant. Even though ‘company’ isn’t the right word for the empire her mother has built and which Elodie is connected with, it’s all too much and she wants a breather away from it all. This is when her unspoken dream is answered in the form of a newspaper advert, she walks away from her life, creates a new persona and heads for sleepy Willow Grove where she accepts the position of a librarian. Elodie is a woman after my own heart, she trained as a librarian but never really got the chance to follow her dream si here she is, back in Willow Grove and ready for a new challenge.

She soon finds that it’s not just her that needs a fresh start or a helping hand, through the library she befriends a whole selection of people who have found themselves in hard times and like the library, itself need someone to come along and help. I love the genius ways Elodie starts getting people through the doors of the library, I won’t say too much as it would give away too much but let’s just say it’s incredibly imaginative and refreshingly original.

Elodie proves that she is far more than a spoilt little rich girl whose mother owns a powerhouse, she is a kind generous passionate loyal caring woman who despite initially lying about who she is does have a heart of gold and just wants to help. I love that while helping save the library and assisting people to she is also helping heal herself. After all, a life of being watched for who you are is no life at all is it, she needed a breather and she has got it in spades, plus done some genuine good and made firm friends in the process.

Everything about this book is heartwarming, it speaks to your heart and has the most beautiful message of not judging on appearances and of kindness to others. The writing is (as always with Rebecca Raisin) impeccable you are drawn into the story and go on this journey with the characters as though you were right there with them, it’s a beautifully gentle and charmingly emotional story, a definite must-read!
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How to save a library, read this lovely story with different emotions and characters. An easy read and enjoyable. 5 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for this ARC
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I loved this story right from the first page! Elodie was definitely a kindred spirit with her love for books and a need to stand on her own two feet and live life the way she had always wanted to, even if. She was so easy to love! 

This story was about saving a library, but also about Elodie on her self discovery journey, with secrets that are bound to come out and so many stories that need to be told in order for all these lovely characters that we meet to be understood and accepted by the community. Overall this was a lovely uplifting story with some romance added it in, making it just that little bit better!
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What a lovely idea for a story. Elodie works in the family business and is expected to take over one day but it's not what she wants or needs so she applies for a job in a run down library to try and get it funding to keep it open. No one recognises her as she works under her own name and she comes up with the idea of humans sharing their stories  till they can get the funding to buy new books. The stories  are incredible and sometimes humbling as no one has any idea of other people's lives and are incredibly judgmental of others without knowing about their past. Loved hearing the stories and it's a great reminder never to judge a book by its cover. Highly recommend this book
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Elodie has it all but she isn't happy. When a job vacancy presents itself in a library it sets her off on a new beginning. Despite everything being an uphill battle she is optimistic and up for the challenge. Such likeable characters in a lovely setting. A feel good read.
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This is defiantly a slow burn, it gets there in the end but takes a while, I do love reading but the amount of time spent telling us she is reading was painful, another book to not take much thinking about a holiday read
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All about not judging a book by it cover as a lot of people do.
Elodie lives a rich life as part of a wealthy family and her mother hopes she will take over the running of  Astor Publications but all she has dreamt of was running her own library.
When Elodie sees her old village library is going to close down she leaves her top job to help by getting more people to join they will get funds to keep it open.
A great summer read I loved all the characters and the little village it was set in.
Definitely worth reading.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC
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I throughly enjoyed this book. It was such an easy read and just drifted along. A perfect book for a summer’s  day. I read this so quickly in one day in fact. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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A quick and easy read that I found myself picking up after a long day to unwind. The characters are beautifully written and I came to love them within the first few pages and was rooting for them all the way to the end. At times I wanted to stop reading because I just wanted the experience to go on for longer.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Another day, another sunny, summer read to warm your heart as this weather warms your outsides! Rebecca Raisin’s Elodie’s Library of Second Chances was just perfect for me – a library? Good. Bookish people? Good. People being nice to each other? Also good.

Elodie Halifax finds her life as part of a global media empire confining, but she’s too nice to her parents to tell them how she really feels. Experiences in her early life have led her to want to become a librarian, and open people’s eyes to the joy that can be found in books and reading so when she reads a compelling article about a library on the brink of closure, she makes a life-changing decision, but must hide who she really is.

Although people in Willow Grove are slow to warm to the new librarian, can she open their eyes to a love of books, but also make real changes to the lives of some of Willow Grove’s residents?

I really enjoyed this book as, while it focused on books and the library, it was also a lesson in being kind and not judging people at face value. Elodie’s bold experiment in ‘The People Library’ – allowing local residents to book a period of time with some of the more marginalised residents of Willow Grove to really find out their stories – was really interesting and it was nice to hear from some of the people that Willow Grove had written off. A real cautionary tale in not judging a book by its cover!

A dash of romance is in the mix and a series of misunderstandings threaten to derail Elodie’s big changes but, ultimately, this is a feel-good book about love, books and second chances!
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Elodie’s Library of Second Chances is a gorgeous love letter to libraries and those who use them.

There is something so magical about a Rebecca Raisin book; they always have this incredible ability to fill your heart with so much happiness and joy. I was having a somewhat slightly stressful work week, and reading this book was the perfect way to escape that stress. Elodie’s Library of Second Chances just oozes kindness from its pages. If you are a fan of libraries, then you are just going to adore this book. Heck, suppose you aren’t a fan of libraries. In that case, I still think you should read this book because Rebecca does an excellent job of showing why libraries are such an important part of a community and are still very relevant today. Going on this journey with Elodie as she tries to save Willow Grove’s library was fun and heartwarming. I loved how Rebecca explored all the ways libraries help connect community members with resources and to each other.

In typical Rebecca fashion, Elodie’s Library of Second Chances is chock-full of delightful and endearing characters. There is a theme in the book of not judging a book by its cover. The residents of Willow Grove have been judging each other based on gossip or stereotypes, which has caused some residents to become isolated from the rest of the community. Elodie starts to break down those stereotypes by creating a borrow a person program at the library. It’s such a fantastic idea and an excellent way for people to connect. I loved listening to the different characters’ stories; they were just so touching. Elodie is a character that makes you feel like anything is possible. She radiates positive energy, and it was so charming watching as she interacted with all the other characters.

The relationship between Elodie and Finn is as sweet and perfect as drinking a cup of homemade lemonade on a hot summer afternoon. Finn has that sweet laidback guy feeling that you just can’t help but love instantly. I loved the realistic yet very charming chemistry these two had. There was this ease to their relationship. It wasn’t marked with an abundance of drama or misunderstandings. It was just an adorable love story with tons of cute moments.

Elodie’s Library of Second Chances is a perfect pick-me-up romance read that fills your heart with so much joy. 

Thank you, Harper Collins UK and Rachel Random Resources, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I love Rebecca’s books.
Thank you Netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review.
Such a cute book. It was very lovely and thought provoking.
I like a sweet book that o can sink into when life’s feeling too much.
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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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