Cover Image: Elodie’s Library of Second Chances

Elodie’s Library of Second Chances

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Very good book, I really enjoyed this, very cute story and cute characters.
Thanks Netgalley and the publisher for the book
Was this review helpful?
The most joyful and uplifting book I have read in a long time. Rebecca Raisin is definitely the queen of feel good romance! Could not put this book down and I adored all of the characters and could not wait for all their stories to unfold.
Was this review helpful?
This was a great book! I really liked the character development and being able to relate to the characters. As someone who loves books, I felt like I got to live through Ellie a little bit.
Was this review helpful?
Ellie is the face of her parents company but she is dissatisfied with the way her life is going on doesn't want to do it anymore, unfortunately her mum isn't listening to her
An advert for a head librarian in a failing village library catches her eye and Ellie decides to apply for it without telling her parents, the only person she tells is her brother 
When she finds out she has got the job she dyes her hair and uses her full name Elodie in the hope that no-one recognises her
Can she save the library and persuade her parents, her mum in particular that this is the life she wants and they can all be happy ?
Loved it
Was this review helpful?
I’m rounding this book from a 2.5 to a 3. 

I felt it was OK… the character development & message saved it for me. 

I feel like the story itself was far fetched- a millionaire moving to a small town to save a library is a Hallmark movie. The library itself had amenities I’ve never known a library to have; maybe showers are a thing for libraries in Europe. 

It’s a cute read if cute read is what you’re in the mood for. 

Thank you Net Galley & HQ for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Elodie is a young woman who is working in the family business but is rapidly burning out. She is an introvert and never happier than when she has her nose in a book. Her mother is determined to continue running her life and as much as she loves her mum, she needs to carve her own path.

So, enter Willow Grove library. The library is set to close, unless they can get more members. As Elodie is a qualified librarian, and she is familiar with the area since she was at boarding school there, she applies for the job. She tries lots of different things to get membership up, with no budget whatsoever, but what she finds is some stubborn resistance to change. She gets to know people who are not accepted in the community for a variety of reasons, and works to make the library a more inclusive place.

There was so much to like about this story! Not to judge a book by it's cover (pun intended), to be kind to others and to live your life in an authentic way. 

The only reason I am giving this 4.5 stars instead of 5, is because Elodie comes across as sometimes a little TOO perfect. A bit Mary Poppins-ish. 

Anyway, I still really enjoyed it :)
Was this review helpful?
It's a heartwarming story, sweet and compelling. A sort of fairy tale about a woman who decides to renounce to her lavish lifestyle and work as a librarian.
She will make the difference to the library and the people around her.
It's the perfect book for generation YOLO, You Only Live Once. We dream of giving up a stressing life and start again.
This is the description of what we would like to do.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?
I have read a few books from Rebecca Raisin in the past, but was particularly drawn to this one by the subject, being concerned with books and a library in need of saving. I found it a little slow going to start with, but it soon began sparking my imagination and I was totally drawn into the life of its characters. Finally, I found that I didn’t want it to end, so involved was I with the main players and the little town where the story is set.



Ellie Astor, or Elodie Halifax to give her her real name, has grown disillusioned by her lavish lifestyle as the future head of her parents’ media business. Her mother in particular simply ignores her pleas to move on and make use of her qualification as a librarian and love of books. When she is offered the job of librarian at a failing library in the town of Willow Grove, Elodie jumps at the chance to follow her dream. The library is in a worse state than she could have imagined, but she is determined to turn things around, which means attracting new members. She begins to realise that many people in the small town are very judgemental, in particular towards a few of the residents, including the homeless man who almost nobody notices or the shoplifter whose motivation is never questioned. Elodie decides that, with the help of local journalist Finn, she can perhaps change people’s way of thinking and at the same time save the library from closure. Her plan is to allow members of the library to ‘borrow’ people for a short time in the same way that they would borrow books, and learn their stories rather than believe gossip that is spread about them. Of course, she herself has a secret past that she is keen to preserve, but will it be possible to keep her identity hidden from the media if her idea takes off?



As I said at the beginning of this review, I found this book a little difficult to get into, but once it had me hooked, I was not keen to put it down. What a clever, and indeed brave, idea to lend out people to tell their stories and end the rumour mongering that can so easily mar a small town like Willow Grove. The book is full of likeable characters and is set in an attractive sounding town, hopefully featuring a bustling library very soon. Some very interesting, well-developed back stories emerged from the human books who were happy to be lent out. I would love to find out what happened next for the town and its residents. I can confidently recommend this book to other readers and look forward to Rebecca Raisin’s next novel.
Was this review helpful?
Elite hates her celebrity lifestyle but cannot escape her family business

Until she answers an advert to be a librarian and begins to try and save this heart of the community.
But it’s the people she wants to connect and she does this by lending people’s stories along with their books
Uniting the community is working well but what will people think when they find out who she really is.
Was this review helpful?
A story of a book lover set in a library well what more could you want. This story has so many characters you can't help but fall in love with. When Elodie sets about trying to save a village library from closure she comes across some rather hostile people who don't like change. Fortunately she also meets some extra special people who have been ostracised by locals who think they know everything about them. Elodie has an idea to try and pull everyone together and reminds them to never judge a book by its cover. A fantastic feel good story
Was this review helpful?
Libraries seem to be a very popular place to set stories this year, as I have read a number of books set within similar settings already this summer, so I wasn’t so sure what to expect from yet another book set in a library, indeed yet another book set in a library at risk of closure. However, perhaps this is just a reflection of issues close to authors, and readers’ hearts as it is an threatening axe hanging over many libraries  (my own local library is one such library at risk of closure). 
I did find much of this story a little too far-fetched: millionaire rich girl turns librarian, but it is also this very thing that also makes the book enjoyable - bookworm Elodie is forced into a job she doesn’t want in the family business and finds a way of escaping to her dream job in an idyllic sounding village. Elodie’s striving to see the best in people and see beyond the external façade and assumptions often held by others is heartwarming to read, and although I’m not so sure living books would be the draw for hundreds of new library members, the story makes an enjoyable read.
Was this review helpful?
Early on I thought the only cliché this book was NOT going to hit was the heroine losing her job and going home to find her fiancé in bed with her best friend. Oh, how wrong I was. Rebecca Raisin cleverly layered her foreshadowing, with the more obvious clues turning out to be red herrings or misdirection. What I got instead was an absolutely delightful and uplifting story of empowerment, friendship, acceptance and love.


My initial impression of Elodie wasn't the best, she appeared to lack any kind of backbone. As the story progressed I quickly grew to love her and could understand more and more how she had ended up boxed into a corner, a job, and a life, that she didn't want. Finn felt just a little too perfect, but that's entirely down to my tastes and loving a bad boy book boyfriend! Given the audience for this book and the very gentle nature of the story, he was a great fit.


If I had one wish about this book it would be that it had been a little longer. So much focus, rightly, was on the human "library books", but it did mean the romance didn't feel fully fleshed out. It resulted in the feeling that some key aspects of Elodie and Finn's story were told rather than shown. A real positive of the book was the wide cast of supporting characters who helped add depth to the story. That along with great writing and an engaging plot made this a wonderful feel-good read.
Was this review helpful?
A heartwarming story with the powerful and emotive message to not judge a book by its cover at its core. Elodie was an interesting main character - fed up with her old life of glitz and glamour she decides to head for the quieter life and make use of her first love - books and being a librarian. I loved her idea of the people library - sharing people’s stories seemed like such an easy way to bring a community together and a fascinating insight into the characters we think we know.
Was this review helpful?
Ellie just wants a normal life and she dreams about being a librarian and making her own choices. When the opportunity comes, she leaves all behind and pursues her dream. However, her old life keeps knocking on her door and her new challenges sometimes seem impossible to overcome.
I became a fan of Rebecca Raisin last year, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it.
The author has a way of creating uplifting stories that make your heart smile and this book was not the exception. In this story, we can find hope, friendship and love. It also makes you think about all those times when people is judged without knowing their true story and it makes you remember that we all have struggles and sometimes what we need is a kind soul to listen to us, to be there for us. Moreover, we can be on the other end as well and help people all around us.
The romance story was well balanced with the rest and even when I did not love the insta-love I think Elodie and Finn are a really cute couple.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and I finished it with a warm feeling deep inside, and sometimes that is exactly what one needs.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book and thought it a great idea. Elodie took a degree in librarianship but was then dragged into the family business and is being primed to be the next CEO much against her will. Feigning exhaustion, she takes a break and takes over a failing library where she needs to get the members’ numbers up to secure funding. 
She has a brilliant idea and I love the way it all comes to life.
Was this review helpful?
Ellodie is from a strong, successful family but she is dissatisfied with her life. She has been brought up with the expectation that she will take over the family company, but what she really wants to do is something with books, her true heart’s desire. So once she decides she’s had enough, she leaves her family’s company and takes a job in a small town library that is at risk of closing if she can’t figure out how to turn things around. She has loads of new and fun initiatives to get more members and raise money, but Maisie, the other employee at the library isn’t making things easier, and the people of the town are so set in their ways and closed minded that they don’t see what the future could hold for them. Elodie comes up with an idea to make some of the people of the town their own “book” and let the others “read” their story and get past their preconceived notions about them. The idea is slow to take off but once it does. It changes everything. 
There were some interesting characters and stories told but be warned there are some trigger warnings in the stories that people told of their lives. Elodie was a little too perfect for my liking, but she was raised in expectations of perfection, so I guess that’s the authors intent. 
Thanks to NetGalley and HQ for this eArc in exchange for my review.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book such a wonderful uplifting story. Elodie appears to have the perfect life, the poster girl for the family business she is always at the salon getting beauty ready for another night on the red carpet. Problem is she hates every minute of it and her parents don’t take her seriously when she tries to tell them! When she applies for and gets offered a job as Head Librarian in a sleepy village she goes off grid with only her brother knowing where she is. Can she get the library memberships up enough so that she can save the library? 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced read copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
This is a rather special story. Elodie is the face of her family’s media empire.  She has been groomed to eventually take the helm and run the whole company.  She spends her life being styled and perfected as she attends endless receptions, gala openings, and similar events. Her life may seem glamourous, but all she wants is to dedicate her life to books. Dyeing her hair and eschewing her family name, she applies to be the librarian at a failing library in the peaceful town of Willow Grove. 
Willow Grove is under the grip of gossips and troublemakers; the remaining member of staff is set in her ways and is distinctly unwelcoming.  There’s a lot to be done, but Elodie has plenty of ideas. Along with a cast of truly adorable characters, she starts to make changes, but not everyone appreciates her efforts.
The obvious thread in this story is all about not judging a book by its cover. As Elodie learns more about the stories behind the people she meets, she decides that the best way to end the way that they are treated is to start a people library - incidentally, I have a friend who is a ‘book’ in the Human Library.
Each character is beautifully developed, and I found myself fully invested in their stories.  There’s even a hint of romance courtesy of local reporter, Finn.  The characterisations are simply perfect, and I felt that a whole array of people were represented.
Perhaps the biggest change was to Elodie herself, as she discovered the strength of character to focus on something that she loved doing whilst helping her relatives accept her need for independence from the family business.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars 
This is a read for the heart. So many beautiful characters written into this touching storyline. 

Personally, I do think it was a little too optimistic for this self declared pessimist. 

I didn’t really like Elodie. She seemed a little too perfect. The hardest think in her life is that she couldn’t follow her dream until she was 30 (still had the correct degree from the beginning, walked right into a head librarian job). She was over the top, instantly liked by almost everyone, always knew what to say, and had an instant connection with the town bachelor on literally day one. 
Some lines were straight up impactful, others were EXTREMELY cheesy. 

Overall messages were great- libraries are the bomb and necessary for communities/ don’t judge people when you don’t know them/ go after your dreams. All very inspiring. 

I liked the way books were talked about- doors into new worlds/ comforting/ portable friends, but mentioning all that once was enough (somewhat repetitive). 

Everything just ended up really well for everyone. Maybe too well, too quickly. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Again this was probably too optimistic of a read for me. If you can get past the cheesiness and the borderline unbearable main character, this book has a lot of good lessons to teach. 

Always check content warnings. No spice. 

Special thanks to Netgalley and HQ Digital for this digital ARC.
Was this review helpful?
If this book isn’t submitted to this year’s National Book Award, I’ll be disappointed—and for every other award, too. The message of this book is one every human being should be exposed to. It’s important. It’s genius. This idea should be replicated in every town in the world. A brilliant way to spread kindness and empathy. Rebecca Raisin’s BEST yet. A new level for her.
Was this review helpful?