This book. This book, you guys. Gosh, I went into it KNOWING that people were raving about it and yet I am still left speechless by the sheer amount of perfection that was this book. There wasn’t a single thing I didn’t love about this story. Not one thing. I don’t often give fantasy books five star ratings, because there’s always something I thought could’ve been better. But this book? I honestly don’t think anyone could’ve written this story better than the way Margaret did. She took it and brought it alive in such a way that has me gobsmacked by the genius behind the whole idea.
I still can’t fully wrap my head around how she literally took every single magical Library ever, mashed them together, and gave them a soul. A voice. A presence. I think that might’ve been my favourite thing about this book. The fact that the books weren’t just books; they were alive, in a way no book has ever been in stories or movies I’ve ever read or seen. I adored that aspect of this story. It’s what made it so unique and how I knew this book will stay with me forever. To me, this book was alive in my hands and it was talking to me.
So… I’ve always loved the name Nathaniel. But Margaret came up with a character that did that name justice and made me love it THAT MUCH MORE. Holy freakers, guys, I LOVE Nathaniel, okay? I could gush on and on and on about him for days. Weeks. Months. YEARS. He just made his way into the top five book boyfriends, and THAT is definitely a big deal. The way he was with Elisabeth? I genuinely wished I was Elizabeth during their every interaction because he was so tender and loving in a sort of sassy way and honestly, I could just talk about everything I love about him forever. The way he called Elizabeth “you utter menace” or anything of the sort… I LITERALLY SWOONED, because you could tell he meant it in a loving way, as one would say ‘you idiot’ lovingly, with a sly smile. 😍😍😍 Point is, he was just such a soft, sassy boy and for the majority of this story, I just wanted to jump in the book and cuddle him.
And freaking SILAS. I did not expect to get so attached to him. Honestly, I think my thoughts about him were literally on par with how Elizabeth felt. At first, I was entranced, much like Elizabeth described being. And then, somehow, without realising it, I started caring about him. A lot. That may or may not have had something to do with a fluffy white cat. (Read the book to understand 😉)
Honestly, there couldn’t have been a more perfect main character to lead this story than Elizabeth. She made this story what it was. She made it the gem that it was (with Nathaniel’s help, obviously!) I loved how fierce and stubborn and strong her character was. Her character development, both mentally and physically, was so well described and engaging to read about. Her thoughts sucked you in. Hell, you became Elizabeth. And you didn’t just witness all of this story; you got to be the main character. And isn’t that what all the best stories do? Make you a part of them?
Also, I can’t not talk about that ending. Because it was quite literally the most perfect ending to a book I’ve ever read. It was an open ending, but it held so much promise. It gave just enough to give you closure, but to give you a book hangover nonetheless. I’m super glad this book was a stand-alone and had the ending that it did. It just wouldn’t have been the same without it.