Here we are with another book review- I literally finished this book in 2 days, absolutely devouring it on the way to and from my university’s trip to Seville last week. At first I found it quite hard to get into, especially as it has a very sad beginning, but eventually I was just hooked. I’m not really into these ‘teen fiction’ books, but I do love twists on classic fairy tales and this book definitely checks that box!
“The Book of Lost Things” by John Connolly is the kind of book that you can get… well, lost in. It’s funny because I found myself reading as quick as I could just to find out what happened at the end of a chapter, straining my eyes in the weak lighting of the coach so much so that they ached the next day when I had to go into uni and sit at my computer for 5 hours.
I loved the idea of the novel, the angry grief-stricken little boy learning to face his fears and grow into a man, creating a world for himself in which he can battle his inner demons. The plot is quite easy to unravel, and I knew what would happen before I got halfway through, but at the same time there are so many twists throughout the storyline that it was very interesting to read all the same.
I think that people of all ages can relate to the protagonist, David, as he experiences a lot of loss in his life but is still able to overcome it all. The ending is so poignant, and I’ll admit that I skipped ahead as I often to do the last page to try and make sense of it before reading the rest of the novel- it doesn’t spoil anything, doesn’t give anything away, and this is the charm of the book because you really engage so much with David’s character that you need to read the rest of the novel in order to really understand the ending and find some peace when you turn that last page and close the book.
There are an extra 150-odd pages added in at the end by the author including commentary by John Connolly about his process during the book’s creation, and his take on certain fairy tales that are used throughout the novel. This gives the reader that little bit of extra life from the book, a last chance for them to squeeze as much information as possible from the novel before it really has to end.
I would recommend giving this book a chance, even if you think it’s not your sort of genre. If you read between the lines and beyond the fact that it’s a book about a boy who goes to a fairytale land, you will realise that it’s a beautiful tale of overcoming grief, embracing new changes, the coming of adulthood and learning to accept and love those around you in order to better your life. I love the message of caring for and protecting those who are weaker and more vulnerable than you rather than using them for your own advantage in life.
I was very surprised by how much I liked the book in the end and how sad I was when it all ended, so I can definitely recommend it to others!
Lots of Love,