The Book of Lost Things

Author: John Connolly 
Pages: 339 
Publisher: Atria Books 
Format: Hardcover 
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own -- populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

My Summary: David's life fell apart the day his mother died. When his father remarries only a few months later and moves them out to the country, David finds himself seeking the solace that his new bedroom library provides. Each book is a strange edition of a fairy tale, filled with new endings and illustrations that send David's imagination reeling. 

But soon the books reveal themselves to be more than a form of comfort - as they begin to whisper to David, he finds himself dodging a shady creature born of his nightmares. And when he is propelled into a fairy tale world by an explosion, David finds that the characters from his stories have come to life - even the shadow man - and they are not going to let him go without a fight. 

My Thoughts: I am so glad I finally picked this book up! After years of lusting after its beautiful cover and intriguing premise I finally caved and got myself a copy. 

I loved the rich descriptions and beautiful imagery conjured up by Connolly's writing. David's world is s populated by grief and anger that it seems almost grey in comparison to the fairy tale world. I was also very moved by the way the Connolly portrayed David's grief and anger and resentment for his father - it all felt so incredibly realistic and well-deserved that you couldn't help but feel a bit of it yourself. 

This book read like a fairy tale, but it definitely wasn't. The writing flows beautifully - almost like prose - and the plot is never predictable. I loved all the surprises along the way, and the variety of characters. The Crooked Man was an amazing villain and reminded me a bit of the "other-mother" from Coraline - I'd love to know more about him, despite already getting a few hints in the novel. 

Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to fans of fairy tale retellings as well as anyone who enjoys a good adventure or coming of age novel. 

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