Book Review: The Littlest Library by Poppy Alexander

About the Book:

Title: The Littlest Library

Author: Poppy Alexander

Page Length: 384

Publication Date: July 19, 2022

Publisher: Avon

Synopsis: A heartwarming literary-themed novel about a woman who turns an ordinary red phone box into the littlest library in England and brings together a struggling town.

A little red telephone box full of stories, a chance to change her life…

Jess Metcalf is perfectly content with her quiet, predictable life. But when her beloved grandmother passes away and she loses her job at the local library, Jess’ life is turned upside down.

Determined to pick up the pieces, Jess decides it’s time for a new beginning. Unable to part with her grandmother’s cherished books, she packs them all up and moves to a tiny cottage in the English countryside. To her surprise, Jess discovers that she’s now the owner of an old red phone box that was left on the property. Missing her job at the local library, Jess decides to give back to her new community–using her grandmother’s collection to turn the ordinary phone box into the littlest library in England.

It’s not long before the books are borrowed and begin to work their literary magic–bringing the villagers together… and managing to draw Jess’ grumpy but handsome neighbor out of his shell.

Maybe it’s finally time for Jess to follow her heart, let go of her old life, and make the village her home? But will she be able to take the leap?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

If you are looking for a sweet and charming read that highlights the healing power of books, then you should read The Littlest Library. The story is about Jess, who moves to a new town after losing her grandmother and job in a matter of months. When she purchases a cottage, she doesn’t realize that it comes with an old and no-longer-used telephone booth, and community leaders are eager to learn her intentions for the landmark.

Since she brought a large collection of books that her grandmother left her, Jess decides to put them to good use and turns the phone booth into a little library. Soon, people across the small community are visiting the little library. As Jess makes new friends and becomes more ingratiated in the community, she makes friends and even manages to break through her handsome neighbor’s tough shell. But is Jess ready to move on and make this new town her home?

This is a lovely story about friendship, community, starting over, and finding love. Jess is a well-developed and layered character, and I loved her physical and emotional journey throughout the book. She goes from being a woman who thrives in predictability and is in a bit of a slump to a woman who takes risks and opens herself up to love. Jess lost her parents when she was young, and she was raised by her wonderful grandmother. So, it’s logical that she feels untethered when she loses her grandmother too. Jess spends a lot of the story figuring out who she is and what she wants in life.

The story depicts grief well, and I really connected with Jess’s feelings over the loss of her beloved grandmother. I like how it suggested that there is no timeframe for grief and that people grieve and heal in their own ways. It also shows how Jess has to redefine herself and figure out who she is without her grandmother’s influence, which is exactly how I felt when my mother died. Who was I without this strong and supportive role model? Losing someone that important to you changes you, and the author showed this journey well.

The story addresses other heavy issues, including divorce, toxic relationships, aging, and more. However, it isn’t a heavy or dark read. Instead, it offers hope and optimism and shows how one community supports each other in little ways. Do I want The Littlest Library in my neighborhood? Yes, yes I do. It sounds lovely, and it’s a perfect way to repurpose something that was just taking up space. The more I thought about this, the more I realized finding new purpose is a major theme throughout the story. There are many strong messages about transforming, repurposing, renovating, and taking risks, and it isn’t just in regards to inanimate objects like the library. Many of the characters transform and find new purposes throughout the story, which I loved. Jess and her neighbors learn so much about each other and themselves, and it’s wonderful to see how one small thing can affect an entire community for the better.

Though the romance is not at the forefront of the novel, it is a nice addition to the story, and it has total grumpy-sunshine vibes. I like that both characters have built walls around their hearts and are fearful of taking that step toward being vulnerable and connected to one another. They have a lot of emotional obstacles in their way, as well as an ex that causes problems, but I really wanted to see this pair find happiness. They’ve both been through so much and deserve to find a partner that supports and loves them unequivocally.

The Littlest Library is a charming read with great messages, a wonderful group of people connected by books, and an interesting enemies-to-lovers romance. I would definitely recommend the book to readers of contemporary romance and am very thankful to NetGalley, the author, and Avon for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The small town charm.
  • The romance.
  • Jess’s growth.

Favorite Lines:

How could any inanimate object possibly compensate her for the absence of the woman she had centered her life around?

Sometimes we play tricks on ourselves. We find excuses to hide from our feelings because we don’t want to see the truth for what it really is.

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