Libraries are the lifeblood of communities, a safe space where residents converge, and literature is free for one and all. I imagine a despondent librarian shutting off the lights for the last time, the books thrown into darkness abandoned on shelves gathering dust for eternity. In the dim light of a forgotten library, I imagine the tomes murmuring sadly: Where did the readers go?

A sudden thought hits. There must be a reason I stumbled on this article on social media- I have to save Willow Grove Library! But how? 

Elodie’s Library of Second Chances is a gorgeous love letter to libraries and those who use them.

When Elodie applies for the job of librarian in peaceful Willow Grove, she’s looking forward to a new start. As the daughter of a media empire, her every move has been watched for years, and she longs to work with the thing she loves most: books.

It’s a chance to make a real difference too, because she soon realizes that there are other people in Willow Grove who might need a fresh start – like the homeless man everyone walks past without seeing, or the divorcée who can’t seem to escape her former husband’s misdeeds.

Together with local journalist Finn, Elodie decides these people have stories that need sharing. What if instead of borrowing books readers could ‘borrow’ a person, and hear the life stories of those they’ve overlooked?

But Elodie isn’t quite sharing her whole story either. As the story of the library’s new success grows, will her own secret be revealed? 

There is something so magical about a Rebecca Raisin book; they always have this incredible ability to fill your heart with so much happiness and joy. I was having a somewhat slightly stressful work week, and reading this book was the perfect way to escape that stress. Elodie’s Library of Second Chances just oozes kindness from its pages. If you are a fan of libraries, then you are just going to adore this book. Heck, suppose you aren’t a fan of libraries. In that case, I still think you should read this book because Rebecca does an excellent job of showing why libraries are such an important part of a community and are still very relevant today. Going on this journey with Elodie as she tries to save Willow Grove’s library was fun and heartwarming. I loved how Rebecca explored all the ways libraries help connect community members with resources and to each other.

In typical Rebecca fashion, Elodie’s Library of Second Chances is chock-full of delightful and endearing characters. There is a theme in the book of not judging a book by its cover. The residents of Willow Grove have been judging each other based on gossip or stereotypes, which has caused some residents to become isolated from the rest of the community. Elodie starts to break down those stereotypes by creating a borrow a person program at the library. It’s such a fantastic idea and an excellent way for people to connect. I loved listening to the different characters’ stories; they were just so touching. Elodie is a character that makes you feel like anything is possible. She radiates positive energy, and it was so charming watching as she interacted with all the other characters.

The relationship between Elodie and Finn is as sweet and perfect as drinking a cup of homemade lemonade on a hot summer afternoon. Finn has that sweet laidback guy feeling that you just can’t help but love instantly. I loved the realistic yet very charming chemistry these two had. There was this ease to their relationship. It wasn’t marked with an abundance of drama or misunderstandings. It was just an adorable love story with tons of cute moments.

Elodie’s Library of Second Chances is a perfect pick-me-up romance read that fills your heart with so much joy. 

Thank you, Harper Collins UK and Rachel Random Resources, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.