Book Reviews, YA Book Club for Writers

Book Club Review: The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander

With her parents off traveling the globe, Lenora is bored, bored, bored―until she discovers a secret doorway into the ultimate library. Mazelike and reality-bending, the library contains all the universe’s wisdom. Every book ever written, and every fact ever known, can be found within its walls. And Lenora becomes its newly appointed Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian.

She rockets to the stars, travels to a future filled with robots, and faces down a dark nothingness that wants to destroy all knowledge. To save the library, Lenora will have to test her limits and uncover secrets hidden among its shelves.

Our thoughts about this book:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now, my favourite book club discussions are the ones where we disagree! Some of us like a book, some of us don’t and it leads to lively discussion. Such was the case with The Library of Ever.

There was a clear dividing line between the teachers and the not-teachers in our group with this book. The teachers sang praises to The Library of Ever and they had several reasons to do so (which I’ll cover shortly.) Where as those of us looking at the story solely through a writing lens, were somewhat disappointed in our November book choice.

What did we like about it?

Well, the teachers were over the moon with the teachable moments presented in the book, such as:

  • relying on science for our knowledge.
  • what can happen to a culture if language is lost?
  • the controversy of censorship.

In some kind of irony, the story both meanders and ties everything together. As the main character Lenora flits from world to world in the universal library which was quite disjointed, each world reflected upon the other and in the end they culminate to help Lenora solve a big problem. That’s not a spoiler, most stories solve a problem by the end, don’t they?

The characters were not filled out very well. We all agreed that they could have used more depth. They were more or less just vehicles to move the reader through the worlds, but there’s wasn’t enough character development to feel an emotional connection to any, including, and most importantly, the main character. However, Lenora meets a plethora of interesting characters from a king, to robots, to penguins. . . and the author has some super inventive ways of allowing communication.

The world-building and setting of the library itself were beautiful and wonderful. The visuals were so strong and the plot moved so fast, this book would lend itself to a cartoon show or a graphic novel quite easily.

Speaking of the plot, the story is high action, which could be especially engaging for reluctant readers.

One of the most exciting overarching ideas from this book is how books, reading, knowledge, and science are celebrated. And the heroine of the book is a librarian!

This story would be best recommended for younger middle graders, grade 4 and 5, and of course our teachers highly recommend this as a read-out-loud story for these classrooms.

_________________________

This is an unsolicited review. I purchased my copy for Kindle at Amazon.ca.

  • Publisher : Square Fish; Reprint edition (April 28 2020)
  • Paperback : 224 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1250233707

3 thoughts on “Book Club Review: The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander”

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