The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Release Date: January 1, 2006
Rating: 5 stars
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“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”
― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things
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.
Taking readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives. (Goodreads)My Thoughts
The Book of Lost Things was absolutely fantastic! A new favorite! It was definitely a Courtney book. It had the fantasy, the fairytale aspect, the dark twist, and the creepy factor. It was a great spin on a old fairytale, and it included a lot of fairytales within, but they became sicker and twisted. Little Red Riding Hood was never told that way. Little Red Riding Hood was no innocent, little girl.
The Book of Lost Things was written beautifully. Connolly spent a good amount of time building the plot in the beginning and developing the characters and their relations, but I wasn't bored or anxious for the next part of the story to begin. I felt like the escalating tension between Rose and David and then David's entrance into the fairytale world worked wonderfully. I also loved the house and David's room. The house definitely had that magical feel, especially the sunken garden and the woods surrounding it. Even in London and the surrounding countryside, there seemed to be a magical aspect to the story.
The story was very moving and touching. There was a deeper message to it, exploring death and children coming to understand death and the afterlife. The story also had sinister overtones, coming to terms with the dark fates many children meet. It had a meaningful purpose and I loved watching David mature and develop after his mothers' death.
There was also a humorous aspect to some of the characters. There was dark humor, but also some of the fairytales, like Snow White, became almost comical. I found myself very entertained by their retelling and the little twist they were given.
There is that creepy factor I mentioned. I will admit there were a couple of parts I read at night that made me shiver. I think the Crooked Man was a great character because he inspires fear and portrays the dark imaginations of children, and he is far from cliched.
All in all, this book was amazing. It was a great and fast read! It actually kind of reminded me of Coraline and Pan's Labyrinth. Parts of them, such as the young child feeling ignored and exploring and finding a darker world, really mirrored this storyline. I was impressed by this book.
What is the lesson we learn from these tales? Don't let your child out of your sight or ignore them or they'll enter a dark, fantasy world where children are preyed upon. Through a secret door or through a garden wall.