January 2, 2013

Review: The Borrower by: Rebecca Makkai

The Borrower by: Rebecca Makkai (2011)
Publisher: Viking (The Penguin Group)
324 pages
Genre: General Fiction

Summary: I didn’t know exactly how to summarize this book so I grabbed this from Barnes and Noble: “Lucy Hull, a children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. Ian needs Lucy’s help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes. Desperate to save him from the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian when she finds him camped out in the library after hours, and the odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip. But is it just Ian who is running away? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?”

Review: My mother actually recommended this book to me, saying that the main character reminded her a little bit of me, and usually we have some pretty different reading preferences, but she was absolutely correct, this book is a gem. Here is my short but sweet review of this crazy story.

Lucy, the children’s librarian, is not only hilarious but down right lovable, even with her faults. If you are an avid reader and lover of books, which you probably are if you are reading my blog all about books, then you will enjoy this novel. I’m not saying it is the next Jane Eyre or anything, but I am saying that it is a very comical and enjoyable read. Not only will you fall in love with Lucy but you will without a doubt wish ten-year-old Ian Drake was your friend. Reading this book made me want to be a librarian and introduce new books to kids like Ian, addicted to reading. Ian is a hilarious and somewhat confused kid that never fails to put on a show.

I honestly am not sure I have anything negative to say about this book, and that is surprising. There are great references to other novels in this book that an avid reader will enjoy. There are scenes that will make you laugh out loud. There are more memorable and relateable characters than most books have. The plot is unique, and some say it’s too unbelievable, but I think that just makes it even more intriguing. Makkai wrote a wonderful book full of laughter and small treasures hidden inside for the reader to find.

Read this book any way that you can. Buy it, borrow it from a friend or from the library, I don’t really care as long as you read it. It is a cute and charming novel that will stay with you for a long time. The ending will leave you with a whole new love for books and the power they have on the person who reads them.

Rating: 5/5   BUY The Borrower


  1. I had never heard of this one, but it sounds like such a cute story! I will have to keep it in mind.

    1. It is a little different, but it was a really good read!

  2. I'm really intrigued to see how they work around the whole kidnapping thing (and the legal consequences) despite the engaging themes. I think as avid readers, we often forego these sweeter stories in favour of the next hot thing, but it sounds like this is one of those rare gems that will actually stand the test of time and is totally worth reading.

    1. It is interesting to say the least. :) I agree with you, this is a story that would normally get overlooked because it isn't like the norm, but it is totally worth reading.


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