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The Last Chance Library

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A Good Morning America Buzz Pick A Library Reads Pick June Jones emerges from her shell to fight for her beloved local library, and through the efforts and support of an eclectic group of library patrons, she discovers life-changing friendships along the way. Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirt A Good Morning America Buzz Pick A Library Reads Pick June Jones emerges from her shell to fight for her beloved local library, and through the efforts and support of an eclectic group of library patrons, she discovers life-changing friendships along the way. Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother. Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer's feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won't believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way. To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she's determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.


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A Good Morning America Buzz Pick A Library Reads Pick June Jones emerges from her shell to fight for her beloved local library, and through the efforts and support of an eclectic group of library patrons, she discovers life-changing friendships along the way. Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirt A Good Morning America Buzz Pick A Library Reads Pick June Jones emerges from her shell to fight for her beloved local library, and through the efforts and support of an eclectic group of library patrons, she discovers life-changing friendships along the way. Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother. Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer's feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won't believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way. To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she's determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.

30 review for The Last Chance Library

  1. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson Thirty year old June Jones gave up her dreams of college, new friends, and a writing career when years ago, her mother was fighting cancer, a battle her mother lost. While her librarian mother was still alive, June became a library assistant, the same job she holds today. Shy, lonely June spends her days at work and her nights and weekends eating alone and reading books, some many times over, while dodging the hisses and swats of her late mom's old cat, Al The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson Thirty year old June Jones gave up her dreams of college, new friends, and a writing career when years ago, her mother was fighting cancer, a battle her mother lost. While her librarian mother was still alive, June became a library assistant, the same job she holds today. Shy, lonely June spends her days at work and her nights and weekends eating alone and reading books, some many times over, while dodging the hisses and swats of her late mom's old cat, Alan Bennett. Back into town comes old school mate, Alex Chen, and June feels the need to attempt to hide her loneliness, geekiness, and all round failure-ness from Alex, not realizing that Alex admires everything that makes June the person she is today. If only June would give Alex a chance to tell her how he feels but June is too busy running from people and anything resembling a close relationship. It's when the Chalcot Library is threatened with closure that June realizes that she is about to lose the safe, routine life that she has settled into so easily. Thinking she is devoid of real friends, it's the fight to save the library that is going to wake up June to all that she's had in life and all that she is really on the cusp of losing. But more importantly, June wakes up to what the library has meant to those who need it so much more than she does. This is a quiet, feel good story, that shows the importance of friendship and working together, when the chips are down and things look bleak. Publication: August 31st 2021 Thank you to Elisha at Berkley and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael David

    HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! A book for book lovers, bibliophiles, and bookworms about book lovers, bibliophiles, and bookworms...and libraries. June Jones is a library assistant who has never left her hometown. After her mom passed away, June never stopped grieving for her, and still lives in her childhood home (that has “fecal-colored carpet for a bathroom floor”) with her cat, Alan Bennett. June is socially awkward due to her shyness, and likes to stick to her routines of working at the library during HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY! A book for book lovers, bibliophiles, and bookworms about book lovers, bibliophiles, and bookworms...and libraries. June Jones is a library assistant who has never left her hometown. After her mom passed away, June never stopped grieving for her, and still lives in her childhood home (that has “fecal-colored carpet for a bathroom floor”) with her cat, Alan Bennett. June is socially awkward due to her shyness, and likes to stick to her routines of working at the library during the day, and going home to read in the evenings. The routine breaks when the Chalcot Library is threatened with closure. The library holds a special place in June’s heart because her mother used to work there too and take her there as a kid. It also hold a special place in the hearts of the eccentric patrons. So, when a few of the patrons start a group called FOCL (Friends of Chalcot Library) to save the library and the books that have touched them, June decides to step out of her shell and campaign with them. Not only will this give her a chance to break out of her comfort zone and shine, but she might be able to move past the funk she’s been in and find happiness within herself and with the help of those she lets in. “...It’s never too late to find your voice...” What a charming book! I absolutely enjoyed every minute of reading it. Debut author Freya Sampson does a phenomenal job of bringing together a group of characters that are so vastly different from each other, but all lovable in their own way. I really cared about June and the rest of the gang, and wanted nothing more than for her to be happy. The story is heartwarming and endearing, and just what I needed. It’s humorous, has depth, and even has a bit of romance. I was touched by this sweet book. I laughed, I smiled, and I cried (some of these at the same time). I highly recommend supporting your local library and checking this book out when it is published on: 8/31/21. 📚 Thank you to Elisha at Berkley for providing with a widget of the ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    June is the quintessential librarian, who loves her job, her anti-social cat, Alan Bennett (named after the British playwright) and her routines-like her weekly takeaway of Chicken in black bean sauce, from the “Golden Dragon”. She may be quiet, as she shelves the books that she imagines are whispering their stories to each other, but she always remembers her patrons names, associating them with the books they choose to borrow. So, she is devastated when she learns that the City Council is planni June is the quintessential librarian, who loves her job, her anti-social cat, Alan Bennett (named after the British playwright) and her routines-like her weekly takeaway of Chicken in black bean sauce, from the “Golden Dragon”. She may be quiet, as she shelves the books that she imagines are whispering their stories to each other, but she always remembers her patrons names, associating them with the books they choose to borrow. So, she is devastated when she learns that the City Council is planning to close the Charcot library where she works, following in her Mother’s footsteps, after she died a few years ago. The Patrons are outraged as well, and they form a committee called F-O-C-L (pronounced Fock All ) which stands for Friends of Charcot Library, with one goal-to save it from being closed. They are disappointed that June, won’t join, especially her friend, the dapper Stanley Phelps, but what they don’t know is that she will lose her job if she does. After finally, confessing this to her childhood friend, Alex, who is in town briefly to help his parents run the “Golden Dragon”, they devise a plan for June to help the group secretly. Code Name: Matilda-named for the fierce, book loving girl from Roald Dahl’s beautifully illustrated children’s book, of the same name. June learns to find her voice for the first time, with a little help from her friends-but will it be loud enough? And, will it be in time? This book started quietly, like June, but by the end, it had packed quite the emotional punch! A wonderful DEBUT from Freya Sampson, who lives in London with her husband, two children, and her own, antisocial cat! 😼 I would like to thank Elisha at Berkley for providing a gifted ARC through NetGalley! It was my pleasure to offer a candid review! Available Now!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    I learned a valuable lesson in reading this book: never read two similarly themed books in close proximity to each other, because like it or not, you’ll compare them. Having just read The Library by Bella Osborne, there were some prominent similarities: They both deal with the imminent threat of closure to the village library and the scrappy villagers’ plans to fight it, they both had younger and older characters bridging the age gap to find common ground and friendship in their united cause, th I learned a valuable lesson in reading this book: never read two similarly themed books in close proximity to each other, because like it or not, you’ll compare them. Having just read The Library by Bella Osborne, there were some prominent similarities: They both deal with the imminent threat of closure to the village library and the scrappy villagers’ plans to fight it, they both had younger and older characters bridging the age gap to find common ground and friendship in their united cause, they both had characters with broken family relationships due to a secret past, and they both had mousy, socially-awkward main characters finding their voice to help others and grow individually, to name a few of the bigger ones. In this case, the main character is thirty-year-old wallflower June Jones (sorry - I can’t help but think of the children’s book series Junie B. Jones about a precocious six-year old, which distracted me a bit). June has lost her mom and is coming to the realization that she has no friends or life experiences outside the little village of Chalcot, where she’s a library assistant. Her days consist of helping library patrons like older members Stanley Phelps, caustic Mrs. B, crotchety Vera, teenager Chantal, bright young Jackson and others. When the city council announces plans to potentially close Chalcot Library, these patrons form a group called FOCL (Friends of Chalcot Library, but pronounced “Fock All”) to fight it. Initially told she’ll lose her job if she joins, June stays out of the fray until she comes to terms with her own personal loss if the closure goes through and joins the fight. There’s so much more to the story, including “mean girl” women from June’s school days, revealing backstories about other characters, a potential romance for June with another old school mate, Alex, but at the end of the book, I just hadn’t connected as I would’ve liked with any of the characters, nor did I find their stories particularly compelling. June is sweet, and it was nice to see her find her voice, and Alex was a great guy, but I didn’t really feel any sparks between them. Other characters, like loud, abrasive Mrs. B, prim and proper Stanley, difficult Vera felt a little too cliché. As for the story, it followed the expected arc with an ending that was wrapped up in an almost comically convenient bow. Had this been a movie, it would feel like one I’d seen way too many times. I’ll definitely watch for future books by Freya Sampson - it’s an admirable debut effort and well written, but I think my timing was off. Had I read this before or sufficiently distanced from The Library, I think I would’ve better seen it on its own merits. As it stands, it was a perfectly nice story, but not a standout for me. ★★★ Thanks to Berkley Publishing, Netgalley and author Freya Sampson for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinions. It will be published August 31, 2021.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is a lovely debut novel from Freya Sampson that zeroes in on the central and critical place a local library has within a community, a timely piece of fiction that reflects contemporary British realities where so many libraries have been closed and so many are under threat. The timid and shy 30 year old June Jones lives on the 1960s Willowmead Estate with her hostile anti-social cat, Alan Bennett. She has lived an entirely predictable and routine life since her mother died 8 years ago, she h This is a lovely debut novel from Freya Sampson that zeroes in on the central and critical place a local library has within a community, a timely piece of fiction that reflects contemporary British realities where so many libraries have been closed and so many are under threat. The timid and shy 30 year old June Jones lives on the 1960s Willowmead Estate with her hostile anti-social cat, Alan Bennett. She has lived an entirely predictable and routine life since her mother died 8 years ago, she has withdrawn from the world entirely, reading her books, getting the same takeaway from The Golden Dragon, working as a library assistant under her boss, Marjorie Spencer. She shuns all efforts to get her live, socialise and move on by the likes of her mother's friend and neighbour, Linda. However, June's world begins to shift slowly when her library, along with others, is earmarked for closure and the building set to be sold. She is warned that as a council employee, she is forbidden to take part in or get involved with a protest action group that is has been set up to fight the closure, and at the beginning she adheres to this rule. An old schoolfriend, lawyer Alex Chen arrives in town to help run The Golden Dragon, his father is getting a hip operation, and as June recommends books for him to read, she listens to his advice about her quandry and he tells her to ask herself about a favourite fictional character, what would Roald Dahl's Matilda do? This spurs June to help the FOCL (the Friends of Chalcot Library) campaign, giving advice, information and ideas covertly as Matilda, but when a beloved daily library user, Stanley Phelps starts a sit in protest, she openly joins the protests. Sampson develops a delightfully diverse set of supporting characters that include the likes of the ferociously feisty Mrs Bransworth, Vera, Chantal, and Marjorie, that captivate as they put their all into trying to prevent the closure of their much wanted library. This is a wonderfully entertaining and engaging read, often so humorous as when June diverts a male stripper to the library. It includes dastardly behind the scenes corruption, powerful forces intent on ensuring that the library closes. This is a book that will appeal to many readers given that it focuses on books and libraries. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    This book is about small towns and how vital a library can be for many of the residents. It’s also about friendship and the power of a GROUP OF VOICES COMING TOGETHER!!! The small town Chalcot library is one of a handful of libraries that has been threatened with closure. There is just so much money that the council has to disperse. It’s thought that perhaps a mobile library or volunteer library would provide the residents with the books that they want and/or need. Of course what they don’t know i This book is about small towns and how vital a library can be for many of the residents. It’s also about friendship and the power of a GROUP OF VOICES COMING TOGETHER!!! The small town Chalcot library is one of a handful of libraries that has been threatened with closure. There is just so much money that the council has to disperse. It’s thought that perhaps a mobile library or volunteer library would provide the residents with the books that they want and/or need. Of course what they don’t know is how much more a library means to people! This library is a place to learn and study for a homeschooled child, a place where an immigrant can begin to start a new life with guidance, access to lots of helpful books and the internet. And of course a place for the townspeople to see each other and stay together as a community!! Led by Mrs. Bransworth, the most outspoken (and I mean that very literally) member of a loyal group of library users, there are petitions, protests and even a “sit in” at the library. There are some things going on with the council that will come as a surprise to the residents as well as the reader. As much as I wanted to love this book I found the plot to be rather predictable. The characters were an interesting group and it was great to see June's development as a character. If you are looking for a cozy book and a light, entertaining read then this might be just the book for you! This novel is set to publish on August 31, 2021. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.

  7. 4 out of 5

    emma

    Things I like: - books about books Things I don't like: - British people In truth I think I was put on this earth in order to balance out the Anglophiles who drink tea (which tastes like hot wet dirt) and wear Union Jack merchandise (red white and blue is a displeasing color palette) and enjoy teen pop sensations with accents way past their prime (I went through it too but let's face it, the golden age has passed). Anyway. The long and short of it is that while British writers are good and the cities Things I like: - books about books Things I don't like: - British people In truth I think I was put on this earth in order to balance out the Anglophiles who drink tea (which tastes like hot wet dirt) and wear Union Jack merchandise (red white and blue is a displeasing color palette) and enjoy teen pop sensations with accents way past their prime (I went through it too but let's face it, the golden age has passed). Anyway. The long and short of it is that while British writers are good and the cities are pretty, contemporary books make me uncomfortable and I hate thinking about their food. Anyway again: Onto this actual book. I like these sweet chick-lit-type books (and I know I'm not supposed to call it that) from time to time. There's usually an almost too kind elderly character. A very mean elderly character. A friendly age appropriate male neighbor. Another mean guy or gal who turns out to be a nice guy or gal. This had all that in spades. The romance was extremely bad, in my opinion, and I've seen the aforementioned cast o'characters done better, but overall this was fine and good. Minus the Britishness. Bottom line: Pretty good, even better if you're not a curmudgeon / Anglophobe. --------------- challenging myself to read as many review copies as possible this month because i'm addicted to projects! ARC 1: spaceman of bohemia ARC 2: in search of us ARC 3: aerialists ARC 4: the sound of drowning ARC 5: unleaving ARC 6: the other side of luck ARC 7: romanov ARC 8: the storm keeper's island ARC 9: gut check ARC 10: when force meets fate ARC 11: sisters in hate ARC 12: before i disappear ARC 13: big time ARC 14: stolen science ARC 15: have a little faith in me ARC 16: invitation to a bonfire ARC 17: the splendor ARC 18: how to be luminous ARC 19: the little women cookbook ARC 20: while we were dating ARC 21: the lost girls ARC 22: wait for it ARC 23: your life has been delayed ARC 24: a million things ARC 25: the royals next door ARC 26: the love hypothesis ARC 27: we light up the sky ARC 28: the printed letter bookshop ARC 29: on location ARC 30: how rory thorne destroyed the multiverse ARC 31: the map from here to there ARC 32: the last chance library

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Holly hell! This book is extremely cute! Sweeter than my favorite Nutella cronut! (At least you don’t pass out because of high sugar level and complain about calories when you read this! ) it’s so fresh, exhilarating, comforting feel good novel! What can go wrong when you decide to read a book about books? Absolutely nothing! It’s one hundred percent satisfaction guaranteed, heartfelt journey makes you laugh so hard but a few pages later you find yourself cry like a whiny toddler! Your feelings Holly hell! This book is extremely cute! Sweeter than my favorite Nutella cronut! (At least you don’t pass out because of high sugar level and complain about calories when you read this! ) it’s so fresh, exhilarating, comforting feel good novel! What can go wrong when you decide to read a book about books? Absolutely nothing! It’s one hundred percent satisfaction guaranteed, heartfelt journey makes you laugh so hard but a few pages later you find yourself cry like a whiny toddler! Your feelings are everywhere! But at the end the pure happiness surround your heart and it absolutely puts a permanent smile on your face! It’s amazing feeling you never want to miss it! You easily get connected to June Jones: 28 years old, introvert, lonely librarian created walls around herself built by books. A great read always takes care of her problems, helping her to travel around different worlds, discovering new places as she’s stuck in a small British village. Once upon a time she was hopeful, energetic girl with full of dreams including discovering new cities, getting education at Cambridge to chase her dreams for becoming a successful author. But you know what they say: you make plans , God laughs. She procrastinates her big plans after her mother’s illness and takes care of her, getting a job at Chalcot Public Library, following her mother’s career steps. After her mother’s death, she is still living at the same house, full time working at assistant librarian, building a safe cocoon around her. But now it’s time for her coming out of her shell, standing up for the library which is threatened with closure by council because of budget cuts. Now it’s time for her to raise her voice and rediscover herself how far she can risk to save the place that saved her from the most painful days of her life. There are so many quirky, entertaining, lovable character portraits in this book you desperate fall for including fiery Mrs. B, Stanley , Franklin. Only two things bothered me was instant romance between charming Alex Chang and June and abrupt ending of the book. The romance parts could be developed a little bit and I think the book could be a little longer. Maybe I loved and invested to the characters so much and I didn’t want to say goodbye to them so suddenly! Anyways this book truly makes you dream of living a small British town, interacting with eccentric townies, burying your into dusty pages of amazing books, enjoying your pure happiness. I think I can teleport myself anytime if it’s possible! I’m giving my 4 joy of reading, self discovery, learning to be bold, laughing loud, sentimental, beautiful stars! So many thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing For sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a women's fiction book. I have to say at the heart of this book it is about a small town trying to save their cherished library. This book is told to us by June who works in the library, and she is trying to find herself while also trying to help save the library. I have to say I love June so much, and I also love how many different types of people lives in this small town. They also love each other so much. This book as some twists which I really did not see coming, but they are not as This is a women's fiction book. I have to say at the heart of this book it is about a small town trying to save their cherished library. This book is told to us by June who works in the library, and she is trying to find herself while also trying to help save the library. I have to say I love June so much, and I also love how many different types of people lives in this small town. They also love each other so much. This book as some twists which I really did not see coming, but they are not as shocking as a thriller twist would be. This is a fun and cute read, and I really enjoyed my time reading this book. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Berkley Books) or author (Freya Sampson) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    A simple, lighthearted read with its typical plot and characters - a young woman (June) tries to save a troubled library/bookshop. She is surrounded by a likeable (and unlikeable!) cast of characters, one, of course, being a potential love interest. Naturally, there are various references to literature, old and new, sprinkled throughout the story, giving a satisfactory feeling to the reader. Surprisingly, I rather enjoyed this story and looked forward to the next time I could pick it up and read A simple, lighthearted read with its typical plot and characters - a young woman (June) tries to save a troubled library/bookshop. She is surrounded by a likeable (and unlikeable!) cast of characters, one, of course, being a potential love interest. Naturally, there are various references to literature, old and new, sprinkled throughout the story, giving a satisfactory feeling to the reader. Surprisingly, I rather enjoyed this story and looked forward to the next time I could pick it up and read it! I loved: - the cozy library setting nestled in the quaint village of Chalcot; - the quirky library patrons (although Mrs. B. sure could use a filter, especially around the children!); - the daydream interruptions; - the funny quips; and, - the surprises and twists as the story came to an end. Occasionally, I questioned June's thoughts and reactions, but for the most part, this fluffy, quick read hit the right spot for me!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Maybe it's my closet introvert that really connects to this book. It could also be my part-time job in a library. My rating is higher than many of my dear Goodreads friends and that is due to the tears that this book brought to my eyes. I have witnessed firsthand the library patrons who come in daily to check their email, use our printer, to learn to read, or check out materials. There is a man who we read with 20 minutes a day (before Covid). He still comes by to check out audiobooks and DVDs. Maybe it's my closet introvert that really connects to this book. It could also be my part-time job in a library. My rating is higher than many of my dear Goodreads friends and that is due to the tears that this book brought to my eyes. I have witnessed firsthand the library patrons who come in daily to check their email, use our printer, to learn to read, or check out materials. There is a man who we read with 20 minutes a day (before Covid). He still comes by to check out audiobooks and DVDs. We see him every day. Part of his routine is to pick up trash in our parking lot. I found June to be so relatable. I was rooting for her to live up to her own expectations. There are humorous moments as well as heart-wrenching ones. After I finished this book earlier today, I went in for my library shift with a new resolve to meet our patrons where their need is if at all possible. For me, it was inspiring and I will be recommending it to coworkers. Thank you to Berkley and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    3.5 stars, rounded down This is a sweet, albeit fairly predictable story about saving a local library from closure. I'm a sucker for books about books, libraries, and the people who love them, and so I was drawn to this novel for those reasons. June as a character grated on me for quite a while during my reading of this book. I'm not a fan of weak, simpering females who can't speak in public or stand up for themselves. I was quite annoyed for a long time at her inability to find inner strength to 3.5 stars, rounded down This is a sweet, albeit fairly predictable story about saving a local library from closure. I'm a sucker for books about books, libraries, and the people who love them, and so I was drawn to this novel for those reasons. June as a character grated on me for quite a while during my reading of this book. I'm not a fan of weak, simpering females who can't speak in public or stand up for themselves. I was quite annoyed for a long time at her inability to find inner strength to lead a children's program or tell her boss "no" when asked to do something outside of her job that she didn't want to do. Eventually, June does find her voice, but I thought it took way too long for her to get there. The romance storyline was really not needed and I felt like it got in the way because it was so very predictable and cliché. Other than that, I thought this was a charming story of a heartwarming group of villagers who want to save their library. I loved the humor and the poignancy of the relationships and the camaraderie of this group of individuals who become like a family to each other. The way they fight for their library is what elevates this book and makes it more of a special read. Overall this is a meaningful tale for book lovers everywhere and worth asking your local library to purchase a copy. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kristin (KC)

    A story about books and bookshops + a reclusive, book-loving heroine to whom I can already deeply relate = a definite read for me! Can’t wait to get my hands on this one <3

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ellery Adams

    This was a sweet read filled with lovely references to the daily life of a small-town library. My favorite thing about the book is that it reminds us how much communities treasure (and need) their libraries. The villains are somewhat two-dimensional but also fun to hate. Sometimes, characters like that are a great place to direct our negativity ;) I would have rated this one higher if based on its minor characters, but I struggled to root for the MC, June Jones. I can sympathize with shy, hurt, This was a sweet read filled with lovely references to the daily life of a small-town library. My favorite thing about the book is that it reminds us how much communities treasure (and need) their libraries. The villains are somewhat two-dimensional but also fun to hate. Sometimes, characters like that are a great place to direct our negativity ;) I would have rated this one higher if based on its minor characters, but I struggled to root for the MC, June Jones. I can sympathize with shy, hurt, and introverted characters, but I'm not a fan of female doormats. June allowed herself to be manipulated and mistreated too often, and when she finally shows a glimpse of spine, she attempts to imitate one of the most beloved characters in children's literature—Roald Dahl's Matilda. However, Matilda's little shoes are too big for June to fill. Also, I felt that the romance element was unconvincing. However, all book lovers will find wonderful quotes and book references sprinkled throughout the novel, and for those readers fond of endings tied up with a bow, this book delivers a very happy ending indeed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    June Jones is a 28-year-old library assistant who works at the same neighborhood library her mother took her to June as a child while she worked there as a librarian. The Chalcot Library is as much a home to June as the one she shared with her mum, who died from cancer three years ago. June misses her terribly and is still enveloped in grief’s cloud as she moves slowly through the routines of life. Wake, eat, library, home, eat, read, sleep, and repeat. Everyone encourages her to move on with he June Jones is a 28-year-old library assistant who works at the same neighborhood library her mother took her to June as a child while she worked there as a librarian. The Chalcot Library is as much a home to June as the one she shared with her mum, who died from cancer three years ago. June misses her terribly and is still enveloped in grief’s cloud as she moves slowly through the routines of life. Wake, eat, library, home, eat, read, sleep, and repeat. Everyone encourages her to move on with her own life and to get out more, but June is content with her life as it is. Until, . . . . of course, things are about to change for everyone when the council (aka, government in UK) announces budget cuts and the need to close six libraries. Naturally, Chalcot, June’s library is one of the six. A meeting is called where the community begins to rally and the library regulars, a wonderful eclectic cast of characters, young and old, lead the charge. June is reluctant to join in and is relieved when her boss tells her employees are not allowed to voice their disagreement and participate in the protests, at first. But when June thinks about the regulars individually and the reasons they each have to come to the library, herself included, she realizes why they need to save it. She begins to get angry at the council’s thoughtless and mercenary decision. The Last Chance Library is not only the story of how a small library’s community fights to try to save it, or even June’s journey to finding her voice and confidence, but how each patron is supported by the assistance and kindness of the library staff, and each other. The community comes together and discovers their library is not just a building with books, it offers so much more than that. And, the best solution is found involving everyone, that I never expected. What fun! This book reminds me, and hopefully others, that our libraries are community centers offering educational opportunities for all ages, in a variety of areas, including the use of computers, data resources, knowledgeable staff and a whole host of services, mostly free of charge. Please read this lovely book and stop by your local library soon. Thank you Netgalley, Berkley Publishers, and Freya Sampson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    The Last Chance Library is a contemporary romance written by Freya Sampson. Eight years after her mother passed away, a young Englishwoman who's been living comfortably in the small routines of her solo life faces the closure of her beloved local library. Library assistant June Jones, 28, has worked for ten years at the Chalcot Library and has never left the village. She had once dreamed of going to university and becoming a writer, but ever since her single mother, a librarian, died of cancer al The Last Chance Library is a contemporary romance written by Freya Sampson. Eight years after her mother passed away, a young Englishwoman who's been living comfortably in the small routines of her solo life faces the closure of her beloved local library. Library assistant June Jones, 28, has worked for ten years at the Chalcot Library and has never left the village. She had once dreamed of going to university and becoming a writer, but ever since her single mother, a librarian, died of cancer almost eight years earlier, June has shut herself among the books. When the county council proposes closing the library due to budget cuts, the regular patrons protest in hopes of keeping it open. There’s Mrs. Barnsworth, who leaves the smell of wet goat in her wake and hates every book she reads; Stanley Phelps, a tweed-wearing reader of WWII novels; and romance-lover Linda. Initially, June is more concerned for her job, but when Stanley proposes the group occupy the library, June joins in and their action goes viral. They're joined by Alex Chen, an old school friend of June's who takes an interest in her and further brightens her spirits. The Last Chance Library is written rather well. While the simple prose is an initial roadblock, Sampson convincingly brings her characters to life, as well as the importance of their collective crusade to save the library. Sampson has created a gem of a book populated by vivid personalities and a story that weaves together heroes and villains, love and loss, mourning and growth as it follows June and the Chalcot community as they seek to save their library, which offers so much more than books. All in all, The Last Chance Library is a delightful exploration of personal growth, inner strength, and the importance of family, friends, and love.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    The beloved library can't be shut down. What will the people of Chalcot Library do without this meeting place and the books? June worked as a library assistant and was a very shy, sheltered person. Learning that the city was going to shut down the library was devastating to her. June knew nothing else. Her library wasn't just about books, it was also about the people in the town having some place to go to socialize. When some of the older patrons decided to fight about keeping the library, June joine The beloved library can't be shut down. What will the people of Chalcot Library do without this meeting place and the books? June worked as a library assistant and was a very shy, sheltered person. Learning that the city was going to shut down the library was devastating to her. June knew nothing else. Her library wasn't just about books, it was also about the people in the town having some place to go to socialize. When some of the older patrons decided to fight about keeping the library, June joined in too. THE LAST CHANCE LIBRARY is a sweet, feel-good read and has great characters. Some are funny, some are feisty, and some are just loyal library patrons. Fighting to keep libraries open is a great theme, and one that is echoing all around. If you need a read that will make you smile, add this book to your reading queue. It is a tribute to libraries, the comfort they provide for its patrons, and for everyone who uses the library for books and friendship. I KNEW I was going to like this book, but I LOVED it!! This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    Some books just speak to you on deeply personal levels and this was one of those for me! The story follows library assistant June Jones, a thirty year old woman who has spent most of her life caring for her mother and not doing much living. When her local library gets put on the chopping block, she bands together with an eclectic group of patrons to help save the day. Along the way June finds her voice, reconnects with a childhood crush and makes a lasting friendship with a lonely library patron Some books just speak to you on deeply personal levels and this was one of those for me! The story follows library assistant June Jones, a thirty year old woman who has spent most of her life caring for her mother and not doing much living. When her local library gets put on the chopping block, she bands together with an eclectic group of patrons to help save the day. Along the way June finds her voice, reconnects with a childhood crush and makes a lasting friendship with a lonely library patron that changes both their lives. HIGHLY recommended especially for fans of The reading list. This book is very much a love letter to libraries and the important roles they play in small town communities. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advance review copy. Favorite quotes: "Libraries are boats and the books are life jackets. Without them we'll drown." "Libraries aren't just about books, they're places where an eight year old can have his eyes opened to the wonders of the world and where a lonely eighty year old woman can come for some vital human contact. Where a teenager can find precious quiet space to do their homework and a recently arrived immigrant can find a new community. Libraries are places where everyone, rich or poor, wherever they come from in the world, can feel safe. Where they can access information that will empower them."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bookphenomena (Micky)

    Headlines: Sense of community Platonic feels brimming Save the books! This was a sweet contemporary fiction about a small town sense of community with a oddly mixed but comfortable bunch of characters. June was the lost soul at the centre of this tale, the librarian who had never got over her mother’s death, stuck in a kind of stasis. June was definitely a likeable character with what seemed to be some social anxiety. She held herself back from life and sometimes that was frustrating but she had some Headlines: Sense of community Platonic feels brimming Save the books! This was a sweet contemporary fiction about a small town sense of community with a oddly mixed but comfortable bunch of characters. June was the lost soul at the centre of this tale, the librarian who had never got over her mother’s death, stuck in a kind of stasis. June was definitely a likeable character with what seemed to be some social anxiety. She held herself back from life and sometimes that was frustrating but she had some people around her that gently nudged her from her comfortable spot. I really loved Stanley and Alex. Stanley in particular had the most appealing storyline and he made my heart crumble. There were also some incredibly irritating characters, an aloof cat and lots of books to offset the annoying characters. This was an easy contemporary read, low concentration needed and perfect for a weekend or day’s immersion. “Libraries are like a net, there to catch those of us in danger of falling through the cracks." Thank you to Zaffre Books for the review copy. Find this review at A Take From Two Cities Blog.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    As a lifelong reader, I've always loved stories about books – and libraries, and bookshops, and the people who love them as much as I do. And The Last Chance Library is a prime example of this genre. It's funny, heartwarming, and filled to the brim with affection for that heart of the community: the library. It is also a lovely reminder of the power a place like this has to bring people together and change lives. 28-year-old June Jones once had big dreams for her life, but when her larger-than-li As a lifelong reader, I've always loved stories about books – and libraries, and bookshops, and the people who love them as much as I do. And The Last Chance Library is a prime example of this genre. It's funny, heartwarming, and filled to the brim with affection for that heart of the community: the library. It is also a lovely reminder of the power a place like this has to bring people together and change lives. 28-year-old June Jones once had big dreams for her life, but when her larger-than-life mother became ill, she puts off college to take care of her mom and work at the local village library. Years later, Mum has passed, and June has retreated into her world of books, letting life pass her by. But when budget cuts (and shady business deals) threaten her beloved library, June must break out of her shell and fight alongside its loyal patrons to keep the doors open. Watching June take control of her life and open up to the people around her was such a rewarding experience. Her impulse to accept her life as it was and convince herself she didn't actually want to take chances (on people or on dreams) was understandable but obviously hurting and isolating her, so her increasingly bold attempts to fight for the library were a delight to watch. In the process, of course, she also comes to recognize the friends she's made in her years at the library and draw closer to them. Which brings us to the real highlight of this story: the community. Sampson understands the important role that even the tiniest libraries play in their communities, providing a safe place to spend the day, access to resources like the internet for school, job searches, and benefits, and also, of course, books filled with wonders to inspire readers young and old. I worked as a library assistant at a tiny public library during college, and the colorful characters that make a library feel like home are all here and brought to life beautifully. I fell in love with them all, from gentle Stanley to firebrand Mrs. B to boy wonder Franklin, and I laughed and cried as they fought for what they loved. Add Chalcot Village to the list of literary travel destinations – if only to taste Leila and Vera's cakes and listen to Mrs. B's protest stories! Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Such a lovely, quick little book about a dedicated book lover living in her head, detached from engaging in the world around her outside the haven of her librarianship. June Jones just might find a reason to come alive when her books, sanctuary and eclectic group of patrons are threatened, and the transformation is real, determined and so engaging. June comes alive in ways that she doesn’t see in herself, but others who care for her more deeply than she’s known can see more clearly. Perhaps ther Such a lovely, quick little book about a dedicated book lover living in her head, detached from engaging in the world around her outside the haven of her librarianship. June Jones just might find a reason to come alive when her books, sanctuary and eclectic group of patrons are threatened, and the transformation is real, determined and so engaging. June comes alive in ways that she doesn’t see in herself, but others who care for her more deeply than she’s known can see more clearly. Perhaps there’s life beyond her stoic routine of work, take-away, her single support system being that of her cat, Alan Bennett. Could she move past the miasma of her mother’s death and see her world in color? Maybe if she’s really angry. There’s nothing more a bibliophile loves reading about than books and libraries and those that defend them! 📚

  22. 4 out of 5

    Latanya (Crafty Scribbles)

    I love stories about books, libraries, and the various folks that support them both as others attempt to end their presence in our lives. While the story's fairly predictable, I recommend a read. It's heartwarming, a bit cute, and attention-grabbing. 4/5 I love stories about books, libraries, and the various folks that support them both as others attempt to end their presence in our lives. While the story's fairly predictable, I recommend a read. It's heartwarming, a bit cute, and attention-grabbing. 4/5

  23. 4 out of 5

    Taylor (taymwoods)

    This was the perfect story I needed to help bring me out of my funk. It’s cozy but with swear words and libraries and books!! 🤓🥰📚✨

  24. 5 out of 5

    Misty

    As someone who spent a lot of time at their small hometown library as a kid, I really felt this book! The story was so wholesome, a great debut novel for Freya Sampson!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alex Curtis

    Okay, So this is the first Freya Sampson book that I have read. I have to say wow, she just wrote a love letter to all of us book nerds and find solace getting love in a book. It's funny, heartwarming, and filled to the brim with affection for that heart of the community: the library. Special thanks to NetGalley and Freya Sampson for sharing this arc copy with me in exchange for my honest thoughts. Okay, So this is the first Freya Sampson book that I have read. I have to say wow, she just wrote a love letter to all of us book nerds and find solace getting love in a book. It's funny, heartwarming, and filled to the brim with affection for that heart of the community: the library. Special thanks to NetGalley and Freya Sampson for sharing this arc copy with me in exchange for my honest thoughts.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    What a terrific book and a glimpse into just how important libraries are to the community. You see, libraries aren’t just about books. They’re places where an eight-year-old boy can have his eyes opened up to the wonders of the world, and where a lonely eighty-year-old woman can come for some vital human contact. Where a teenager can find precious quiet space to do her homework and a recently arrived immigrant can find a new community. Libraries are places where everyone, rich or poor, wherever t What a terrific book and a glimpse into just how important libraries are to the community. You see, libraries aren’t just about books. They’re places where an eight-year-old boy can have his eyes opened up to the wonders of the world, and where a lonely eighty-year-old woman can come for some vital human contact. Where a teenager can find precious quiet space to do her homework and a recently arrived immigrant can find a new community. Libraries are places where everyone, rich or poor, wherever they come from in the world, can feel safe. Where they can access information that will empower them.” My local library branch is where I discovered my love of reading. Luckily my small city has six strong branch libraries it's the only thing that I can point to out of everything that is covered by my taxes that I feel actually is worth my tax dollars. If I could I would earmark all of my tax money to the library. In actuality our library taxes are separate line item in our school taxes, a very small amount really. So I know how much I pay for it and it is worth far more. This book about closing libraries hit home.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kate Olson

    (Free review copy) This sweet and simple story offers a beautiful look at libraries and their integral place in our communities. Set in a small English village, the introverted and socially anxious June has been frozen in life following the death of her mother years before. But when the local library where she works is threatened with closure, she bands together with a motley crew of locals to try to save it. I really did love the message in this story, and wavered between rating it 3 or 4 stars (Free review copy) This sweet and simple story offers a beautiful look at libraries and their integral place in our communities. Set in a small English village, the introverted and socially anxious June has been frozen in life following the death of her mother years before. But when the local library where she works is threatened with closure, she bands together with a motley crew of locals to try to save it. I really did love the message in this story, and wavered between rating it 3 or 4 stars. However, there was just enough clumsiness in the writing and plot that I took it down to 3. It didn’t keep me from enjoying the message, but it does make me want to caveat my recommendation. If you don’t mind a few missteps along the way and love books about books, give this one a shot.

  28. 4 out of 5

    SuperWendy

    Throwing in the towel at 13%. Way too twee for me. The heroine is a mouse who can barely open her mouth to say boo. I mean, she works in a small nowhere town and can't handle storytime when the librarian is called away because she's so shy. REALLY?! How does she have a job! Oh yeah, because this is Romanticized Library 101 where everyone is nice, eccentric and checks out books. Will it get better? Will the heroine grow a pair? No idea. I'm tapping out. Throwing in the towel at 13%. Way too twee for me. The heroine is a mouse who can barely open her mouth to say boo. I mean, she works in a small nowhere town and can't handle storytime when the librarian is called away because she's so shy. REALLY?! How does she have a job! Oh yeah, because this is Romanticized Library 101 where everyone is nice, eccentric and checks out books. Will it get better? Will the heroine grow a pair? No idea. I'm tapping out.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine Chatty.Chapters

    Thank you SO much Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for this advanced readers e-book. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to read this story! The Last Chance Library resonated with me so much you don't even know. This book brought up so many fantastic memories of my upbringing. A library is so much more than a place where you can check out books. Freya Sampson said it perfectly here: "Libraries aren't just about books. They're places where an eight-year-old boy can have his eyes opened up to t Thank you SO much Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for this advanced readers e-book. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to read this story! The Last Chance Library resonated with me so much you don't even know. This book brought up so many fantastic memories of my upbringing. A library is so much more than a place where you can check out books. Freya Sampson said it perfectly here: "Libraries aren't just about books. They're places where an eight-year-old boy can have his eyes opened up to the wonders of the world, and where a lonely eighty-year-old woman can come for some vital human contact. Where a teenager can find precious quiet space to do her homework and a recently arrived immigrant can find a new community. Libraries are for everyone, rich or poor, wherever you come from in the world, can feel safe. Where they can access information that will empower them." I have fond memories of my mother taking me to the library in Lethbridge on a daily basis. I would sit for hours reading books, going to the puppet shows, rhyme time, and story-tellings. These were some of the happiest moments during my childhood. As a teenager I could never focus at home doing homework, the library was again there for me, providing me that quiet safe place. Now having my own children, I get the opportunity to take them to the library and let them explore their creativity and attend the fun events they hold for kids, just like they did when I was small. This story is about June and not only her fight to keep her community library open but also her fight to rise and break out of her shell and fight for the things in life that mean the most to her. I have nothing but gratefulness towards this book. Every character had amazing development, every relationship built in this story was amazing. There was moments of happiness and sadness. This has easily become another favourite 5 star read. I 100% recommend reading this book, especially if you are like me and love libraries. Reading this book during these crazy covid times makes me miss my library so much. I hope it opens up again soon so I can walk down the rows of books, take my kids to the activities and be grateful we have such a great place in our community. Mark your calendars - this book releases August 30th, 2021

  30. 4 out of 5

    Claire Bernacki

    I LOVED THIS BOOK. Underrated and I hope it becomes the next tik tok popular book. It was so heart warming and I couldn’t help but think Stanley reminded me of my Grandpa. An amazing novel start to finish.

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