Hello all! I’m here with my review of Spellbook of the Lost and Found today to help Penguin Teen out with their Wicked Reads celebration! Spellbook came out in August but is the perfect read for the spooky season! Keep reading for my thoughts on the book as well as info about the Penguin Teen Wicked Reads sweepstakes!
Spellbook of the Lost and Foundby Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Published on August 8, 2017 by Kathy Dawson Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
If you’re not careful, you can spend your whole life looking for what you’ve lost.
One stormy summer in a small Irish town, things begin to disappear. It starts with trivial stuff—hair clips, house keys, socks—but soon it escalates to bigger things: a memory, a heart, a classmate.
Olive can tell that her best friend, Rose, is different all of a sudden. Rose isn’t talking, and Olive starts to worry she’s losing her. Then diary pages written by someone named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing development. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tightly to painful secrets.
When a tattered handwritten spellbook falls into the lives of these six teenagers, it changes everything. The spellbook is full of charms to conjure back that which has been lost, and it lists a part for each of them to play in the calling. It might be their best chance to set everything back to rights, but only if they’re willing to pay the price.
It’s been a while since I read a book with such a unique writing style (at least one that stood out for me). Spellbook of the Lost and Found is the perfect haunting read to get you in the Halloween spirit.
The book follows three characters as they attempt to find what was lost and perhaps find something else in the process. This is honestly a really great cast on its own. There’s diversity for those seeking bisexual representation (though I can’t speak to whether it was done well or not, mind you). As a whole, I liked these characters. On their own, they blended with each other at times so it wasn’t so much a distinct voice for each PoV character. I think this is my biggest complaint for this book, the multiple points of view for the chapters. I enjoy it. . . sometimes. It really depends on the book and generally I want to see very distinct voices that make it worth having those different perspectives.
That being said, I think that the amount of characters made this book more complex and, in this case, more interesting. There are two main groups of teenagers, a group of 3 girls (Holly, Laurel, and Ash) and another group of 5 once they all meet (Hazel, Olive, Rose, and Ivy and Rowan). Each has a reason for casting their spell to find what they lost, and each comes to learn the consequences of their actions. Whether there is magic involved or not is ultimately up to you as the reader which made it perfectly spooky.
Now going back to the multiple perspectives for a moment, it caused a bit of confusion for me at the beginning. The plot bounces back and forth so I wasn’t really grounded in the story or with a particular character at first. But once everything started to come together, I have to say, it was really interesting. I think it came down to the writing style. Fowley-Doyle has a way with words that’s unique and gave this story a mystical feel. I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be a take on light fantasy where I constantly questioned whether the events occurring were really because of magic or if it was the perception of the characters we were seeing the story through.
Though I haven’t read Fowley-Doyle’s other work, The Accident Season, I definitely plan to check it out. Her writing is quite magical in more ways than one. Spellbook of the Lost and Found is a thrilling tale about friendship and what family can really mean, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone seeking an unusual story sure to capture your attention!
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