Monday, August 14, 2017

SPELLBOOK OF THE LOST AND FOUND BY MOÏRA FOWLEY-DOYLE - BOOK REVIEW

There was a lot of hype around Fowley-Doyle's debut, The Accident Season, when it came out a few years back and while I liked that one, I think a lot of it was because of the hype. I'm sure this book will be equally as hyped, but I think it may just deserve the hype it will garner.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle. Thanks so much to Penguin Random House for sending me a finished copy of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


This story follows the perspectives of three girls, Olive, a teenager who went to a town bonfire, the one where she lost her friend, Rose, and where they each lost things; Hazel, a girl who is squatting with her brother, Rowan, and their friend, Ivy, while hiding a dark secret; and Laurel, a girl who, with her two best friends finds a spellbook and casts a spell to bring back what they lost. As the small Irish town comes alive with rumors of thieves and pickpockets, the three groups collide to find the truth and the things they lost along the way.

Firstly, I think that Fowley-Doyle has made a lot of improvements since her debut novel. That book was lyrical, but I found some of it to be a bit forced. Her writing style in this book is much more enchanting and beautiful without feeling like it is trying too hard. I also felt like this story enraptured me more than her debut, that one was interesting based on the premise, but this one is interesting because of the way the characters are connected in a way that makes you want to keep reading.

I will say that there were a couple of times when I had to double check the narrators of the different chapters within the book because they began to sound the same. Laurel was fairly unique, but I thought that Olive and Hazel's voices were quite similar, and it became especially difficult to distinguish them once the two groups met up in the story.

I thought that the story itself was really interesting, it's definitely a little bit odd but I think it is just odd enough to keep you interested and not turn you off from the story. I had a fleeting suspicion as to what the 'twist' might have been which made the story a little bit predictable, but I wasn't totally sure I knew what was going on to be too disappointed.

I really loved the diversity within this book: Olive is deaf in one ear so we see her dealing with her disability, both Olive and Rose are bisexual, there is also racial diversity throughout as well. I think what I loved most about the diversity was that it never felt forced. These aspects weren't a plot point in a story, they were a well-integrated part of each of the characters. It wasn't just something tacked on at the end, you could tell that Fowley-Doyle created these characters this way because that was just who they were.

I also really liked the family dynamics of this book. So often we either see the overbearing parents or the non-existent parents in YA and this book had a healthy mix of both. Olive's parents were constantly in her life and Hazel and her brother had abusive and neglectful parents. She showed both sides of the spectrum and the nuances of the situation after everything is explained.

Overall, I think this is a big improvement from her previous book and that it will live up to the hype it so well deserves.