Book Reviews, YA book reviews

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Four stars

RELEASE DATE: 4 February 2021

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Format: Paperback

Pages: 400

Blurb

Maeve Chambers doesn’t have much going for her. Not only does she feel like the sole idiot in a family of geniuses, she managed to drive away her best friend Lily a year ago. But when she finds a pack of dusty old tarot cards at school, and begins to give scarily accurate readings to the girls in her class, she realizes she’s found her gift at last. Things are looking up – until she discovers a strange card in the deck that definitely shouldn’t be there. And two days after she convinces her ex-best friend to have a reading, Lily disappears.

Can Maeve, her new friend Fiona and Lily’s brother Roe find her? And will their special talents be enough to bring Lily back, before she’s gone for good?

1

Review

Thankyou to Walker Books Australia for providing me with a copy of All Our Hidden Gifts, in exchange for an honest review.

When Maeve finds a packet of tarot cards, while cleaning out a store room for punishment at school, she learns all she can about them and starts giving readings at school.  Everyone clambers to have one of Maeve’s freakishly accurate readings, everyone except her ex-best friend, Lily.  When her classmates push Lily into having a reading, it doesn’t end well.  Even worse, Lily then disappears.  Feeling responsible, Maeve is determined to find Lily, so she teams up with her brother Roe to figure out what’s really going on.

This book was a lot of fun.  Although the story felt a little fluffy (I admit, I do like my witchy books to be a little darker and I’m not as keen on the ‘teen witch’ aspect), there were hard hitting topics, such as hate crimes, intolerance and bullying, that really gave this book something extra.  I absolutely loved the focus on the tarot cards.  I know tarot well and the author did an excellent job of correctly describing each card in a way that would give a reader who knew nothing about tarot an understanding of what Lily saw in the cards, without weighing the story down with lengthy descriptions.

The character’s felt a bit younger than their actual years to me and I did go back and check whether it was supposed to be a middle grade or YA book at the beginning.  The subject matter of the book was definitely YA and to be honest, the character’s probably acted exactly as 16 year olds would act, it’s just so often in YA novels they are portrayed as way beyond their years, so it threw me a bit.  There was a large focus on gender fluidity and LGBTQA rights in this book and that was definitely my favourite part, aside from the tarot.  It gave us some really wonderful character development and had me very invested in the fate of the side characters especially.

If you enjoy teen witch type stories, tarot or magical mysteries, I’d recommend picking up All Our Hidden Gifts when it releases!

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Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl

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