Friday, August 4, 2017

Me on Spellbook of the Lost and Found

Title: Spellbook of the Lost and Found
Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books (Penguin imprint)

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it's clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won't talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away. Then seductive diary pages written by a girl 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 estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they're holding tight to painful secrets. When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it's full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights. Unless it's leading them toward things that were never meant to be found...

Spellbook of the Lost and Found is all mystery and magic, sweetness and sorrow. All about the lost and the found, be they things or people, trinkets or trash. All about the little things that connect us together, whether we realize it or not.

Olive and Rose are best friends. Supportive and bold, arms bright with message written to each other. They're so close they're almost family. But one night after a big party with alcohol and dancing and missing memories, Olive wakes up missing a few things. Like a hairclip and a shoe. Like Rose. Rose is there the next day they're at school, but something's different. Rose is missing something, but she's not so sure about telling Olive what it was. Laurel's diary went missing, as did her friends Holly and Ash. Looking all around for the missing pages, one of the three find a secret book. Hazel is hiding out in an abandoned building with her brother Rowan and their friend Ivy. Hazel's a little rough and a little cautious. Not wanting to mess anything up, not wanting to be noticed. Not wanting to think about the past. Misplacing a few things here and these. One day in the rain she meets Olive, which in turn leads her to meeting Rose, and Olive meeting Rowan and Ivy, and the five of them searching around. Which leads them to a book that could help them find their missing pieces.

There's something magical and eerie about this book, similar to The Accident Season. It raises questions about the seemingly impossible, about the magic in ordinary things, about connections and ties to things and people that we never expect but are right there waiting to be uncovered. About what we're looking for and what we're hoping stays lost. About lost things that should stay lost, that only serve to disrupt and ruin when they're found. This book is bold and open, rather frank and honest in its discussion of teens and sex and sexuality. I would certainly recommend this to those who enjoy finding moments of magic in real life, to those who enjoyed the author's previous book as well as possibly those who enjoyed AnnaMarie McLemore's books.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Penguin Canada.)

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