Updated: Feb 16
In summary: 1. I'm obsessed. 2. I'll be recommending this trilogy until the end of time (third book coming out 'soon'). If you follow me on Instagram or Tiktok you'll have seen be raving about these books, but let me tell you a little more about them to completely win you over!
A huge thank you to Tandem Collective and Walker Books for gifting me these absolute beauties and offering the opportunity of a readalong with an incredible group of girls! Want to join in? Download the readalong cards for All Our Hidden Gifts here.
They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but I think in this case the covers speak for themselves 😍😍
All Our Hidden Gifts
Synopsis: Maeve discovers her talent to read tarot cards, however all goes wrong when she gives a traumatising reading to her old best friend, Lily. Lily goes missing and Maeve needs to figure out how to get Lily back using the same means in which she made her disappear.
All Our Hidden Gifts is a beautiful, multi-layered book which combines a magical fantasy, gripping mystery and coming of age story, as we follow Maeve discover the true extent of her spiritual abilities.
Review: When I tell you I am OBSESSED, not only does All Our Hidden Gifts follow a complex plot with dynamic characters, but also includes so many open and essential conversations, including those about sexuality, gender, race, self esteem and mental health, all in the context of internal pressures and external prejudice.
All Our Hidden Gifts is a beautifully written coming of age story which includes themes of witchcraft, magic, Irish folklore and spiritual awakenings. It effortlessly blends complex narrative, atmosphere, characters, friendships, backstories and magical realism to create a fictional world you won’t want to leave.
Aside from the incredible plot I adored and admired Caroline O’Donoghue’s discussions on so many important themes and current political issues with an overarching themes of acceptance. Through the characters we see them discover the freedom to be their authentic self which is where they feel their most powerful. Discussions include self-discovery of sexuality and gender, challenges of low self esteem and desire for popularity, discrimination due to race - again an overarching theme of characters stepping away from being the person it seems the world wants them to be.
Despite its complexity, All Our Hidden Gifts was so easy to follow. Once you start you won’t be able to stop until you reach the end. As soon as I finished, I moved straight onto the sequel - The Gifts That Bind Us.
The Gifts That Bind Us
Synopsis: Maeve and her friends explore and develop their individual gifts. As word gets out about their magical abilities strange things start happening in town and the group become extremely vulnerable in the place they call home. Who can they trust? What is changing with their abilities?
Review: Another fast paced, plot filled book that I’ll be recommending until the end of time. The Gifts That Binds Us enriches the story of the first book and provides a much deeper exploration of the friendship group and the struggles they individually face.
The LGBTQIA representation, discussion and relationships are second to none. Caroline O’Donoghue deeply intertwined these aspects into the plot, character development and overall discussion, which is so refreshing and missing from some many books. Not just your typical ‘omg she's gay?!?!’ *eye roll*.
We see Roe discovering their sexuality and gender identity in such a kind and educational way, Maeve struggle with self esteem/identify and anxiety regarding the future, as well as important discussions regarding mental health and support through Fiona’s storyline.
A book filled with hope and again the overarching message of self acceptance & the freedom to be yourself, while immersing you in a world full of witchcraft and spells.
Trigger warnings & recommendations
Breakdown: Characters: 5/5, Writing: 5/5, Plot: 5/5, Ease of reading: 5/5
Trigger & content warnings: Bullying, hate crime, homophobia, suicide, self harm
Genre: Fantasy, magical realism, mystery, thriller, young adult
Recommend: Legit to everyone. Don’t be put off that this is a YA, other than the characters age this isn’t something that you’ll notice at all.
Thank you so much for reading my blog, I hope you have a beautiful day!
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