Spellbook of the Lost and Found
Author: Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magical Realism
Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Publication Date: June 1st 2017
Format: Paperback (416 pages)
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…
My Rating: ★★★★
Spellbook of the Lost and Found is one of those books that sticks with you throughout your day. Every time there was a rise in the wind I felt a chill. Every time I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye I was curious. Every time I misplaced something during those precious days I wondered if magic was to blame. My whole being was completely enraptured by this magical, atmospheric book which certainly blurred the lines between fantasy and reality.
I really enjoyed Moïra’s writing style when I read The Accident Season but I feel like she’s upped it a notch for Spellbook. Every sentence was full of atmosphere, magic and some higher meaning. Every single word felt like it had been carefully planned and somehow she managed to spin them into one of the most atmospheric, magical stories I have read. It wasn’t until the end of this book that I realised how wonderfully written the story was. The writing style is elegant but at the same time dense and full of metaphors and elements of magical realism. It took me a little while to get used to but I fell completely in love with it very quickly.
I loved the little twists and turns throughout this book. There was such a huge element of intrigue and I was curious from start to finish to see where this was going. As I started to put the pieces together I couldn’t help but flick back to see if I should have picked up on things sooner. Moïra certainly tied up all the loose ends and by the end of the book it was clear that the book was about so much more than magic. It is full of passion, friendship, romance, family, grief, sadness and happiness. It covers such a span of feeling and emotion.
I really enjoyed reading the book from the different POVs and thought each had a fairly unique voice. All of the characters were really well written and I loved how their stories interlinked in ways I hadn’t imagined at the beginning. There’s also great diversity among the characters with deaf, WOC, bisexual and gay representation. I loved learning about the other characters through the lenses of Olive, Hazel and Laurel and thought it was a clever way to also end up learning about our POV characters.
I can’t remember the last time I was so captivated by a book. I felt like I had fallen down a rabbit hole and entered a whole new, magical world with vibrant characters, mysterious surroundings and was trapped in a whirlpool of emotion.
With gorgeous writing and a truly atmospheric feel this is surely a book that will stick with me for a long time.
Have you read Spellbook of the Lost and Found? What did you think?
What are your favourite YA magical realism books?