Posted in ARC Reviews, Books

eARC Review: All Our Hidden Gifts

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I don’t usually read seasonally (unless it’s Spooky Season, of course), and that wasn’t the reason that I requested this eARC, but I’m happy to say that All Our Hidden Gifts was a delightful read that’s perfect for this time of year! Though it wasn’t without its flaws, it was a sweet mix of paranormal fantasy, horror, and contemporary fiction.

Enjoy this eARC review!

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue

All Our Hidden Gifts–Caroline O’Donoghue

Maeve’s sentenced to cleaning out the closet for her in-school suspension, but she soon learns that the job might not be as boring as she thought it was.

When mysterious tarot deck turns up the closet, Maeve pockets it, learning everything she can about it so that she can put her cards to good use. Her readings soon become the talk of her Catholic school, and soon, she has customers lining up outside of the closet. But after Lily, her former best friend, draws an unknown card, she disappears days later, causing a commotion in their tight-knit community. With the help of Lily’s sibling Roe, Maeve must find the secret of this mysterious Housekeeper card before its repercussions spread beyond Lily’s disappearance.

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Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Walker Book US/Candlewick Press for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

All Our Hidden Gifts had the feel of an 2000’s horror movie for a teen audience, but in the best way possible. There’s paranormal and high school drama in equal amounts, but O’Donoghue balances out both genres for a paranormal tale that teens are sure to love.

Let’s start off with my biggest complaint. I found the pacing to be rather inconsistent, especially when compared to the synopsis on Goodreads and elsewhere. The storyline with the tarot cards turned out to have less of the spotlight than I thought, and it seemed to go far too quickly–most of it was over by the time that I’d gotten a third of the way through the novel. However, the other story elements were enough to keep the novel afloat for the remainder, so it didn’t bog down the story as much as I thought it would.

Other than that, I don’t have too many complaints. O’Donoghue’s writing was fresh and cinematic, with all manner of fascinating twists and tense scenes. Even if you’re not familiar with the tarot, the story is gripping and the perfect kind of spooky, paranormal fun that you’d want to channel right around Halloween.

I didn’t get attached to most of the characters, but they were absolutely authentic; weirdly enough, I connected a lot with Lily, even though she wasn’t present for most of the novel. There’s also a lot of LGBTQ+/POC-friendly elements to the novel, most notably in Roe, who is genderfluid. So kudos for O’Donoghue for that! There’s also a prominent Filipina character as well.

All in all, All Our Hidden Gifts lacked a bit in pacing and lovable characters, but made up for some of it with a timeless blend of paranormal fun. 3.5 stars!

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Expected release date: March 30, 2021

Today’s song:

That’s it for this eARC review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: September 21-27, 2020

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope you’ve all had a lovely week.

I’ve only been in school for about a month, but I can already tell that the “Crash Course” theme music will haunt my dreams by the time May rolls around…

It’s definitely been an…okay week for me? I got back on my normal reading schedule, but I’ve had an amount of schoolwork and studying to to that’s definitely not ideal, but hey, first world problems. I’m gearing up for a similar week next week, so I might not be able to post quite as much.

I’ve been outlining for a story idea that I’ll probably whip out come NaNoWriMo season, so that’s been going slowly but surely. I also watched Netflix’s adaptation of Enola Holmes Friday night, and…well? Millie Bobby Brown was amazing, as always, but there was something missing. There were a few changes from the book that really seemed unnecessary, but I understand that most adaptations do need to change up the source material a tad bit. I still think that Sherlock should have been portrayed as more of the mansplaining jerk that he was in the books, and Henry Cavill would have been great at that, but alas, nope.

I’m glad that I haven’t read a bad book this week! Aside from re-reading Aurora Rising yet again (shh, I swear it’s just for book club purposes), I got some great content through my last eARC and my new library books. I’ve got a bunch more ready, so I think that this week could hold another week like it!

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

All Our Hidden Gifts–Caroline O’Donoghue (eARC) (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue

Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle, #1)–Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (re-read) (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720964): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books

All These Monsters (Monsters, #1)–Amy Tintera (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

All These Monsters (Monsters, #1) by Amy Tintera

Unearthed (Unearthed, #1)–Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Unearthed – Amie Kaufman

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

Struck–Jennifer Bosworth

Struck (Struck, #1) by Jennifer Bosworth

Star Daughter–Shveta Thakrar

Amazon.com: Star Daughter (9780062894625): Thakrar, Shveta: Books

The Assignment–Liza M. Weimer

Amazon.com: The Assignment eBook: Wiemer, Liza: Kindle Store

Sea Sirens–Amy Chu and Janet K. Lee

Sea Sirens GN (2019 Viking) A Trot and Cap'n Bill Adventure comic books

Today’s song:

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!