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Book Review | All Our Hidden Gifts by Carolie O’Donohue

From the publisher: While in detention, Maeve finds an old, unopened package of tarot cards. She quickly learns the meanings of the cards in the deck and begins giving eerily on-point readings to her classmates. Maeve enjoys the attention and the fact that she’s finally found something she’s good at–until Maeve wishes her ex-best friend, Lily, would disappear and she actually does. Suddenly, Maeve must confront her emotions about Lily– while investigating her disappearance– on top of struggles with her new friends at school, navigating her relationship with Lily’s sibling, Roe, and discovering how deep her connection is with the tarot all at the same time.

I was drawn to this book for its unique premise. I started reading the print version of this book, and I enjoyed the font and the cool tarot card designs spread throughout; the art is very unique. However, I struggled with the fact that the book is written in present tense. I hadn’t realized it before, but most of the books I read are written in past tense. This book dragged for a couple of long stretches, punctuated by scenes of excitement. After reading a handful of chapters and getting stuck at one of the draggier parts, I checked out the Playaway version. Not only did this format help me finish the book more quickly, but it also helped me notice the present tense writing less. I also really liked the voice performer, Alana Kerr Collins. It was charming to witness the characters develop, some of them in surprising ways, throughout the course of the story, and the realistic dialogue keeps the story fresh. Since this is the first book in a trilogy, hopefully Maeve’s connection to the tarot will be explained in more detail in the later books.

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