Spellbook of the Lost and Found

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend Rose begin to lose things. At first, they lose small things like hair clips and a charm bracelet, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger – something she won’t talk about, and Olive is worried she might lose her best friend. Then diary pages start to appear, and Olive meets three strangers, secretly squatting in a ghostly housing estate. When they discover the spellbook talked about in the diary pages, everything changes. They find a spell to bring back what they’ve lost, but should they cast it? It might be their chance to set everything back to rights – unless it’s leading them towards secrets that were never meant to be found… And where is the missing boy?

Moïra Fowley-Doyle has created a rich and satisfying world, with mystery and drama woven through the story. She neatly pairs the reality of day to day life in modern Ireland with the other-worldly spells and mysterious girls of the diary. Olive and Rose have a long friendship which is undergoing the strains of impending adulthood – something YA readers might have experienced. This book also has a diverse set of characters, whose sexuality, ethnicity or gender is not defining of them. Issues of consent and coercion are dealt with delicately and the characters react to events as you might expect a group of teenagers to do – messily, without thinking of the consequences, realistically. Highly recommended.