Spellbook of the Lost & Found is a story of friendship, love, trust, loss, lies, belief & magic. It revolves around two groups of teenagers who come across a handwritten spellbook; both groups of teenagers end up casting a spell for lost things, for a handful of different reasons, but as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
Trigger Warning: This book contains discussions of rape.
This book has been written with quite a fast pace which leaves the reader feeling breathless, & is jam-packed full of strange occurrences & spooky situations. I was drawn into this mysterious story incredibly quickly by the realness of the teenage characters & the mystery of the spellbook; all of the main characters felt very real & very believable to me & I think Moira has done an amazing job with her character building. The adults in the story were also well presented & the family dynamics shown came off very believable. The characters were also fairly diverse, with three bisexual characters, one of whom is also of Native American descent, & one disabled character who has to use a hearing aid (yay for disabled rep!) & things like alcoholism & dementia are also touched upon (although not in very much detail which is why I haven’t included them in the trigger warning).
The emotions & hormones of teenagers were presented perfectly in my opinion & I think a lot of teens will be able to relate to these characters; the fact that being bisexual is such an open theme in this book was awesome because I think it’ll really help out some teens who are struggling with their sexuality. The different desires the characters felt for each other were written very honestly & I loved that some characters were feeling sexual attraction to more than one of their castmates at certain times (and this wasn’t portrayed in a negative light!)
As for the plot, throughout my whole read all I kept thinking was, “this book is so strange“; plot twists were constantly thrown in my face & a lot of the time I think I was even more confused than the characters. I worked out a lot of the plot details at the same time as the characters (and sometimes only when they stated it outright) so, for me, the plot layers were written really well There was only one part of the plot that wasn’t addressed properly, in my opinion, but it’s such a huge spoiler that I’m not going to discuss it in this pretty much spoiler-free review.
Despite this being a generally spoiler-free review I want to quickly discuss the discussions of rape – I have of course included this theme as a trigger warning at the start of the review but I also want to congratulate Moira on how emotional these passages were. This part of the plot came quite suddenly in my opinion so I really wasn’t expecting it, & I think that made me even more emotional that I would’ve normally been. The action itself wasn’t actually described in any detail, but the characters did discuss the way it made the ‘victim‘ feel & I think this was done in a very careful & delicate way. I’ve never experienced sexual assault but I empathised hugely with the character in question & these parts of the story made me incredibly emotional.
Now of course I also have to mention the fact that one of the characters had a disability! Can I get a hallelujah! Olive is partially deaf & so has to use a hearing aid, but guess what!!!! …she still has friends & a sex life & a social life & yay disabled characters! I had no idea disability was mentioned in this book before I read it so it put me in such a good mood when Olive’s hearing aid was first mentioned. I’m so thankful to Moira for just making Olive another teenager in the story; she wasn’t different from the other characters in anyway because of her hearing aid & that was so uplifting for me to read. Thank you thank you thank you.
So basically, I really enjoyed this book – the characters were wonderful & the plot was confusing, spooky, scary, mysterious, funny & enchanting! Moira did a fab job with this book & I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would – I’m definitely going to have to read her other book The Accident Season.