Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 903
Be careful what you wish for
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
While being forced to clean an old room in her Catholic school, Maeve finds an old tarot deck that instantly draws her in. She starts a side hustle reading cards for her classmates and discovers that, while she might not be the smartest one in her family of geniuses, she is exceptionally talented at tarot and likes the popularity that comes with it. When she's pressured into giving a reading for her ex-best friend, Lily, she draws a card she's never seen or heard of before: the Housekeeper. When Lily and Maeve begin to argue over the reading, Maeve shouts that she wishes Lily would just disappear. A few days later, Lily is gone. Now, everyone thinks Maeve had something to do with it, and it will be up to her, her new friend, Fiona, and Lily's genderqueer sibling, Roe, to find Lily and save her from a fate they never would have believed possible.

What I loved most about ALL OUR HIDDEN GIFTS is the voice. Maeve's narration is witty, sharp, and has an incredible journey of both self-discovery and learning from your mistakes. Maeve knows she did poorly when she harshly friend-broke-up with Lily and humiliated her a year or two before the story starts, but it takes her a while to realize that gaining the approval of people you barely like in an attempt to survive high school isn't worth hurting the people you love. And beyond that, even when you do apologize and try to fix your mistake, you aren't owed forgiveness, and that's something you have to come to terms with. Though Maeve is the sole narrator, all the characters have to find ways forward that allows them to remember and honor the past but leave some of the weight of it behind. I particularly like Roe's arc in this as well, as Roe struggles with romantic feelings for Maeve while knowing what she did to Lily.

The inclusion of witchcraft and tarot is really cool. Maeve is surrounded by brilliant people, those who are good in school or have a specific extracurricular they excel at. She finds her own talent in the most unexpected place (tarot/witchcraft) and her talent is never shown as less than the more traditional skills and talents of her friends and family. I also like that the story dispels (pun) some of the stereotypes of tarot reading, like that the cards usually aren't actually literal (ex. the Lovers card meaning a romantic relationship and the Death card meaning physical death).

Overall, ALL OUR HIDDEN GIFTS is a voice-fueled, fun, witchy story about growing up, growing better, and finding your path.
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