Review Detail

3.7 1
Young Adult Fiction 1249
The Library of Shadows
Overall rating
 
3.7
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
TLoS was a wonderfully cozy, low stakes YA autumnal read. I was originally drawn in by the title and the "fresh take on an established vibe" synopsis (and the gorgeous cover of course). The writing was peppered with vivid, whimsical descriptions, which were juxtaposed quite well with strong characterizations & straightforward plot points. The characters were well sketched out regardless of page time, and some (i.e. Posy) were instantly loveable & retained their sparkle throughout. Though Este sometimes got on my nerves, Mateo was an adorable & extremely welcome counterbalance - though he did remain more surface-level for an MC than I'd like, and I would've loved a bit of a deeper dive. (That's more personal preference than critique, to be fair.)

I think the plot kicked off with a lot of potential, and had decent follow through - especially given the general uptick in aesthetic-rich, plot-poor writing in recent years. Even though the plot feels cohesive at the start, it does feel a bit like you're left holding a pile of loosely gathered threads by the end of the book. Some things just sped up and were tied off without enough elaboration, and others shifted in terms of what took precedence.

We started with a heavy lean on backstory and then transitioned to give relationships precedence without truly unearthing the essence of the background work. As for the relationship developments (both romantic & not), those were kind of the other way around, with a lack of exposition at the outset and just an end product we sort of have to invest in without ever seeing the groundwork that would make it believable.

Given that this is a debut novel however, I think it was very well done & I'm excited to see what this author does next!
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