'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Review: All Our Hidden Gifts

It feels like a deck of tarot cards has selected Maeve -following her in fact. 

But that’s impossible, isn’t it?

Yet they just seem to end up in her school bag even when she swears she’s locked them away in her desk at home.

Regardless, the cards are Maeve’s ticket to social popularity.

Since she started doing readings at school, she’s discovered that she has an eerie accuracy with her predictions – which is like crack cocaine to her teenage classmates.

They line up for her readings and pay.

The only person unimpressed by this is Lily, Maeve’s ex-best friend.

The girl that Maeve dropped once they started secondary school, because she was detrimental to Maeve’s image amongst the cool set.

When a bunch of girls harass Maeve to read a very reluctant Lily’s cards, Maeve is stunned to find a mysterious card, the Housekeeper, in the deck.The card makes no sense as it isn't part of a normal tarot set, yet it is clearly a part of this deck. Everybody watching is spooked by Maeve’s reaction, but more so when Maeve tells Lily she wishes she would just disappear.

Then Lily goes missing.

The cool girls immediately accuse Maeve of being a witch, and suddenly the long-sought after popularity is gone. But not that this matters to Maeve anymore. She is now frantic with worry, and also blames herself for Lily’s disappearance.

So Maeve has to dig deep, both into her own conscience and her investigations, in order to uncover secrets about the school and another girl who went missing years ago.

This is a gripping supernatural thriller, with very real, relatable characters. Caroline O’Donoghue maintains the pace and suspense throughout. I especially liked that Maeve was imperfect, a teenager craving to fit in, as many teenagers do, and that she had to face up to some unpalatable truths abut herself in order to fix the mess that she created.

The book stands well on its own, but I can see the ending left potential for Maeve and her friends to face more supernatural threats.

Title: All Our Hidden Secrets
Author: Caroline O’Donoghue
Publisher: Walker, $18.99
Publication Date: 3 February 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781406393095
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction