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Spellbook of the Lost and Found

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One stormy summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hair clips and jewellery, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger; something she won’t talk about.

Then Olive meets three wild, mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel and Rowan. Like Rose, they’re mourning losses - and holding tight to secrets.

When they discover the ancient spellbook, full of hand-inked charms to conjure back lost things, they realise it might be their chance to set everything right. Unless it’s leading them towards secrets that were never meant to be found . . .

416 pages, ebook

First published June 1, 2017

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About the author

Moïra Fowley-Doyle

6 books938 followers
Moïra Fowley is half-French, half-Irish and made of equal parts feminism, whimsy and Doc Martens. She lives in Dublin where she writes magic realism, reads tarot cards and raises witch babies.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,116 reviews
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,747 reviews5,294 followers
November 12, 2019
“What will you let go of? What can you not afford to lose?”

I had heard literally nothing about this book or the author when I requested it from PRH's First to Read program. All I knew, going into it, was what you can read on the GR synopsis, and that it had an intriguing cover.

When three young Irish girls find a mysterious spellbook and carry out a spell to return lost items, they don't pay enough attention to the line that warns them items must be sacrificed for those items being brought back. Without a sacrifice, the magic takes things - tangible and abstract alike - of its own accord.

While Olive and her best friend begin to unknowingly lose things, Hazel and her brother and childhood friend find the spellbook, and strange forces collide to bring the five teens together. Slowly, diary pages from the trio begin to appear, leading Olive, Hazel, and their friends on an adventure to find the trio, bring back what has been stolen, and put an end to the nightmare that magic can create.

There are a lot of characters in this book. The characters are divided into 3 "groups", and as the chapters swap perspectives, each group has a singular narrator. The narrators get a great deal of development, while the side characters get a bit less.

• First, there’s the original trio: Laurel, Ash, and Holly. These three are the most influential characters as they kind of started the story, but we spend the least time with them and they’re certainly the most mysterious. Laurel is a likable, sensible narrator with no frills.

• Second, there’s Olive and her best friend, Rose. Olive is the narrator of this duo, and she’s a very enjoyable character. She’s a bit stubborn and headstrong, with a heart of absolute gold, and she’s incredibly concerned with the well-being of her family (including Rose).

• Third, there’s Hazel, her twin brother Rowan, and their childhood friend, Ivy. Hazel is the narrator of this one, and her chapters were probably my favorite. She’s angsty, pissed off at the world, full of regret and shame, and a shameless flirt. She’s fun, but there’s always an underlying darkness beneath her mask.

Moïra's writing is beautiful. It's lyrical and full of metaphors, while still being a quick and enjoyable read. She paints incredible scenery around the characters, and leaves so many little bread crumbs throughout the story. There's a wonderful twist to the story that I did guess about halfway through, but the way it was executed still gave me chills all over.

I went into this book with no idea it was an LGBTQ+ read, so you can imagine my delight when Olive mentions that she and Rose are "the only bisexual girls in town". Hazel is also a lesbian, and without any spoilers, there is a lovely f/f romance toward the last third of the book. The representation is done really flawlessly and without tropes.

There's also diversity and self-awareness thrown in here and there: Rose is half Indian (a brief scene involves racism, and is addressed as problematic immediately). Olive is entirely deaf in one ear (and makes mention to her hearing aid a few times).

In one scene I really loved, there's an entire conversation between Olive and her sister regarding feminism:

I give my sister a baffled look and am not nearly discreet enough to hide it. It’s one thing to find out she reads poetry; it’s another to discover she identifies as a feminist. Maybe I have more in common with my little sister than I thought.

The book goes on after that scene to discuss feminism a few more times, as well as the terror that is rape culture. None of it ever feels like "checking boxes on the list"; you can easily tell that Moïra writes from her heart.

From the characters to the plot, this book was so much more than I hoped for, and I loved every moment of it. I found myself addicted to the developing twists, and could barely bring myself to put it down. It has a solid ending that doesn't feel rushed, and the loose ends are tied by the time you close the back cover. I am so pleased to have been given the chance to read and review Spellbook, and I can't wait to see what else Moïra has in store for her readers!

Content warnings: rape (mostly implied), consensual sex (f/f and m/f), alcoholism, abusive parents.

ARC provided by Penguin Random House "First to Read" in exchange for an honest review.

You can find this review and more at my blog!
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,097 reviews17.7k followers
August 8, 2018
If you’re not careful, you can spend your whole life looking for what you’ve lost.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found is an exceptionally weird book. Fowley-Doyle's writing has a tone I've never quite seen before. She's not writing magical realism, but it's somewhere close. There's a sense of everyday magic to Spellbook of the Lost and Found. As the book goes on, you're forced to ask: is the magic is even real? And perhaps more importantly, does it matter either way?

Yet despite all the weirdness, this is a book with a lot of meaning. I don't want to get into any spoilers here, but some of my favorite themes here are so strong at the forefront of this book. There's just so much here:
🌹 The exploration of self-hate through Hazel's character.
🍁 The exploration of the sins of the mother not defining you, again, through Hazel's character.
🌹 The exploration of through Rose's character.
🍁 The found family trope. While both leads have very pure romance plots - I'm excluding the cryptic third pov - romance is not the focus.

I also definitely want to give out a shoutout for the diversity. I got the impression from reviews that this was going to be side character diversity or a side f/f romance and NOPE. The two leads of this book are BOTH sapphic women. One is an Indigenous lesbian and one is disabled and bi. There is another side bi character.

There are only two negatives, one of which is minor. First of all, though I understand the intent of the book enough to ignore this, I was a little confused by the characters in the first half of this book. Why? BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY LEADS. There's the group formed between Hazel, Ivy, Rowan, the pair of besties, Olive and Rose, and the cryptic third pov of Laurel, complete with plenty of her own side characters. I actually love how many characters there are, and how many layers the book is given as a result, but the initial experience was not my favorite. And there's one more thing that bothered me. I know this is minor, but I thought I should point it out.

In summary: I adored it, even more than Fowley-Doyle's debut The Accident Season. This was the gay witch book I’ve always deserved, and I can't wait to read Fowley-Doyle's next.

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Profile Image for Melanie.
1,176 reviews98.9k followers
April 23, 2018
“If you’re not careful you can spend your whole life looking for what you’ve lost.”

This book was equal parts haunting and beautiful. The writing feels so lush and magical and is absolutely transportive. The story was so expertly and intelligently crafted. Seriously, this entire book feels like a work of art. But for some reason, I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters. Instead of it feeling like a treat to read, I really had to force myself to focus. I still really recommend this, and I think so many of my friends would enjoy, but for some reason I could never truly be immersed and in turn I could never fully fall in love.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found surrounds three young girls in Ireland who find a book that can help them reclaim things that they have lost.

And this tale is split into three different points of view, where we get to see how these girl’s stories intertwine:
Olive - A young girl who wakes up in a barn after a night of partying. And she soon realizes that things all over town are coming up missing. Some more dear than others.
Hazel - A young girl who ran away with her brother and best friend and are currently living in an abandoned house. Also, my fav.
Laurel - A young girl whose diary pages have gone missing, and her and her friends are willing to do anything to get them back, including casting an unknown spell.

But there are so many side characters, too. Rose is everything. Ivy is a gem. Rowan is amazing. Jude’s scenes were my favorite. Holly, Ash, and Mags were great! Hell, I was even in love with Olive’s dad for Pete's sake! This book has a full and great cast of characters. And I also loved the representation so much. I mean, we follow an indigenous lesbian, a hearing impaired bisexual girl, and another bisexual girl that is dealing with trauma (TW/CW: talk of past rape and bullying). Like, what a blessing. And we get to see some of these w/w romances on page even. My heart is still so full.

My absolute favorite part of this book (which makes me want to give this book all the stars in the universe) was the entire page of 228 where this author abolished the pedestal we put girls “needing” to keep their virginity on. Like, I wish I could get this single page into everyone in the world’s hands. I wish I could go back in time and give a younger version of myself that page. So powerful, so important, and so worth the purchase and reading of this book for that page alone. Praise/bless Moïra Fowley-Doyle! Thank you.

And the last 20% of this book is honestly perfection. Spellbook of the Lost and Found has one of the best twists I’ve ever read in my entire life. I was dumbfounded and left in so much awe.

“Be careful what you wish for; not all lost things should be found.”

Overall, this is a book I won’t forget anytime soon. And I know a three star rating probably seems low for how hard I just gushed, but this is the highest three star rating I’ve ever given. The prose is beautiful, the atmosphere is haunting, the characters leave you wanting so much more, and the story is so phenomenally told. If you’re looking for something gorgeous and unique, please pick this one up.

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Buddy read with Julie, Jules, Amy, Chelsea, Lourdes, & Tiffany! ❤

And this book is extra special to me, because I received it at The Goodreads Power User Summit last fall! *heart eyes forever* Thank you, Goodreads, I love you! ❤
Profile Image for may ➹.
494 reviews2,073 followers
June 18, 2020
Spellbook of the Lost and Found is a book I’m really torn over. It is truly a beautiful and magical book, but there were other aspects that made it hard for me to connect to everything.


🌹 That cover is gorgeous. It’s so aesthetic and I can’t lie that that’s a big reason why I picked this up. Actually, the whole atmosphere of this book is so magical and aesthetic.
🌷 Fowley-Doyle’s writing style is absolutely magical! That’s probably why the whole book felt so aesthetic, but I love her lyrical writing style. Everything was so intriguing and brought to life by her writing voice.
🌹 The diversity is so refreshing. I believe there are two bisexual girls and one lesbian. And if I remember correctly, one of the characters was half-Indian? There was also an f/f romance that developed and I love it so much!!
🌷 I loved the setting! I believe it was set in Ireland? It was so great to see another setting than America! Plus, the way that Fowley-Doyle wrote the story made the setting much more magical and mysterious.


🌹 Everything was so confusing. It was really overwhelming at the beginning, with three different POVs (though I love multiple POVs) and a huge cast of characters. I totally get that this book is meant to be twisty and mysterious but I’m really clueless half of the time I’m awake and I need help navigating through life.
🌷 There were so many characters. I had a hard time keeping everyone straight. I don’t even remember one character name?? It also meant that the characters that weren't narrators didn’t get as much development.
🌹 And because there were so many characters and many of them didn’t get a lot of development, I had a really hard time connecting to all of them. I was interested enough in the story, it was just hard to find ways to really care about the characters. (Except for the f/f romance. I was 100% for that.)

Basically, it’s a good book. But it didn’t stand out to me, which is why this review is kinda undetailed—because I don’t really remember anything. It’s not exactly the 3.5 stars I originally rated, but I still think that it’s a good book and I recommend picking it up! It’s absolutely magical, but just beware of some confusion.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.5k followers
September 1, 2018
I love love loved the characters in this book, but the plot left a lot to be desired for me :c womp. 10/10 do recommend the audiobook though because all the narrators have Irish accents and I’m a BIG FAN.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,065 reviews1,477 followers
December 1, 2017
I absolutely adored Fowley-Doyle's debut, The Accident Season (full review here), and had been eager to get to her latest release partly for that reason and partly for this absolutely stunning Autumnal-themed cover. I am so pleased that the interior of this book lived up to both its outer-beauty and the author's former prowess of penmanship.

Just like The Accident Season, this had a dark and eerie premise. Things are being lost. From diary pages, charm bracelets, and hair clips, to things of a far bigger consequence to loose and things far harder to retrieve. But things are also being found, as well: a leather-bound spell book, an insight to the past, a blue-haired elf of a girl, a lost sister, and two boys, one of which might spell trouble. Can what is lost amount to what has been found? And how much can a person stand to misplace before they lose themselves entirely?

This features a hefty cast of characters, all of which have names that reside in nature. Ivy, Olive, Hazel etc. had a tendency to blur into each other, on times, and it was only due to my reading of other reviews, before beginning this book, that had me prepared with notes to differentiate them. I had, thankfully, also been forewarned about the thrice-split perspective, and how all three story-lines do not align. These two elements could have greatly confused and ruined my reading experience of this, so that is perhaps something to be aware of.

Everything else about this novel was to be adored! I especially loved the tone of the piece. This was an almost haunting novel, in some respects. There was a darkness to it that left me unsure what was supernatural, what was magical realism, and what was of my own mind's creation. This darkness also bled into the atmospheric setting. For mood readers, like myself, this is a book that screams of autumn on every page. The book's interior matched the setting I was reading it in, and they combined to deliver a great reading experience. And that was before the equally as foreboding plot came into play.

I was in utter awe of the dark whimsy of this narrative. There was an almost abstract element to it that compelled me from the very first page: nothing is concrete, no one is reliable, and not one thing can be trusted in this story. This is a story that almost seems to shift, as you are reading it, as you never seem on equal footing with the events occurring. The reader becomes as much a part of this tale as the characters, in that respect, so truly are you immersed into this mysterious and puzzling story-line. I did discern one of the greatest plot twists, before the grand reveal, but this did not deter my interest and only made me excited to continue on and see what else awaited to be discovered.

The premise of the novel is something that is really mirrored in the tone and voice of the piece. As one secret is unearthed, clues for another are deposited. This was a true treasure hunt of a novel and I adored the entire journey it took me on.
Profile Image for Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.).
401 reviews432 followers
August 11, 2017
I want to thank NetGalley and Penguin Young Readers Group for providing me with this copy in exchange for an honest review

Wow, I ended up being much better than I expected! , I really enjoyed the book and all the time I felt that it reminded me of The Raven Boys since the plot has a lot of mystery, friendship and magical realism. A great book that grows a lot as you read it, it has a very interesting concept, a great diversity of characters and a very catchy writing style


4/5 Stars

You can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought.

The plot follows three girls, who are the main characters of the book, who begin to notice that many of their personal objects have disappeared. It all starts with an object as simple as a jewel, but it grows until they loses many more important things. One day one of them finds a Spellbook with which they think they can recover their lost objects, but this magic is much more complex than they expected so they have to sacrifice some things in order to recover others.

I decided to make this a kind of "short" review, I hope so lol, for two reasons, first I don't have the time to write a more detailed review today and I don't want to prolong the review for later because I really want to share my thoughts with you now, and secondly because I believe that this is a book to which everyone should enter without knowing more than necessary and so I assure you that you'll be surprised as I've done it


The book starts being a bit confusing and at first I find it hard to follow but it also has a writing style that wraps you in a way that makes you want to keep reading. It's my first time tried with the author and I'm very happy to have done it, her handling of the mystery and the suspense is very good, it makes the reading a bit creepy but that is one of the things that I've liked most. The diversity in content is to highlight

We have so many characters here OMG, although it's great on the one hand it can also be somewhat confusing and I haven't had enough time to know them deeply, even so I have several POV's that I've enjoyed more than others due to the characters that appeared in them, but sometimes keeping it simple is a little better.
Even so one of the good things that brought this amount of girls, is a great variety of personalities and diversity, which is fantastic. I was pleasantly surprised that a couple of the girls proclaim themselves openly bisexual and lesbian, that makes this reading an LGBT + read and that's really cool, I think many more people will find this as an interest reading now that you know that fact

Magic in the book plays a central role and gives an mystery aura , will also put the characters to take unexpected desissions which will give us very good and entrancing twists in the plot. This book tells about everything with a great atmosphere management, it makes you feel that you are in the place where everything is happening, which is incredible


I really wanted to finish it a couple of days ago because it was the date of its release, but I didn't get the chance, I still enjoy it a lot and that's what matters! , So if you liked The Raven Boys and you're looking for something similar, I highly recommend this book, also plays important topics such as sexuality, friendship, family and how to deal with loss
Profile Image for Jill McGill.
223 reviews180 followers
July 29, 2017
Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle was more than magical, it was filled with mystery, strange happenings, friendship, and love.

In the beginning, it was hard to keep track of all the characters but as you keep reading it all comes together and makes sense - just have patience. I did love how the past and the present collide and how it all ties together in the end. Unfortunately, some questions are left unanswered so maybe there will be another book in the future.

All in all, this was a good book that was filled with magic, secrets, sorcery, and redemption. I would recommend this book to readers who like provocative coming-of-age novels with an added touch of magic!

*I would like to thank Penguin First Reads for the ARC.
Profile Image for Bee.
430 reviews848 followers
June 21, 2017
Review originally on Heart Full of Books

I had seen a lot of hype surrounding this book on twitter – lots of authors and publishers getting ARCS, which were beautiful, by the way. So, it’s one that’s been on my radar for a while, even though I had no idea when it was coming out. Then I went book shopping with Maddie and happened to see Spellbook For The Lost and Found on the table and I NEEDED IT. I picked it up practically as soon as I got home (which hardly ever happens) and I feel like I genuinely have some stuff to say about it, so let’s get to it.

There are three perspectives: Olive, who wakes up after a crazy party and starts to lose things. Hazel, a girl who’s living with her brother and best friend in an abandoned house because staying with her parents wasn’t a safe option. And Laurel, whose diary pages go missing and to get them back she casts a spell with her two best friends.

It’s a very self-contained story with lots of characters: Olive, Rose, Hazel, Ivy, Rowan, Laurel, Ash, Holly, Mags. And while I’m all for a majority female cast this was a lot of girls who love to speak in riddles and metaphors to keep track of. When it came to the voices sometimes couldn’t distinguish between them. With context I could always work it out, but all the girls had very similar ways of looking at the world. Olive and Hazel both idolise and comment in detail about their best friend’s traits, meaning I felt like I knew more about Rose because of Olive’s lens, and Rowan because of Hazel’s. I didn’t get to know about Hazel and Olive themselves until they showed up in each other’s POVs. There just wasn’t as much of a change in tone as I would have liked, but it was beautiful writing regardless, so *shrugs*

I also thought the pacing was bit off at time. We’d get to a bit where it felt like things were going somewhere. Like we’d just bitten off a huge chunk of intrigue, but then things would settle down and it would be back to the same pattern of ‘lost-thing and a hang-out session’. THAT BEING SAID. the ending. Similarly to I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson you have to read to the end before you realise how well constructed the story is. I might have had complaints about it being self-contained, but I certainly didn’t see any of the twists coming. I felt like I was always five steps behind the characters, but I was hooked and when ends were being tied I was living for those reveals. There was genuinely a moment, like fifty pages from the end, when my chin was on my chest.

Spellbook For The Lost and Found is a book that will keep you on your toes if you can get through purple prose, and stick with the plot until things all start coming together. It’s full of romance, and pretty great diversity of character too, with Olive being deaf in one ear, Rose being a WOC, the pair of them being bisexual and Hazel being gay. (Though I do have reservations about the pacing of exposition (we were still learning about Olive and Rose’s friendship over 100 pages through…)).

Overall, this book was a bit of self-indulgence. Moria Fowley-Doyle has a knack of creepy-cool atmosphere building, so if you liked her debut The Accident Season then you’ll find all the same things to love in Spellbook. Overall, I gave it 4 stars. I was frustrated at times, but I had a fun time reading it. I might just have found my new favourite addiction: queer witches.
Profile Image for theresa.
527 reviews30 followers
September 25, 2017
this book cover is so autumnal and aesthetically pleasing 🌑🍂
Profile Image for Renee Godding.
642 reviews632 followers
September 30, 2022
3.5/5 stars

Here is the thing; i read this book twice in a few days. The first time I did not enjoy it; it did not grab my attention, leading to me missing important clues to understanding the story. When I got close to the end I was so confused that I decided to start all over, in order to understand it better. The fact that I even took the time to read it a second time says enough about how much the premise intrigued me, but the fact that I had to read it twice to understand it probably does not speak well for the story itself.

The second time things fell into place and I could appreciate the build up and intertwining that Moira Fowley-Doyle did in this book.
This leaves me torn on the rating to give to this book; the first around I would have given it a 2 star-rating, the second time probably a 4. Middling it out; I think this was a 3 to 3,5 star read for me all in all.

What I liked:
- the premise! Like I said; I was so intrigued by the premise that I actually took the effort of reading this book twice to get it.
- the atmosphere. This read to me like a "fall-book" (even though it takes place in summer, oops). It is very atmospheric and has a mysterious, witchy vibe to it. The mysterious spellbook, the lists of lost and found items and the characters having their own family stories give this book a very "something-is-boiling-under-the-surface-feel".
- the family-dynamics. Not nearly enough YA stories feature a good/healthy family dynamic lately. Although I can't exactly call this dynamic "healthy", the family features in here at least has a significant role in the story, and the complexity to back it. I loved the exploration of themes of alcohol-abuse, death, guilt and the bond between sisters.
- the LGBTQ+ representation. This book features straight, lesbian and bisexual relationships alongside equally in a way that is very natural and non-heavy handed. There is no feeling of "laying on the queer" to hop on a trend; these characters just exist on page and I love them for it.

What I didn't like:
- there are a lot of characters. The story is told from 3 different perspectives, which in my opinion sounded quite alike most of the time. All 3 characters have their own different friendgroup, which makes for a lot of characters, right from the start, that I had trouble distinguishing between.

- It may have been me, but I found the story pretty confusing the first time around. It starts of with the three narrative points, seemingly having no overlap with each other. Only about 200 pages in you start to see where these intertwine.
The main point that makes it confusing was the fact that (SPOILER!!) the three storylines don't take place in the same time period. I am usually pretty good at picking up these kind of things in advance, but I was confused by this one.

- You will not get "full closure" with this book.
This story does not wrap itself up in a nice bow and there will be unanswered questions in the end. There is no explanation for the magic (if there actually was magic to begin with) and not all personal questions the characters have are answered. Personally I liked this; in life, not all questions are answered. But I do see how this could be an issue for some people.

Overall, I really enjoyed this witchy novel, but it's not an instant recommendation for me, for the reasons mentioned above. I'd say, if the premise intrigues you and you are willing to put in some effort reading it; definitely go for it!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,796 reviews487 followers
August 21, 2017
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really liked this story. I read most of the book in a single day and captivated by it. I decided to read this book because I was intrigued by the blurb and I am really glad that I did. This was one of those books that made me want to keep reading "just one more chapter" until I had reached the end.

This book is told from multiple points of view and it works very well for this story. Every point of view in this book really added something to the add to the overall story. I really liked each of the points of view equally which was a big plus for this book. I feel like Olive's point of view was the dominant one in the book that really pushed the story forward. Laurel and Hazel's points of view were equally important and usually gave me something to think about.

I enjoyed the way the book was laid out. Some things were lost and some things were found. How did all of this happen and what does it really mean? How do you get back the things you have lost that are important to you? I found myself really thinking about these questions as the characters made their way through this story. I wasn't sure how things would end up connecting and ran into a few surprises during the story.

I liked the writing. This was my first experience reading Moïra Fowley-Doyle's work and I am quite impressed. She was able to create a large cast of characters in this book that really came to life. There was just enough unknown to keep me guessing throughout the story. The descriptions were vibrant and I could really visualize what was happening at any given point.

I would recommend this book to others. I think it is a unique story filled with an interesting group of characters. I plan to read more from this talented author in the future.

I received an advanced reader edition of this book from Kathy Dawson Books via First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
I read most of this book today and did enjoy it. There were a few twists that surprised me and I had a good time trying to figure everything out.
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 14 books319 followers
January 6, 2020
This YA = spooky atmosphere + queer gal rep + magic + the good and bad of friendship and attraction. There are a lot of perspectives and a lot of timeline switching, but instead of taking notes like I sometimes do with books like that, I just gave myself over to it and let the what-really-happened?? feelings do their thing. Highly recommended, and I’ll be reading more from this author.

Content warning: discussion of sexual assault.
Profile Image for Lotte.
559 reviews1,116 followers
August 17, 2017
++++ // Great depictions of friendships, family bonds and (LGBTQ+!) romance. Teenagers messing around with magic. A setting in the Irish countryside. A wonderful writing style that manages to convey the magical and mysterious atmosphere of it all.
- // Too many characters and too many interconnections between all of them that felt a little construed at times (even though I really liked them all, maybe less characters would've been a wiser choice and less confusing to read about, especially towards the beginning).
// If you liked Fowley-Doyle's debut The Accident Season I'm sure you're going to like this one as well. Similarly, I think that if you're a fan of The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, you should check out this author's books, because I think they're quite similar in terms of the depiction of friendships and the overall whimsical atmosphere.
Profile Image for Acqua.
536 reviews192 followers
December 22, 2017
3.5 stars.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found is set in an Irish small town where, after the night of the bonfire, everyone loses something.

It's told in three PoVs:
Olive. She is a chubby bi girl with a deaf ear. She was at the bonfire the night the lost answered, and she was getting drunk with her friend Rose (also bi, and biracial Indian).

Hazel. Her and her brother Rowan are new in town. Her PoV wasn't my favorite - the "Dark!Secret I keep mentioning to the reader" is one of my least favorite tropes.
Hazel is a lesbian.

Laurel. What we read is Laurel's diary, and the story of her friendship with Ash and Holly. Laurel's PoV is the most mysterious of all of them. Also the creepiest.

I had the same problem with every PoV: too many characters introduced too quickly, none of them memorable, not even the PoV ones. I liked some of them, but they never surprised me, and I will forget about them easily.
I liked that this book was really diverse despite being set in a rural small town. There were both a f/f couple and a m/f couple, but I never cared for either of them.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found was really, really pretentious. There are few books that can compete with Looking for Alaska in pretentiousness, and this is one of them.
The characters spend half of their time doing at least one of these things:
•quoting classics and poetry almost every chapter (can you... not?)
•having deep conversations about love (at least it never really became an amatonormativity party)
•being really angsty (ok but calm! down!)
•drinking/smoking (a lot)
•saying things like "you feel like a character from a book" (tone down that fourth wall break)

Yes, teens are angsty and some of them drink and smoke a lot. I know. I'm a teen. You can write about them without being this pretentious. At least it didn't go in I smoke to die territory, and some of the forced *deep* dialogue was acknowledged to be pretentious in-text.

What this book did right:

It was eerie and unsettling and sometimes just really creepy. The atmosphere was perfect, and so was the tone. It felt real and not-quite-real at the same time, and that's a feeling I love. Only the best magical realism can make you feel that way.

•It's a book about losing things and letting them go, about growing up, about coming to terms with your past and your trauma (TW: arson, sexual assault). The message was great.

•It's also about girls supporting each other. There are many friendships between girls, even if they have their toxic moments, too. Friendships, like romantic relationships, are not flawless or static.

•It was really original. Yes, it was pretentious, but it was never cliché, and I appreciated that.

•The plot was more intricate than I thought. This book surprised me many times, in ways I didn't expect at all.
Profile Image for Taylor.
767 reviews422 followers
August 11, 2017
ARC was sent to me by publisher in exchange for an honest review

I really enjoyed The Accident Season so I was super hyped for Spellbook of the Lost and Found.
I love Moïra's writing style so much. It's so unique, creative, and almost poetic in some ways. I fell in love with her writing even more with SotLaF. The plot is so entertaining, there's diverse characters, and the magic is bomb.
The only thing I wasn't really into was how many perspectives there was. I'm not a big fan of multiple perspectives to begin with so that part of this book kind of drove me nuts at times.
But overall, Spellbook of the Lost and Found is full of creativity, beautiful writing, and magic. It really stands out to me in the sea of YA books and I'd recommend it if you're looking for something distinctive and interesting.
Profile Image for TheYALibrarian.
295 reviews133 followers
December 17, 2017
Rating 3 Stars

Well this book was definitely in the realm of WTF. There's a lot of reasons for my brain to be completely confused:

One is the Spellbook itself. It wasn't truly explained why there was a spellbook that helped the person who casts the spell to find what was lost. It was briefly said that Mags had possibly been the one to write the book but its not certain. Mags remains an enigma and I hope this is not going to stay a stand alone because this is just one loose tie that was never clarified.

Also I don't understand why the author chose to reveal the puzzle of Laurel, Ash, and Holly at the very end of the book. It would have made it seem less alarming as to why they bound and gagged Jude to the tree and tried to set him on fire. It would have been great to have revealed their true identities sooner too it would have been added a more interesting element that Olive, Rowan, Hazel, and Ivy knew their parent's were the first to cast the spell and tried to get more information out of them about it. Also the brief flashes of Ash and Holly's death was jarring as well with no context and no explanation until the end as well. Fitting the pieces of the puzzle back together so late left me for too long in a state of absolute confusion. Suspense is great for a while but not the whole book. I'm still having trouble even wrapping my head around this book to make a comprehensive review.

I also had trouble keeping all the girls apart. Their voices sounded so similar so I could not remember who was the one with the family and the crazy professor parents, who was the one with a brother named Rowan and pretty much a squatter in a home with Ivy, and who was the one who started it all with finding the spellbook and casting the spell with her friends Ash and Holly.

Despite all this the plot was definitely really different and interesting. No witch's with magic spells and cauldron's just this mysterious book that can help things be found in the cost of losing another. The cost was great since everybody in the town lost something and when the first spell was broken everything was magically returned and the spellbook just vanished. Weird stuff but really fascinating. I also really enjoyed the narration of the audio she did an Irish accent perfectly which helped me even understand what country this was taking place in and I can differentiate Scottish from Irish so there was no confusion there (thank you Outlander). I know the Irish roots should have been obvious since the author's name is very Irish but I failed to notice at the beginning.

I really hope Doyle decides to do a sequel there seems to be so much left unsaid and so much more to be told. Plus the spellbook disappeared so it could reappear and start the madness all over again with another person casting the spell which could be interesting if done well.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Karina.
637 reviews44 followers
May 8, 2017
Magical and enchanting, this is a book with dirt beneath its nails...a bit scruffy and unkempt, with whiskey-breath and birds-nest hair, and a charming sideways grin as it sidles in your back door at two in the morning...open your heart to it, and welcome the weirdness and the wonder inside.
Profile Image for Howard.
1,288 reviews80 followers
February 2, 2020
4 Stars for Spellbook of the Lost and Found (audiobook) by Moïra Fowley-Doyle read by Elizabeth Sastre, Marisa Calin and Saskia Maarleveld. Another fun mystery set in Ireland. Great narration.
Profile Image for Cortney -  The Bookworm Myrtle Beach.
864 reviews143 followers
March 2, 2020
I read The Accident Season a few years ago and loved it... The Spellbook of the Lost and Found was good, but not as great as that. I got a little confused at the beginning about what was actually going on. I did like the 3 different POV's, even if I had to stop and think who was who a few times.

I think Moira Fowley-Doyle is a beautiful writer, and I will continue to pick up her books as long as she keeps writing!
Profile Image for Janna.
311 reviews297 followers
October 11, 2022
"Spellbook of the Lost and Found" starts with the aftermath of an Irish town's annual summer party: for some the happenings of the night are blurred, but all have lost something that night.

The book follows several POVs (don't worry, they're easy to differentiate), it's written in a wonderful atmospheric way and there's tons of mysterious things happening during thunder and lightning!

Multiple characters are bisexual and there's disability representation as well (a character who has an hearing aid).

It's quite dark at times, it's feminist, it's got some twists coming for you and it has a couple of content warnings you should have a look at.

I'd wholeheartedly recommend this one to everyone who's looking for a witchy read right now!

content warnings: rape, racism, internalised fatphobia, death, abusive parents
Profile Image for Amy Risner.
192 reviews755 followers
April 23, 2018
Buddy read with Julie from Pages and Pens, Melanie at Meltotheany, Jules at JA Ironside, Chelsea at Chelsea Palmer, Tiffany at Tiffany's Rainy Day Reads, and Lilly at Lair of Books (she's grandfathered into this lmao). Julie is hosting this buddy read on twitter using the hashtag #brSpellbook! Feel free to join us! <3

I’ve been in such a witchy mood ever since reading The Wicked Deep, so of course I jumped on board another buddy read that centers around a spellbook! Spellbook of the Lost and Found is so beautifully crafted, that even though it read like a contemporary, I wanted to keep reading because this book is like one giant mystery after another.

I will admit, at first I wasn’t completely feeling this book. Like I said, it did read like a contemporary. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with contemporary, I just wasn’t expecting that. It took me a while to “get into the groove” and to get all the characters straightened out.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found is set in a small Irish town and follows 3 POV’s. Each POV has its own group of friends, all of whom have mysteriously lost or found something.

The 3 POV’s:

1) Laurel, with her friends Ash and Holly. Laurel and her friends set the story in motion. They’re the original founders of the spellbook and they put it to the test. They are the most mysterious group.
2) Olive, with her friend Rose. They both end up blacking out at a bonfire. When they awaken, they realize they’ve lost most of their memories from the night before and a bunch of other items. Olive is extremely loyal and caring. I found myself relating to her a lot!
3) Hazel, with her twin brother Rowan, and friend Ivy. They are squatters in an abandoned home, but their lifestyle draws in Olive and Rose. They are also quite mysterious, and they are desperate to find what they lost. Hazel is my favorite because of her strong personality and sharp tongue.

The spellbook ties all three of these groups together. I’m going to leave it at that. I don’t want to spoil anything since this book is one giant mystery. However I’m going to list out the things I liked and disliked.

The Good:

• The rep. Olive is partially deaf, Rose is POC, and there is LGBTQ rep. I am always appreciative of authors who seamlessly include these reps in books. It makes my heart happy.
• The writing. What can I say? The writing is gorgeous. The author left behind so many clues and breadcrumbs for us to follow. Honestly, I missed so many! I want to go back just so I can pick up all the pieces I missed. I tabbed so many lines that stuck out to me.
• The setting. I’ve never been to Ireland but it is on my bucket list. The way the woods and town were described makes me want to travel even more.
• The "side" characters. What I loved the most was that the non-narrating characters played a major role in the plot. They weren’t just side characters who didn’t serve a purpose. They weren’t just there. Have you ever read a book where one “best friend” was just there to serve as the “jokester”, or the “bitch”? Well, you won’t have that with this book. They’re all intertwined perfectly.

The Bad:

• The pacing. It starts out slow almost to the point where I’d have trouble picking up the book again. It really took me a while to get myself into the story. But once I did, I was fully immersed.
• The multitude of characters. Like I said before, it took me a while to get all the different groups straightened out. If you don’t like multiple POV books then this may not be your jam.

Overall I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking this book. The lyrical writing and mystery surrounding all the characters kept me intrigued until the very end.

If you have any other witchy/magical books you’d recommend, please let me know!
Profile Image for L. | That_Bookdragon.
252 reviews12 followers
October 31, 2019
1/5 ⭐️ ~ DNF

I have had this book on my TBR since last year. I finally decided to pick it up and I am scared it put me into a reading slump... I don't know what it is but I just couldn't get into it at all. I forced myself to go past the hundred pages mark but was so bored it took me three days to do that when I usually manage to finish at least one book in three days. The characters felt all the same, the pace and the writing were really strange and the ambiance was just nonexistent.

I really expected a lot from it because it seemed like the perfect Fall read, the cover is really pretty and the blurb seemed really enthralling however I got none of this. The only thing I liked was that it has a lot of LGBT representation, so that was definitely a very positive point.

My Bookstagram
Profile Image for Amanda Kratz.
529 reviews35 followers
December 11, 2017
So I really struggled with this one. It took a while for the plot to emerge and when it did it was so basic. Items are lost, a group of kids cast a spell to get them back. (More or less). There is more character building than plot. Which I typically enjoy but there were just so many characters. I felt it didn’t go deep enough.

I think I’ve decided magical realism just isn’t for me. I’m not sure with the contemporary setting that the characters would have responded to magic/spells as they did. I dunno something just felt off about the situation.

There are so many characters it is extremely difficult to keep up with them in the beginning. There are 9 main characters, 3 points of view from those characters and then entirely huge cast of supporting characters. It was so confusing jumping about.

I will say though that the dialogue is wonderful and humorous. Olive’s dad may just be my favorite character.

I think part of my problem with the story is also the setting. (Which is in a small Irish town) I think being American I grew up with different expectations for behavior. I can’t imagine my parents would have ever been okay letting me go to a big drunken bonfire party. And yet that’s what these characters do. It might just be a cultural thing I don’t understand. I can’t imagine going to hang out with the run-always in an abandoned house and thinking it was cool.

Good representation for the LGBTA+ community in the book.

Overall it the dialogue was fun but the rest dragged a bit for me and the romances were kinda rushed.
Profile Image for Tara ☽.
307 reviews283 followers
June 27, 2020
Appreciate that it leaned into its pretentiousness, but kinda uncomfortable with the way this author's books consistently seem to have weirdly incesty undertones? And it's never really addressed? Also it was way too try-hard at times.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Enne.
718 reviews112 followers
September 10, 2018
”Embrace the unexplained. Embrace the uncertain. Embrace the magic.”

4 stars
TW: toxic relationship, sexual assault
Rep: f/f relationship, fat side character, bisexual & hard of hearing MC, bi side character, lesbian & indigenous MC
review also available here

This book was recommended to me when I asked for f/f books and this book definitely delivers on that front. But it also delivers on so many other fronts that it's hard to keep track. The writing is atmospheric, the setting is magical, the characters are all so beautifully fleshed out. Everyone needs to read this. NOW.

The Writing
The writing was lush and lyrical and so so atmospheric. I absolutely loved the way it managed to convey the story’s feelings. There were also times, however, when I found that the additional description was not necessary and rather made the story drag a bit, turning it a bit more boring. I would have appreciated less detail in some parts because I don’t exactly always want to know the exact color of the leaves and the exact mixture of scents in the air. It’s a matter of finding that balance, and here, at least for me, that balance was missing.

The Plot/Pacing
As a result of the writing sometimes being overly descriptive, the plot did drag a bit in the beginning and I found it hard to get into at first. Additionally, you don’t really understand what’s happening in the beginning, so it gets more confusing when it’s paired up with the overly detailed writing. HOWEVER, once you get a bit into the book and you finally start understanding the magic system and how it works and how the different stories all twine together, you get so invested in the story that it’s actually impossible to put the book down. Additionally, we get multiple slow burn romances in here, which was such a joy to see for someone who appreciates slow burn romances way too much for my own good. And the fact that one of them was a sapphic romance? FUCK YEAH!! Also, I’m absolutely in love with both of the girls in that ship, but that’s completely irrelevant. Oh, also, this book is set in IRELAND!!! And the plot twists in this book,,, I,,, was shocked.

The Characters
All of the characters were a) so diverse and b) so different from one and another and c) so different from typical YA characters. Each of them has something to deal with, something they need to get over, or something they need to come to terms with. The way multiple heavy subjects are explored through different characters and the way the topics of self-hate, not being defined by your parents, etc. are handled was so well done and I love it. Also, two leads are sapphic girls. And we have a sapphic side character. Two of the three identify as bisexual and it’s ON PAGE!! And one of them ends up in an f/f relationship and the other one ends up in an m/f relationship and it was so nice to see that they never questioned their bisexuality and no one accused them of being “fake bisexuals” and I’m so in love with this rep, I love it so much. It was just really nice to see a bisexual girl end up in a relationship with a guy and still identify as bi. Okay, rant over.

The relationship between the characters were all so well developed and the characters themselves went through so much growth and I loved seeing it so much.

This book was creepy and atmospheric and absolutely beautiful and the characters were amazing and I will recommend this book to everyone ever until the day that I die.

This was a creepy little book and I loved it very much.
Profile Image for Sayuri.
210 reviews31 followers
August 16, 2021
"Tᥱᥒ ᥴᥙιdᥲdo ᥴoᥒ ᥣo qᥙᥱ dᥱsᥱᥲs. No todᥲs ᥣᥲs ᥴosᥲs ρᥱrdιdᥲs, dᥱbᥱrίᥲᥒ sᥱr ᥱᥒᥴoᥒtrᥲdᥲs" (ρ. 173).

¿Recuerdan alguna vez haber perdido algo muy valioso para ustedes? ¿Qué habrían hecho en ese momento para encontrarlo?.

Como en La historia de 'El libro de hechizos de lo perdido y lo encontrado' de Moïra Fowley-Doyle, siempre fui de perder cosas en las fiestas. Ya fueran detalles mínimos, como un collar o un arito, recuerdo que siempre sentía como una extraña melancolía al descubrir su pérdida: una mezcla entre desconcierto y tristeza por un objeto que había sido mío y que probablemente no volvería a ver nuevamente.

La historia de esta novela empieza cuando, después de una fiesta ocurrida en una tormentosa noche de verano, Olive y su mejor amiga Rose, empiezan a perder cosas misteriosamente. Lo que en principio son solo objetos sin importancia, van dejando entrever la pérdida de algo mucho más relevante; más íntimo que ya no está. Y así como si su amistad hubiese sido uno de los objetos asimismo perdidos, Olive empieza a percibir cierta distancia por parte de Rose. Como si le hubiese pasado algo que no se atreve a confesar... .
Algunos días después, empiezan a aparecer en el pueblo las páginas del diario personal de una chica llamada Laurel. Unas páginas que conducirán a Olive a conocer a tres misteriosos jóvenes (Hazel, Ivy y Rowan), cuya conexión con los objetos perdidos está íntimamente relacionada con la aparición (casi simultánea) de una enigmática libreta roja. Una entre cuyas páginas está escrito un hechizo para conjurar aquello que ha sido perdido. Un hechizo que podría ser la solución para que Rose vuelva a ser la misma de antes, y para que Hazel, por su parte, pueda resolver eso que parece hundirla cada vez más en una dolorosa y profunda culpa.

Pero algunas cosas, jamás deberían ser encontradas...

¡Lo que disfruté este libro! Es una historia llena de magia antigua, secretos inconfesables y misterio, cuya narración en primera persona (desde tres perspectivas distintas) mantiene perfectamente el suspenso alrededor de los personajes y su relación tanto con las páginas del diario de Laurel, como con la enigmática libreta roja. La autora supo desarrollar magistralmente cada una de las perspectivas narrativas, haciendo que todas sean interesantes y atrapantes por igual.

Y el final... ¡Por dios, el final!. Si bien fue un poquito predecible, amé el modo en que la autora lo desarrolló. Fue sorprendente, conmovedor y sí, también me puso los pelos de punta.

Para finalizar, me encantó también que la historia tuviera representación bisexual. En efecto, leí este libro durante el mes del orgullo sin saber que tenía representación y fue una linda coincidencia haberlo descubierto.

Trigger warnings: incendio, acoso sexual, violación.
Profile Image for paula..
433 reviews148 followers
May 2, 2020
her smile is seven kinds of sunlight.

tw/cw: sexual assault/harassment (rape?), alcoholism (by teenagers)

this? was? so? weird? i have absolutely no idea what happened in this book, but i think i liked it?

the confusion was a big part of this book. the characters are confused, the reader is confused and maybe the author was confused, as well, who knows?and i've got to be honest, it bothered me. because, obviously, i do not like to be confused while reading, especially if it doesn't get cleared up in the end.
i mean, there were a lot (a lot!) of characters and for a pretty short book it took me a long time until i had memorised all the names and remembered who they were when mentioned.

the relationships in this book (1 m/f, 1 f/f) (the bi rep was: great) were so pure. a small warning for non-explicit really well written sexual scenes.

fortunately, this book also had a lot of good things going for it. let's continue with the characters: a few of them have this teen-rebellion thing going on, but to ridiculous extremes that would normally bother me a hell lot (and, yes, i rolled my eyes a lot at them), but i found myself actually enjoying them because there was more to them, they had depth. and maybe i am just very soft for them.
the atmosphere of this book was superb. it was magical and whimsical and mysterious (those are all synonyms for one another). the writing perfectly captured the characters' emotions and the setting.

i really enjoyed the messages in this book concerning sexual assault and feminism. this is not a book about feminism (and if it would be that would just make it better), it's more casual feminism in a way that is true and teaches the reader lessons without them necessarily noticing.

i can just guess that not everyone would like the ending. which i understand because a lot of question are still not answered, and while i would love some answers i also enjoy the mystery because that seems a bit more realistic. what happened to these characters was some weird thing that went on for a week and they'll probably always remember it and wonder what the fuck happened and how it was possible, but then they'll also remember their conversation about embracing the uncertain and that's just nice.
not all endings have to have answers.
bur really, what the hell is going on with mags and WHY and HOW???
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