The Gifts That Bind Us by Caroline O’Donoghue is an epic continuation of All Our Hidden Gifts. In this instalment we’re following Maeve and her friends as they try to accept what just went down and they’re new powers, whilst tackling the expectations of their after school plans. It’s a lot for a group of young witches to take on.
This sequel explored so many different topics that surface for young teens - it’s incredibly relatable. New relationships, tumultuous friendships, fluctuating identity, having to save the world….. The way Caroline writes makes for such a fun, fast read and allows for so many important conversations on gender, sexuality, race, consent and so much more. I can’t even begin to explain how gracefully she melds all of these tough topics together with this ever evolving plot line. There were a couple of conversations between Maeve and Rue that had me stopping and needing a breath because I couldn’t believe we were having such a normal yet raw conversation about exploring your queer identity, pronouns and acceptance. And I haven’t even begun talking about the amount of real world magic! It’s so lovely to see such a genuine representation of witchcraft, divination and spell work - thank you Caroline.
I would like to let you know that if you’re thinking of picking up this sequel, please be aware that it contains scenes discussing self-harm, sexual assault, transphobia, manipulation and more potentially difficult topics that I’m definitely forgetting.
The Gifts That Bind Us is published February 3rd! Please don’t miss out on this drama filled, magical series! I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year for book 3 because that ending revelation has me wanting more!
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for offering me an e-arc in return for a truthful review
Graphic: Violence, Sexual content, Blood, Religious bigotry, and Injury/injury detail
Moderate: Self harm, Transphobia, Mental illness, Fire/Fire injury, Hate crime, Gaslighting, Deadnaming, Cursing, Bullying, and Body horror
Minor: Sexual assault, Stalking, and Dysphoria