A review by ceruleanshelves
The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R.M. Romero

emotional hopeful informative inspiring mysterious reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


This is what it’s like to be Jewish
in Europe.
Every beautiful thing
has horror buried under it.

I’m always walking on bones.

rating: 4.5

a melancholic but moving story about a young latina jewish girl who spends her summer in a ghost story. i was impressed by how even through verse prose, r.m. romero was able to cover a variety of themes, from the frustrations of adolescence, the fears and tribulations of immigrant families, the despair of post-wwii europe for european jews, and horrors of legends.

This is a cemetery,
I realize.
And I don’t think anyone remembers
it’s here.


romero moves seamlessly between moments of discovery, sorrow, isolation, and even joy. her writing paints a vivid scene and imbues much personality into our protagonist, ilana.

Having a ghost
is like having a cat.

They wander where they like
and won’t come
when you call.

Prague believes in magic.
Prague believes in itself.
(I wish
I could be more like Prague.)

this was my first book from romero and i was quite impressed. there is a whimsical is eerie feel to her stories that i enjoyed and look forward to reading more of.

Because that’s the other part
of being a Jew in Europe—
each step I take
is in defiance of everyone
who didn’t want me here.

The final girl survives
because she can be
just as ruthless
as the monster
who wants
to destroy her.

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