The Library of Shadows – Spoiler Free Review

Hello book friends! I’m so excited to have finished a NetGalley ARC for the first time in a long while. I’m super busy preparing for my next work placement, so I’m extra glad I managed to squeeze this book in my schedule, because it comes out next month already!

The Library of Shadows is one I requested on a whim. The premise sounded super fun, and honestly I was already sold when I read “ghost romance.” I’m glad that I ended up enjoying the book, but there are some points I think could’ve been executed better.

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The Library of Shadows Book Cover

The Library of Shadows

By Rachel Moore

My Rating: ★★★.5☆☆
Published 5 September 2023 by Harper Teen
Young Adult | Ghosts | Romance
Radcliffe Prep. The third most haunted school in the country, where a student disappearance isn’t uncommon and no one dares stay in the library after dark. And Este Logano enrolls with the hopes of finding her dead father.

Not literally, of course. She doesn’t believe in ghosts. Going to her dad’s school just seems like her best hope at figuring out who he was.

But then Este meets Mateo, who is maybe–probably–definitely–a real ghost. And an annoying one at that.

When Mateo frames Este for the theft of a rare book from the library’s secret spire and then vanishes, Este will have to track him down or risk being expelled and leaving Radcliffe early just like her father did.

Except following her father’s footsteps might be more dangerous than Este ever anticipated. As she investigates the library with its secret passageways, hidden tunnels, and haunted halls, she learns that the student disappearances aren’t just myth. And if she isn’t careful, she’ll be next.

My Thoughts

Like I said, I requested this ARC on a whim but am really glad I did. I ended up having a lot of fun reading this. It’s not a long book; it can easily be read in a day or two. The vibes in this book were absolutely perfect. I love that it comes out in September because I highly recommend reading this during the cozy fall months (sorry, southern hemisphere friends). The backdrop of Vermont mountains and the old school grounds were so vivid in my head. And even better… much of the story takes place in a library! A spooky, haunted library of course.

There are also strong themes of love and grief in the book. Even though the book is short and fast-paced, I think these themes were explored really well. Este is still grieving her father, and is struggling to find herself and plant roots. This also makes for complicated relationships with her peers. She doesn’t quite know how to make friends and how to keep them. I think these themes are important for YA audiences to explore and am glad that they were prominent in this story.

Also the book is sometimes genuinely funny.

My biggest and only gripe with this book has to do with the relationships as well. I feel like much of Este’s relationships developed off-page. This isn’t necessarily the case with the love interest, but the friendships with her peers are implied instead of described. Every dialogue Este had with her friends made me feel like I missed a whole bunch of development. Este’s arc on the other hand, was quite well done for such a short book. The whole story is from her POV and we can see her struggle through her grief, but also see her open up more to new opportunities.

In all I had a lot of fun reading this book! As far as I know this is not part of a series, but I would love to return to Radcliffe Prep some day.

And that’s it for my review of the Library of Shadows! If you like cute romance, ghost stories and dark academia vibes, then I really think you should head to the bookstore on September 5th.

Find all my other reviews in my archive!

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