Monday, July 30, 2018

The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault

I borrowed this book because tea was mentioned. Unfortunately, despite the fact that tea leaf reading is central to the story, tea didn’t play a huge part.

The Leaf Reader starts with the disappearance of Andrea Quinley. Though Marnie doesn’t know her, the news affects the whole town. That said, Marnie didn’t think it would affect her personally. Not until she started tea leaf reading for Matt and found out that it was about Andrea’s disappearance. Although a bit scared of the fact that the things she sees are sometimes accurate, she is convinced to help investigate Andrea’s disappearance.

I quite liked the set-up for this book and I was curious to know how it ended, but I felt that the middle part dragged. (MILD SPOILERS) Perhaps it’s because that the ‘reveal’ about Marnie having actual powers came so late, but a good part of the book felt like it was just Marnie and Matt guessing their way through the whole thing rather than being guided by what she saw in the teacups. It was only at the end that things came together.

That said, one thing I liked about the somewhat slow middle section were Marnie’s remembrances of Jimmy, the bad boy who may have had a connection to Andrea. It helped to humanise Jimmy, who never appeared directly in the story and who might have remained a bogey figure if not for the memories.

Marnie was also a pretty interesting character. I think part of the story is about her learning to accept herself, but like I mentioned before, because the ‘truth’ about herself came so late, I felt like the issue wasn’t dealt with fully. Instead, I had this wrong impression of her background and the issues she needed to deal with, which felt like a red-herring. Not to say that being in a ‘weird’ family isn’t a proper issue, but I thought the ‘family powers’ part needed more attention.

Overall, this is a pretty interesting story. While the middle felt like it dragged on a bit, I have to admit that I continued reading because I was sufficiently hooked and had to find out the truth about Andrea’s disappearance. So the book did do it’s job in getting me to pick it up and finish it. I just feel like it could have been stronger.


  1. I didn't like it. I liked some parts of it, like she trying to reach out to the police instead of playing superhero. And I also liked that the rich girls were not bitches. But I was rolling my eyes with the "I am so poor" part and "he is not supposed to want to kiss someone like me."

    1. Yeah, that part was a bit of an eye-roll moment. But the concept of tea leaf reading was kinda interesting.


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