Review + Excerpt: Rae of Hope by W.J. May

by 10:47 PM 4 comments
How hard do you have to shake a family tree to find out the truth of the past?

Fifteen-year-old Rae Kerrigan has never questioned her family’s history. That is until she accepted a scholarship to Guilder Boarding School in England. Guilder is a very unique, gifted school.

Rae has no idea what she is getting herself into or that her family’s past is going to come back and taunt her. She learns she is part of an unparalleled group of individuals who become marked with a unique tattoo (tatù) on their sixteenth birthday. The tatù enables them to have supernatural powers particular to the shape of their marking.

Both her parents were marked though Rae never knew, as they passed away when she was young and never told her. Learning about her family’s past, her evil father and sacrificial mother, Rae needs to decide if there is a ray of hope for her own life.

Overall thoughts:
I was easily engrossed in this book! It centers around a world that has a lot magic in it, but it still managed to have aspects present that I could relate to.

Rae of Hope is about 15 year old Rae Kerrigan moving from New York all the way to England to attend Guilder Boarding School for gifted people. Before moving, Rae had no recollection of her magical abilities or even of her deceased parents traumatic past. When she finally arrives, she's brought to the realization that her father was an evil, power-hungry man, and her mother was the kind, self-sacrificing woman that saved Rae and possibly the rest of the world, by ending both herself and Rae's sinister father. If that wasn't enough for Rae to handle, she is also gifted with magical powers and a tattoo on her sixteenth birthday.

This book was a great story with very memorable characters. I especially liked Rae because I could see a lot of qualities in her that I could relate to. She was sort of the quiet-type, and only really showed her true colors to her close friends and family. She made the best out of her situation. How would you feel if people were afraid of you because of what your father did? Most people, including myself, would probably flick them all off and say forget them. But Rae was different, she tried to be kind to everyone, even though sometimes... her middle finger twitched, if you know what I mean.

What I liked about this book:
The author was amazing at describing all of the character's personalities, and I felt like I knew them so well by the end of the book. I also loved how magical and entertaining and relatable the plot was. There was romance in this book, that didn't completely come out until the very end, which I liked because it made me crave it even more and pacified me when it finally arrived! There was no insta-love!

What I didn't like about this book:
I wish it was longer!

If you're in the mood for an interesting book full of magic, mystery, and romance, then pick this book up!


Devon pressed on. “You can’t bury it deep inside and pretend it doesn't exist. The sooner you realize that and accept it, the easier life will be.”

Rae scoffed. “Easier? You’ve no idea what it’s like to be me! Did you have newspaper articles written about you? Or an entire school and fraternity of gifted people leery of your tatù, watching your every step, suspicious of everything about you waiting for you to turn into a monster?”

Carmen Shaw


Carmen N. Shaw is currently a biology major at Georgia State University. She is the owner and developer of the book blog, Understanding Carmen's Story.


  1. Thanks for the fantastic review!
    I'm so glad you enjoyed the book :)

  2. Hey Shae, never heard of this book but I like the sound of it. I'll have to add it on GR, great review =D

    Tristan @ Reads With Wreckless Abandon

  3. I just finished reading this book yesterday (all in one sitting, I might add!) It is fabulous!

  4. I've never heard of this book, but it sounds really interesting! Great review.


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