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The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero

Hello everyone!

For this week’s post I have another book review! This week’s book is not something I would have typically read but I am glad that I gave it a try. It is definitely one of my favorite reads this year so far. This post may contain spoilers. Let’s get into it!

Here are the quick facts: eBook Publisher: Peachtree Teen Publishing Date: May 10, 2022 Genre: Teens & YA/Poetry Rating: 5/5 stars 384 pages

The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R.M. Romero is a story written in prose about a teenage girl named Ilana who is send to Prague by her parents for the summer in hopes to quell her desires to become a professional violinist. Her parents send her to stay with her aunt Žofie, an artist, in hopes that seeing her lifestyle will cause a change of heart. While in Prague, Ilana discovers a Jewish cemetery at the top of the hill and decides to clean it. While restoring the graves, she meets Benjamin, a ghost boy whom she longs to know more about. As she learns more about Benjamin and Prague, she also meets Wassermann, a strange man who gifts Ilana a black violin and is desperate to convince Ilana to befriend him.

The novel is written in prose which is something I don’t typically like. I’m not a big fan of poetry. However I adored this book. I think if it were written any other way it would have taken away from the emotion of the story. This book was so charming and sad and wonderful. Ilana is a relatable character, a teenage girl just trying to find what makes her happy. She explains her own desires while beautifully integrating Jewish history. I also really liked that Ilana was Jewish through her Cuban mother. Jewish Latine are not often written about and it’s nice to see that it was included.

The use of Czech lore and culture was anything thing I really enjoyed. I’ve found that most novels that mention Europe don’t talk about Eastern Europe and the deep rich culture there. It felt natural that Ilana would explore the city with Benjamin and learn about the joy and suffering there. The interludes of Wassermann helped explain his desires and motivations. I find folklore to be so interesting and the use of the villain as a river monster was so clever. Again, thank you to NetGalley and Peachtree Teen for the eARC of the ebook! The Ghosts of Rose Hill is out today, May 10, 2022, I will link websites where you can purchase the book.

Until next time!


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