Author: Maggie Lehrman
Publication: Balzer + Bray (May 12, 2015
Description: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking and brilliantly written debut that is part love story, part mystery, part high-stakes drama.
What would you pay to cure your heartbreak? Banish your sadness? Transform your looks? The right spell can fix anything…. When Ari's boyfriend Win dies, she gets a spell to erase all memory of him. But spells come at a cost, and this one sets off a chain of events that reveal the hidden—and sometimes dangerous—connections between Ari, her friends, and the boyfriend she can no longer remember.
Told from four different points of view, this original and affecting novel weaves past and present in a suspenseful narrative that unveils the truth behind a terrible tragedy.
My Thoughts: This story was told from the viewpoints of four troubled teens. In this world, there are hekamists who can create spells to solve problems. When Ari's parents died in a house fire, Ari's aunt had her visit a hekamist who erased her memory of the incident. Every spell has side effects though and Ari was left with a constant sore wrist. She replaced her grief with ballet and now she is poised to move to New York City to dance.
When Ari's boyfriend dies in a car accident just after their junior year, Ari knows that a hekamist can take away the memories and end her horrible sadness. But this time she has more problems. The side effect this time takes away her ability to dance and distances her from her friends since she hasn't told anyone that she doesn't remember her boyfriend Win.
Win's best friend Markos is also dealing with his grief and a family in which he feels like an outsider. Ari's best friend Diana is also grieving and crushing on Markos. Then there is Kay who has used a couple of spells - one to make her beautiful and one to make it so that Ari and Diana will always be her friends.
These spells and the hekamist and her daughter Echo are all tangled together in a series of spells and connections that influence all their lives and choices. This was a sad and twisted story about people who believe that magic can solve all sorts of problems.
I thought that the story was very well written. I did wonder how it was that hekamists could operate so openly despite being illegal. This provides lots of food for thought about the whole idea of grief and loss and what a person would do to end them.
Also, back then, I assumed a lot of shit. I thought the world would bend to what I needed it to be. If I thought of something, I did it. If I wanted something, I took it. If reality didn't quite line up to what I had in my head, then reality was the problem, not me, and eventually reality would cave to my demands, just like the hekamist's daughter had.I got this ARC from Edelweiss for review. You can buy your copy here.