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.
Ari, Markos, Kay, and Win live in a version of our world in which a person can visit witchlike hekamists to request a spell to forget someone (Ari), to find the will to live (Win), to be beautiful and have friends (Kay), or to relieve the weight of the world . Lehrman, a children's book editor making her debut as a novelist, alternates perspective among these four protagonists, delivering a story that is squarely grounded in reality, despite its distinct paranormal overlay. Lehrman's prose pulses with dark emotion loss, grief, rage, frustration, confusion, doomed love, loneliness and the steady desperation of her characters is both disturbing and compelling. The characters' voices can sound overly similar at times, and the things that are left unsaid by everyone are so subtle that the book's closing revelation may prove more confusing than illuminating to some readers. But Lehrman is adept at digging underneath the surface of her characters and bringing up what's underneath into the glaring light, however uncomfortable this might make them or readers. Ages 14 up.