The Cost of All Things

Book Information
Rating: Excellent
Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Maggie Lehrman
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9780062320742
Pages: 407

Living in the world of Hekame (witchcraft and spells), people can take spells for any and every reason imaginable. Ari Madrigal is an outgoing ballet dancer whose boyfriend, Win, has just passed away. To erase the pain of her loss, Ari takes a spell to forget Win. However, every spell comes with a side effect. Ari loses the ability to dance, and now she has to discover who she really is post-spell. Her friends have lurking secrets surrounding the spells they have also taken. Things take a turn for the worst when everyone's lives get in the way of one another, and so much dishonesty and messing with the universe's balance is bound to bring unwanted results.

Ari also took a spell to erase the death of her parents in a house fire. A theme in this book is to embrace change, accept loss, and work through grief. By trying to change the balance of the universe, people must pay through other means. Ari learns that it is best to accept all outcomes, but only after having paid a high price. This book is somewhat difficult to follow, as each chapter is from the point of view of another character. Furthermore, so many spells are taken that it's hard to remember who is under the influence of which spell. However, it is a genius book in teaching youth to deal with life's cards.

*Contains strong language and homosexual references.