The morning she wakes to find that every single tree on Saoirse has turned color in a single night, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that the town has tried desperately to forget.
August knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night everything changed. As a fire raged on at the Salt family orchard, Lily Morgan was found dead in the dark woods, shaking the bedrock of their tight-knit community and branding August a murderer. When he returns to bury his mother’s ashes, he must confront the people who turned their backs on him and face the one wound from his past that has never healed—Emery.
The town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises spanning generations threaten to reveal the truth behind Lily’s mysterious death once and for all.
Synopsis from Goodreads
I'm an unapologetic Adrienne Young fan and have been since Sky in the Deep (although most people found her through Fable, which is still a good thing because her books should be on everyone's bookshelves) but I've been out of the book loop and didn't realize she had released a new book. So I was *thrilled* to pick up Spells for Forgetting even though I had no idea what it was about; she's an auto-buy author be me and never lets me down.
Love Multiple Perspectives
Not only does the novel give us Emery and August's perspectives, but it also gives us chapters from the voice of the elders in the community, which I absolutely loved. This was such a great way to add to the mystery and mysticism of the island as characters recount their own experiences and reflect on what brought them to this moment in time. The undercurrents of magic and malicious intent are so well done, all while Emery and August are trying to figure out what happened to their friend and to each other in the years they were apart.
Excellent Non-Linear Storytelling
There's something about non-linear mystery stories that just grab my attention so fully, especially when they are done well. Young does an excellent job jumping back and forth between what happened years ago (sometimes years before Lily's death and sometimes only hours) and what's happening in the present. By doing this, she's able to seamlessly build the tension of the novel as we all try to figure out what happened really happened the night that Lily Morgan died.
Slow Burn Romance
Adrienne Young is the slow burn queen! All of her romances do an excellent job of having characters slowly begin to trust each other and fall in love (in this case, fall in love again) and I always enjoy reading her stories because of it. This is particularly well done while set against the background of their passionate relationship as teenagers. Unlike at 17 years old, Emery and August are in their 30s now and have lived a long time apart; it's important for them to figure out how to be together again. I just loved them!
Overall, this book was everything I love about Adrienne Young's writing: it's romantic, it's magical, and there's an underlying tension that follows the characters through the book, right up until the last page. While I always want more (longer epilogue! a sequel novel! more time with characters like Noah and Nixie!), I'm thrilled with the book we've been given.
What did you think of Spells for Forgetting?
FINAL RATING: 5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
Follow Me on Instagram