The Cost of All Things - Maggie Lehrman

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.

 

I am having an extreme book hangover from this intricately weaved novel. I am still shaking my head and my jaw may have broken from how far open it fell.

 

This world is almost completely like ours, except that hekamists can berform magic. I love that instead of taking over the world, the hekame (magic) simply adds to the world we're already used to. Instead of having to suspend my disbelief to truly understand what kind of world has been created, I get to see a regular world with just a little magical element. Of course, I wish there had been a little bit more on the politics of hekame--covens had recently been outlawed and all hekamists were facing a lot of discrimination.

 

Lehrman throws us into her story with very little set up or warning, which left me on my toes throughout the book. I hadn't read the blurb, so when I found out in the last sentence of chapter one that Win was dead, I was shocked. The plot of this novel is much more intricate and complex than I thought, with mysteries from ten years that I thought closed eventually all coming together to be solved.

 

I was really impressed by how Lehrman portrayed depression and mental health. In a character who seemingly has it all, depression to an outsider can seem very fake. The way she wrote about this person was accurate and I related immensely to the feelings that were portrayed.

 

The mix of characters in this book was really interesting. I adored how it was written from four different character's perspectives and how we saw them each uniquely meeting certain people and experiencing different events. There was enough overlap in the telling of events to see how each occurrence affected each person differently without making it redundant or boring.

 

Ari felt most like the main character, and to me had the most depth while at the same time feeling the most shallow. There was an intriguing contrast between Ari before the spell and Ari after the spell, and seeing her try to reconcile these two selfs was tough.

Diana and Kay additionally brought two more sides to the scene. Often in literature groups of friends will feel very 2D, but these two girls had their own sets of issues they were dealing with and looked at Ari's situation from a new perspective.

 

This book threw an entirely new meaning to consequences and gave me a new perspective on the butterfly effect, how one decision can change everything. Though not a mystery or a romance, it had aspects of each enough to create a captivating and spellbinding tale.