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Book 22: Spells For Forgetting by Adrienne Young

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Pub Date: September 27, 2022

A rural island community steeped in the mystical superstitions of its founders and haunted by an unsolved murder is upended by the return of the suspected killer in this deeply atmospheric novel. Emery Blackwood’s life was forever changed on the eve of her high school graduation, when the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her best friend, Lily. Now, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence among the community that fractured her world in two. She’d once longed to run away with August, eager to escape the misty, remote shores of Saiorse Island and chase new dreams; now, she maintains her late mother’s tea shop and cares for her ailing father. But just as the island, rooted in folklore and tradition, begins to show signs of strange happenings, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that no one wants to remember. August Salt knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night that changed everything. 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 the past that has never healed—Emery. But the town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises that span generations threatens to reveal the truth behind Lily’s death once and for all. Evocative and compelling, Spells for Forgetting is a vivid exploration of lost love and the unraveling of a small town and its many secrets. 

the hardest book to rate so far

I want to start off by saying, I absolutely adored this book and it was so close to being a certified champ but I'll get to why it isn't in a little bit.

I don't even know where to begin. the writing in this book was beautiful and it was so easy to fall into the world of saiorse. the elements of magic and the mysticism that feels so true to the land and the plot really pulled me in. it really made me want to learn more and explore this more holistic side. emery was a very conflicted and relatable character and her pull to august was so strong and full of longing and angst.

as for the murder mystery, every time I felt like I knew what was happening there was another twist I couldn't see coming and I LOVE that. the story was so completely pulled by the flaws of each character and of the island itself and it is equal parts frustrating and utterly engrossing.

so why is it not a certified champ?

in as much as I love this book, it was hard for me to decide how to rate it because the ending felt as if something was missing. I can't fully quantify what it would be without giving spoilers away nor do I have a resolution to what I think is missing and, because I read an uncorrected proof, I'm not sure if the ending will change once the book is published. I think I'd definitely add this to my reread shelf to see if there are any changes and, also, because I genuinely loved this book. I think, I'd rate this a 4.75 pups if I could and I would definitely call it an honorable mention in my 2022 round up (if I do that).

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