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Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young

Someone murdered Lily Morgan fourteen years ago, and everyone on Saiorse Island is lying about it…

You might know about Adrienne Young from her YA novels Sky in the Deep, The Girl the Sea Gave Back, Fable, Namesake, etc. But in this stunning novel she takes the plunge into Adult Paranormal Mystery and this is undoubtedly her best work yet.

Fourteen years ago, there was a fire that almost burned down the apple orchard keeping the small Saoirse Island residents afloat. It was also the same night recently graduated teenager, Lily Morgan, was found murdered in

one of the most mysterious ways possible. Everyone on the island knows that August Salt, her classmate, killed her… but no one was able to prove it. Now, after more than a decade August comes back to the island to bury his mother, and make things right with the girl he left behind. Lily’s best friend and the love of his life, Emery Blackwood.

This book is Practical Magic meets Gone Girl with an achingly beautiful second-chance romance that I couldn’t put down.

I received an uncorrected proof copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I’d like to thank them profusely for the opportunity to read this book in advance of publication because I think it may be one of the best books I’ve read in years.

The publisher described this book as ‘atmospheric’ and that’s putting it lightly. Adrienne Young’s descriptions have always been great, but in this book they take on an identity of their own. Until the island itself feels like a silent narrator in the novel. Along with that, the symbolism and depth she created had my heart in my throat and tears in my eyes several times during the reading of this novel.

As the mystery unfolds and new clues are added, several times I thought I could predict the outcome, only to be wrong. I don’t tend to stray toward mystery novels or thrillers, but I have to say that this one kept me hooked from the very beginning. This novel is littered with characters that feel real and you get caught up in their struggles, so as the mystery elements begin to unfold you couldn’t help but go on that journey with them. It was almost a natural extension of the tension built into the story by the heartbreaking interrupted romance unfolding on the page.

What I loved even more than the action, the mystery, the description, was the slow-burn second-chance romance between August and Emery. This is where this novel really shines. Every facet of betrayal, guilt, longing, loneliness, begrudging hope, and impotent rage was layered into this plotline in a way that was impossible to turn away from. I ached right alongside the both of them, held my breath as they interacted (wondering what could possibly happen next), and cried several times as they struggled toward and away from each other in equal dizzying measures.

The only criticism I have for this novel is really quite silly but, it’s the cover. I absolutely hate the cover for this novel. Before reading it, I thought, ‘oh it’s nice’... but after reading this novel I do not think the cover does this book justice at all. So don’t let the cover fool you on this book, go pick up your copy now! Right now! You won’t regret it.

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