Author: Maggie Lehrman
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Date: May 2015
Source: ARC from publisher
Buy the Book • Goodreads
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking and brilliantly written debut that is part love story, part mystery, part high-stakes drama.
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.
The Cost of All Things is a book that reminded me a lot of We Were Liars, except I finished this book. I did not finish We Were Liars, so that made me almost put this book down. Several times I almost quit this book yet I pushed myself to finish. This is a story about four teenagers in a town (civilization?) where it is the norm to go to special people, Hekamists, to buy specific spells. That is right – spells. Either you can purchase one for yourself or it could be for someone else. Regardless, nobody is fazed by the fact that it can be done and it seems to be done often by parents and children alike. In this particular story, these four teenagers each react very differently to the death of a fellow high school classmate. As a result, friendships are tested, lines are crossed, and truths are revealed. Now I am not saying this was a good story, I am saying that the concept of the story was interesting. This story fell short of the low expectations I had set for it.
This book was told from four different perspectives, now that is the norm for most POV books out today. Expect in this case, it felt like too many. The really weird part? One POV belonged to the dead character. His voice really did not need to be heard, it was not a significant part to the story. The other thing to know is that these characters are so selfish, backstabbing and untrustworthy. They would steal from their own grandmother and then laugh about it to her face. I really did want to smack them all.
I do not feel there was much of a plot to the story. The “plot twists” that were thrown at the reader felt predictable and boring. I did not find myself gasping with shock. The only redeeming quality to the story was the concept of Hekamists, people who you could pay to make you a custom spell. I enjoyed that part of the story and how it was weaved throughout everyone’s lives.
Overall, this story really felt like a retelling of We Were Liars with a hint of magic thrown in. I felt it was a ho-hum story about four teenagers that were spoiled brats and ended up getting in over their heads. I did not love this story and I actually did not enjoy a majority of it. I really feel the story could have been so much better than what it was. I ended up giving this book 3 stars, but they are a shaky 3 stars.