Book Highlight: Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young

book highlight spells for forgetting adrienne young
spells for forgetting adrienne young

Title: Spells for Forgetting

Author: Adrienne Young

Publisher: Delacorte

Publication Date: September 27, 2022

Genre: Magical Realism, Mystery, Romance

Emery Blackwood’s life changed forever the night her best friend was found dead and the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her. Years later, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence on the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and running the family’s business, Blackwood’s Tea Shoppe Herbal Tonics & Tea Leaf Readings. But when the island, rooted in folklore and magic, begins to show signs of strange happenings, Emery knows that something is coming. 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. But 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.

Why This Book

Spells for Forgetting blends magical realism, mystery, and romance to offer a magical island where the residents hold many secrets, not least of which being who killed Lily Morgan years before. August’s inevitable return to the island puts everyone on edge, but offers him and Emery a second chance, even as they fight against the people they grew up with to find the truth. I must admit I wasn’t a big fan of this book, but it does have an orchard. Apparently, the Salts’ apple orchard is a highly desirable thing, except to August. There’s a lot of story that revolves around it, but I couldn’t help thinking that just one little thing could have prevented all of these events from occurring. Oh well. Anyways, there’s an orchard in this book, and it actually sounds interesting, like a nice place to visit in the autumn as long as that’s all you do and then get off the island right away because the residents did not feel friendly at all to me.


My review: “Spells for Forgetting simply wasn’t my cup of tea. There were too many holes and too many inconsistencies for me to not notice and get swept away in the story. I did like the dark, sinister edge. I loved the atmosphere and how it made me feel like I stepped into autumn. I loved the magic that was so deftly woven in. But I was left with too many questions, making me feel like things were sacrificed for other elements”

Girl Who Reads said “It’s very well written, with the otherworldly touches feeling like a natural part of the story. Emery has gone through a lot over the course of the novel, and I was rooting for her to figure out what actually happened. Once it’s pieced together, we know exactly what each person was responsible for, and why the devastation happened. Lies perpetuated more lies, and ultimately, the ones most involved paid for their involvement in different ways. It’s a fascinating look into island life and how magic isn’t the answer to everything”

Books Teacup and Reviews gave this 3.5 stars, saying “Spells for Forgetting is dark, atmospheric, and mysterious thriller with touch of magical realism but it didn’t turn out as good as I expected. It sure needed spell for speed and magic.”

All Characters Wanted gave this 5 stars, saying “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”

Caffeinated Reviewer gave this 4 stars, saying “There is lag in bits of the middle so that I got impatient for the plot to get going, but after reading it I can see how some of that was set up and explanation for what comes later. The last quarter was the best, and this book ended on a high note for me”

One Book More gave this 4.5 stars, saying “It’s intriguing and suspenseful and layered, and even though we correctly guessed some things, it was still captivating. The ending wasn’t my favorite, but it made sense when compared with how the islanders handled previous criminal acts. And the creepy way Saoirse island proves it will always have a hold on its inhabitants is absolute perfection”

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Powell’s | Target | Walmart | Waterstones (UK) | Booktopia (Australia) | Books-A-Million | Flipkart (India) | !ndigo (Canada) | Kobo | Audible | Google Books | Apple Books | Thrift Books | Abe Books | Audiobooks | Dymocks (Australia) | Blackwell’s (UK) | Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe | Raccoon River Press | Paper Dream (UK) | Chapter One Bookstore | Parnassus Books

Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.

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