Reeling from the death of her boyfriend, a girl enlists the help of a hekamist to forget him just as other spells taken by those closest to her reveal their true, unforgiving costs.
When Ari visits the hekamist who lives behind her high school, she’s well-aware this won’t be the first spell she’s ever taken. When she was a little girl, her parents were killed in a fire, and her wrist still aches as a side effect of the trauma-erasing spell she took then. The death of Win, her boyfriend, drives her back without regard to the compounded consequences of taking on multiple spells. Through the alternating voices of Ari, Win, and their friends Kay and Markos, readers see a dense knot of intertwining spells—cast knowingly on some and unknowingly on others—slowly unraveling. And as the hekamist’s daughter relates, spells protect themselves. They don’t want to be broken. As the magic reveals its true power, each character charts remarkably complex courses in painful growth. Perspectives propelled by angst and obsession, like those of Kay and Markos, can drag, but the stories of Ari and Win shine in their depth. Though he’s absent, Win’s journey resonates, and the mark he leaves is felt long after the final page.
An engrossing, emotionally resonant spin on the old adage: Be careful what you wish for. (Urban fantasy. 14 & up)