Book Spotlight: Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young

Welcome to book spotlight where instead of giving you another book review, I’m just going to talk about books I’ve read recently that I enjoyed. Prepare yourself for the fangirl gushing.

I don’t read a ton of “adult” books. A lot of the synopses or premises don’t really interest me, and until more recently, I’ve been hesitant due to the content of the books. I don’t like to read anything that’s too gory or includes a ton of language or sexual content.

But when Adrienne Young announced her adult debut, I knew I wanted to give it a chance. I have a love-hate relationship with her books. Some I adore and others were just okay. So I was a little worried Spells for Forgetting wouldn’t interest me or would disappoint me. Fortunately, I was wrong.

Spells for Forgetting is, in the words of the author, a weird book. It doesn’t quite fit into a single genre. It’s part fantasy, part mystery and set in a contemporary setting with a dash of romance. But I think the fact that it is weird and it doesn’t quite fit into a single genre is what makes it so compelling.

This book is atmospheric in the way The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is. Saoirse Island feels like a real place. It lives and breathes, almost as if it’s a character (in a way, it is). The people, the places, the entire premise—it could be real, it could exist, it could happen. I love when stories are so deeply ingrained in their setting that it feels real.

The fourteen-year-old mystery about a fire and a death is also compelling. I loved being able to piece together what happened that night alongside the main characters as they finally search for answers. There were some things I was able to guess right before the characters, which I thought was cool. Adrienne does a great job sprinkling in those clues over the course of the story without making it too obvious what happened.

This book has such an interesting narration choice. Most of the chapters are narrated by the two main character, Emery and August, but there are also flashback chapters leading up to the night of the fire and chapters from the point of view of other residents of the island. I found this to be a great way to tell the story.

The only thing I wanted more from was the ending. I love the last chapter/epilogue-type thing it has, but the chapter before felt a little abrupt to time jump to the epilogue. I wish there was just a chapter in between to wrap things up on the island a little more. It seemed like a lot happened but there weren’t any consequences to some of the events that take place.

Overall, this book was excellent. I would like to revisit it again some time in the near future. But more than anything it made me realize there are probably other adult books out there that I would enjoy.

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