Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
Fantasy, Magical Realism, Suspense, Adult
Adrienne Young is hands down my favourite author. She is my role model and the person I want to be when I grow up. I am inspired by everything she writes. I recently received her latest release, The Storyteller’s Workbook, and I cannot wait to have her advice in the form of this phenomenal book while I plan and write a novel.
The topic of today’s review, however, is her previous release. Adrienne Young’s adult debut, Spells for Forgetting. I would put this novel in the same genre category as books by Shea Ernshaw such as The Wicked Deep and Winterwood since they all contain slightly witchy, suspenseful elements. The main difference is that Spells for Forgetting is an adult novel and therefore has more mature themes like violence and murder.
I knew very little about the plot going in. As the mystery of Saoirse Island unfolded, I grew attached to the magic of this beautiful little place.
Emery Blackwood and August Salt know what happened the night of the fire. The night a girl turned up dead and August was blamed. But what truly happened? How did she die? What secrets are being kept, and why?
The magic in Spells for Forgetting was the perfect blend of subtle and all-encompassing. It lingered in the background until it was needed and didn’t overwhelm the story. A part of me wants to read more about Saoirse Island, but I understand that we’ve been given the perfect amount right here. There’s enough to understand, but not so that you know everything.
Adult novels have a bit of a different focus than young adult novels. YA tends to focus on the cusp between teenage years and adulthood, while adult novels assume a level of grown-upness and focus on more mature topics. The external development tends to be more important than the internal – no longer is the main character(s) trying to find themselves or figure out who they are meant to be. Now, they are striding forth and applying what they know about themselves to the world. This is clear in the characters of Emery and August. Both have undergone changes since last seeing each other and have grown into adults. The flashbacks help us to see that.
Memory begins to play a more important role since there are now years to look back on as an adult. Understanding begins to dawn on those who were shielded from the truth or simply didn’t see it. And what a time in my life to have read this novel. I’m no longer a young adult in many ways: twenty-five is, I think, solidly adult. I felt connected to Emery and August in a different way than I usually do to the characters in YA novels. Memory is a huge theme in the lives of most adults. “Ah, when I was young…” becomes a common phrase. Spells for Forgetting is a heart-pounding read that is a perfect foray into the world of adult novels. It is a sturdy bridge for Adrienne Young to cross over from YA.
There are still broad questions left about Saoirse Island that won’t be answered. It’s a full standalone novel, though, and a perfect taste of what Adrienne Young is able to do in the adult genre. As a newsletter subscriber of hers, I know the title of her next adult novel and I am simply thrilled. I won’t share it, of course, but it can’t be too long until it’s shared with everyone. In the meantime, pick up Spells for Forgetting and take the ferry over to Saoirse Island with August. It’s an adventure sure to be mysterious and unforgettable. After all, there are spells for many things; but there are no spells for forgetting.
Leave a Reply