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Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young
Magical realism

Spells for Forgetting

by Adrienne Young

Quick take

Beware of the spell that this seemingly idyllic island can cast; everything is a bit more haunted than it appears...

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Rural_update


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical



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.

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.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Spells for Forgetting.

Why I love it

I often crave the autumn—the crisp turn of the air, changing leaves, pumpkin patches, and uncanny sense that this season possesses a magic all its own if you just take the time to look. From its very first pages, Adrienne Young’s adult debut, Spells for Forgetting, spoke to my autumnal cravings and cast a quick spell on me.

Saiorse is an island off the coast of Washington, reachable only by ferry, and full of secrets. These secrets begin clawing their way to the surface when August Salt returns to the island after vanishing fourteen years ago amidst accusations of murder. When August’s sudden reappearance is accompanied by bad omens that tie into the island’s rich folklore and magic, it quickly becomes clear that this unwanted event will upend the lives of every resident in this close-knit community.

I loved how this story, told in a number of perspectives, skillfully explores how one incident can change so many lives in unexpected ways. If you want to get embroiled in a mystery, lost on a spellbinding island, or swept away by a star-crossed love story that will pull on your heart strings and leave you completely unraveled, Spells for Forgetting is your perfect read.

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Member ratings (7,120)

  • Maggie S.

    Topeka , KS

    Wow! Slow burn with an exhilarating ending. The writing was so atmospheric and beautiful; the island and characters were enchanting and intriguing. Then things start to unravel… I’m still speechless!

  • Allison C.

    Baltimore , MD

    Major fall vibes in this genre-bending mystery (plus romance, drama & magic) set in an ominous coastal town full of secrets. I’m a sucker for a tragic love story. Loved dual timeline & multiple POVs!

  • Carson G.

    Lakewood, CO

    This was an excellent spooky season read. Atmospheric & creepy & witchy. I did find it a little easy to figure out and occasionally too wordy, and I’m iffy on the ending, but the vibe was immaculate.

  • Kristen M.

    Raynham, MA

    I am a big fan of Adrienne Young’s YA Fable series. Her first venture here into adult novels did not disappoint. Interesting plot, great character building, and you could really picture the setting.

  • Victoria K.


    Couldn’t stop reading it! Enjoyed the short chapters and different characters pov! Loved the balance of magic and reality. Had a twist or two I didn’t see coming! Small town life and secrets, man!