Review: The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

Posted April 17, 2015 by lockhartbecca in Reviews / 5 Comments

The Cost of All Things

Author: Maggie Lehrman
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: YA Paranormal/Magical Realism
Format: ebook
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 2 Stars
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***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***



Synopsis from Goodreads:


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars in this thought-provoking and brilliantly written debut that is part love story, part mystery, part high-stakes drama.

What would you pay to cure your heartbreak? Banish your sadness? Transform your looks? The right spell can fix anything…. When Ari’s boyfriend Win dies, she gets a spell to erase all memory of him. But spells come at a cost, and this one sets off a chain of events that reveal the hidden—and sometimes dangerous—connections between Ari, her friends, and the boyfriend she can no longer remember.Told from four different points of view, this original and affecting novel weaves past and present in a suspenseful narrative that unveils the truth behind a terrible tragedy.


My Review:


As I’m sitting here trying to write this review, I’m wondering what to say. Because the truth is, I didn’t care about this book in the slightest. I don’t know what got me through it aside from the sheer habit of picking up a book at the end of the night and reading. I had so many issues with this book. Where do I even begin?


The multiple POVs were just too much. We jumped between four different POVs. Four different POVs that I didn’t care about. The only people that I somewhat cared about didn’t get POVs. So that was an epic fail for me. I never really like books that head hop between more than two people. Two is okay. Anymore and I feel an utter lack of connection to the characters which is exactly what happened in this book.


The characters themselves were horrible. Every single one of these characters was unlikeable. You’ve got Ari, who erases the memory of her boyfriend, Win who dies in a tragic accident. I thought she may be interesting at first because she’s a ballet dancer and that sparked my interest, but then she doesn’t dance for the whole book. And I was just so mad that she erased Win. Who the hell does that? I mean I know you’re hurting, but if you really loved a person then why the hell would you want to forget them??? Nope.


Then there was Kay. Oh dear lord, this girl was a train wreck. She was HORRIBLE. Like seriously worst “friend” ever. Her lack of guilt over the things she does, her stage four-clinger personality, her complete lack of independence. This girl was a whiny baby and all these things made me want to punch her in her stupid face.


Then we had Markos who whined the whole book about not being a real member of the family because he had no memories of his father. Yet, it seemed like his brothers tried to include him. Markos was just too busy throwing himself a pity party. Although I did feel bad for him at one point because his family does treat him like shit at a certain part of this book and it made my blood boil.


And finally we read from Win’s POV. Yes, the dead boyfriend. I didn’t care about his story at all. I mean, forgive me for being rude, but he’s dead. And I didn’t know him before he died. So why do I need to read from his POV? I can see Ari or Markos having flashbacks of memories with him, but I don’t think he needed his own POV. And he was another character that was just not interesting at all. All of these characters really were whiny. They all just complained the whole book and didn’t take the time to stop and appreciate what they had. Not even at the end.


I wanted the hekame aspect to be better explained as well. The world-building on this aspect wasn’t very good. I wanted to know how they made the spells, why they had to live in covens, why the government decided they were so dangerous, etc. I just wanted more on this side of things.


I could probably keep ranting about this book for another five paragraphs, but I’m just going to stop now. The only thing I enjoyed were a few of the minor characters like Echo, Jess (Ari’s aunt) and Mina (Kay’s sister), but we didn’t get enough of them and therefore they couldn’t make up for the total mess this book was. Wish I could speak more highly of it.


Have you read this one yet? What did you think? 

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5 responses to “Review: The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

  1. Damn, this is disappointing! I was thinking of giving this book a go because it was magical realism. But the four really uninteresting/annoying POVs aren't really making me look favourably on it…

    • I know. I don't have a lot of experience in magical realism, but I was really hoping this one would be cool. The characters were all just so selfish and I couldn't like any of them. 🙁 If you read it, I hope you have better luck!

  2. Oh man! Thanks for the warning. I'm not fundamentally opposed to a whole mess of POV, but there's no doubt that having more than one or two characters tell the story makes it a lot harder to write and write well. One of my biggest pet peeves in YA is when characters are too self-absorbed and caught up in their pity parties to the point of delaying any development of their character or plot. Books like that seem like a really unfortunate reminder that a lot of people discount teenagers as irrational and selfish just because of their age. As much as I love finding great book reviews by bloggers and adding to my ever growing list, I really appreciate it when a blogger can be honest about what I need to be avoiding!

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