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The Cost of All Things

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,108 ratings  ·  214 reviews
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. B
ebook, 416 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  1,108 ratings  ·  214 reviews

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Cristina Monica
Apr 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: magical-realism
3 1/2 stars.

My body didn’t feel like one muscle anymore, and it didn’t feel like twenty muscles. It felt like thousands. The parts of me that weren’t working weren’t out of practice—they were out of my control completely.

Ari got her first spell from a hekamist when she was just a kid and her parents had died in a fire accident. It is highly discouraged to take two permanent spells… because the side effects exponentially increase. But Ari doesn’t have a choice – or so she thinks – for the onl
Emily May
I think this book starts with a wonderful premise. It's a magical realism story - one of my favourite genres - where our world is inhabited by hekamists. Hekamists essentially grant wishes through spells, but every wish comes with a price; a price both monetary and otherwise. For example, wishing for beauty would cost you some mental capabilities.

I love a "be careful what you wish for" tale, and this is exactly that. It also has a wonderful setting that fits with the now/then format of the novel
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“You’d be as graceful as a gazelle. But then that spell comes with its own set of side effects, and then you’re up to three permanent spells – very bad. Very risky. Side effects cascading.”

This was a story about grief and magic, but I lost interest a bit towards the end.

There were 5 main characters in this book. Ari was so desperate to forget her boyfriend that she was w
L A i N E Y
This book started out super strong. It was so intriguing and the writting was solid. I was thinking I stumbled on a hidden gem (weee!). Not so much. It was still nice just not as good as it could have been.

The premise of hekame was something I shiver just thinking about how many disastrous ways it could go wrong in that world. How can you even buy any cooked food? How risky would that be? Seriously, just the thought was pure scary. And it actually happened more than once in this book, to var
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets We Were Liars?


2015 Reading Challenge #39: A book with magic.


Yo soy una de esas relativamente escasas personas que AMÓ We Were Liars, y una mas entre los millones de personas que aman Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, así que cuando leí la sinopsis supe que iba a leer este libro, y supe también que lo odiaría o lo amaría. Gano el odio.

The Cost of All Things comienza muy bien, con una primera escena que causa impacto y da ganas de
Lauren ✨ (YABookers)
I received a free copy via edelweiss for review purposes.

First Impression:I'm not entirely sure what to rate this, so for now it's remaining blank. I'll have to have a long think about it. I've decided, when writing down some of my thoughts, that I actually really enjoyed this. I do think it was perhaps a bit too long, and that's why it dragged a bit. A great contemporary though.

Review: The Cost of All Things has one thing different than our world, and that is hekame -- magic. This hekame is us
Lisa (lifeinlit)
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
I stopped reading around 40% and marked it as DNF. I may pick this back up at another point, but right now I'm honestly just bored with it. It's very slow moving and I keep losing interest and not paying attention while reading. This is even worse because I'm listening to the audiobook, so I have to keep rewinding because I zoned out and wasn't paying attention. As of right now, this book just isn't for me.
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"to fear change is the most hopeless fear someone can harbor. Change will happen. Injuries. Love. Death. There's never a moment where you're finished, that's it, all change is over. Change is forever."

ugh, I typed up a whole review and Goodreads lost it. Maybe I'll write it all again, but I doubt it.

This one was good. I love the idea of consequences of getting what you wish for. Or that maybe what you wish for isn't what you'd really waned.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Both a sharply-drawn fantasy strikingly close to our own world, and a poignant examination of our responsibility to others--the way that selfish decisions ripple out to impact the people we love.
pink (not just another shade of red)
The 1025th book on my tbr list! That's approximately 410 000 pages you guys.
Nicole Wang
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was ok

Not quite worth the cost.

Impulse download. That's what I'm calling it. When Harper explodes on Edelweiss and leaves a dozen titles to download, I sort of happy. Download here, download there, everywhere a download. The Cost of All Things was one of those books that I hadn't heard about, but seemed intriguing enough to read--I'd only really skimmed the synopsis. I saw the words "spell" and "memories" (?!?!?!?) and kind of just went from there.

Somehow though, I was still a bit di
Dark Faerie Tales
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: An evocative, intriguing debut about how one mistake can lead to a chain of reactions.

Opening Sentence: There’s a hemakist who lives in the run-down cluster of houses behind the high school.

The Review:

Ari’s boyfriend Win died. So she does what many do in hard times – she takes a spell from a Hemakist. She forgets him, she forgets her pain, but it sets off a chain reaction that changes the lives of everyone she knows. Suddenly, her friendships ar
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, thriller, sf

I requested this book because I liked the sound of it and because I hoped it would be like We Were Liars, which is one of my favorite books.

And even though it wasn’t as great as We Were Liars I still enjoyed The Cost of All Things because it was mysterious and suspenseful.

The whole idea of the dangerous spells that come with side effects was very intriguing and I loved reading about them. I wanted to know more about them, how they come about, how they actu
“If you really loved him, you would’ve wanted the memories and the pain. You excused yourself from being a human being.”
I didn’t look at her. My eyes followed the slice of a knife down the screen.
“What do you know about love?” she asked.

I wasn't quite sure how to rate and review this book. It seems like your typical, go-to contemporary young adult novel. However, it has elements that says otherwise. It's told from the point of view of five different characters, all dealing with emotional pai
Jessica Woodbury
Nov 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, bff, kindle, ya, fluff
The world of this novel is so well done that it was frustrating not to see the novel live up to the premise. Lehrman's almost-normal reality is slightly altered from ours by the presence of hekamists, who are basically witches. Hekamists are illegal but still operate in a kind of black market. They can make spells to make you pretty, make someone fall in love with you, and all that. But these spells have side effects.

The characters here are oversimplified, boiled down to a single defining chara
Eve Messenger
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Cost of All Things is a quick read with the feel of a YA contemporary and a healthy dose of magic thrown in to stir up themes of friendship, love, memory, and the consequences of human interference in natural laws. Reminiscent of Holly Black's Curse Workers, magic workers, called hekamists, accept money to ply their illegal spell-casting trade.

The story is told in alternating POV chapters of four high school age friends: Win, Ari, Kay, and Markos. It's clear from the beginning--from the tit
Michelle Wrona
This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

I finally took the time to read this pretty. The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman is a book I have been wanting to read since getting it autographed at BEA last year, and I never expected it to head in this kind of direction. What a twist! I would definitely call this a part love story, part mystery, and I love the themes that Lehrman presented out to us readers. Mixed with different perspectives, that of our prot
Claire (Book Blog Bird)
This was okay but it felt a bit like character soup as it was written from too many viewpoints. The premise was really interesting - like what would happen if witchcraft was an actual thing and people could get spells to fix mental health problems or physical imperfections - but the characters weren’t very sympathetic.
The Cost of All Things starts with Ari grieving over the death of her boyfriend, Win. Desperate to get rid of the sorrow, Ari visits the local Hekame and gets a spell that erases her memory of Win and their time together. The morning after taking the spell, Ari wakes up and soon realizes that losing the memory of Win has also made her lost other things, in particular her capability to dance, which means that her future as a Ballet dancer in New York feels suddenly very distant, when just a day e ...more
Kathy Martin
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This story was told from the viewpoints of four troubled teens. In this world, there are hekamists who can create spells to solve problems. When Ari's parents died in a house fire, Ari's aunt had her visit a hekamist who erased her memory of the incident. Every spell has side effects though and Ari was left with a constant sore wrist. She replaced her grief with ballet and now she is poised to move to New York City to dance.

When Ari's boyfriend dies in a car accident just after their junior year
Jen Ryland
May 07, 2015 marked it as setting-aside-for-now
Tried the first few chapters. There are three or four narrators who alternate by chapter, and I'm just not connecting with any of them. Also I'm not getting that "pulled in" kind of feeling that I want by this time in a book. I may try again later.

Read more of my reviews on YA Romantics or follow me on Bloglovin

Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!

Susan Adrian
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this book. I went into it not knowing much at all, and was immediately swept up in the story. Fantastic, real characters, four different POVs that actually are distinct and captivating, and impossible situations for them to deal with. The writing is impeccable, and the plot will keep you going. Highly recommend!
Nov 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: debut, review
When spells affect others and yourself. 4 friends all visit a hekamist for spells for different reasons in their life.Secrets come out and many of this group change..and not always for the best. Win, Markos, Ari and Kay are telling what is happening to them. I think the dead person was the most full character. Echo is the witch who has interacted with all of them.
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Magic always has a price attached, but the way these characters' various spells and decisions collide really makes you wonder who is in control. I was hesitant to read a dead-boyfriend story because I didn't want a depressing read, but I found myself wrapped up in the lives of these characters and the spells they're entangled in, and the story was more intriguing than depressing.
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Found it hard to like the characters and the story dragged at parts. Only person I really liked was Win, who died but I wish the novel showcased more memories of Win and Ari. I wanted to better understand their relationship and the love they shared.
Sandra Waugh
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Powerful story, well written. Bravo.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Extremely weird, but fascinating and thought-provoking. Highly, highly recommend.
Renata M.
Overall, it's a good book, just by without a little time-consuming at times, making reading difficult.
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
Imagine a world where you can buy the solution to any problem you have. You want beauty, grace, friends, happiness. . . ? Just buy a spell. Of course, you have to be careful what you wish for because spells have a way of coming back to bite you. In a world where you never know when someone is spelling you, can you even trust yourself?

The Cost of All Things is a deeply thoughtful and provocative novel about the consequences of living in a world where people can get a quick and easy fix to their p
Rebecca (Unbound Pages)
This review and more can be found on my blog, The Library Canary.

***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.***

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 o
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Maggie Lehrman is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, NY. She grew up outside of Chicago and went on to get a degree in English at Harvard, where she once received a grant to purchase young adult books the library didn't have. During her decade of working as an editor of books for children, she also earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. The C ...more

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