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The Cost of All Things

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,147 ratings  ·  216 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 3.50  · 
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 ·  1,147 ratings  ·  216 reviews

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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 ~back in a bit~
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 ✨ (TheBookishTwins)
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. ...more
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Jessica Woodbury
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
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!

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. ...more
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
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
Sarah Louise
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
The Cost of All Things presented itself with such a fantastic magical realism world where a wish can be granted upon the purchase of a spell. But of course, all magic comes with a price. Our main character, Ari, learns this the hard way when she purchases a spell to remove her memories of her dead boyfriend, Win. Although her pain from grief has vanished, Ari finds herself with a repercussion that may potentially destroy her dance career.

With four different perspectives, including additional si
Ashley (Loves Books)
**This review will post to Ashley Loves Books at a later date.**

I’m all about multiple POVs. Seriously. If you’ve read like 3 of my reviews minimum, you’ll know I’m down for dual narratives, I like multiple views of the same scenes. Love them, even.

But The Cost of All Things had 4, and 4 that were not very distinct in themselves. I mean, there are some stories (like Kasie West’s Pivot Point, or Rooms by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando) that have such tone and voice in each character that you never
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
Hari ~Brekker-Maresh~
More 2.5 ish, really.

The first half of this book was actually quite intriguing. Through four characters, you learn the complexity of hekame and how it effected them. Everything, every minuscule alteration, came with a price.

There was Ari, who pushed away the pain of her boyfriend's death. Kay, the desperate one, who wanted to feel needed and belonged. Markos, the grieving best friend who just couldn't live up to his family's "standards". And Win. The dead one. (cool names, right?) So 4 POV c
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! I loved that there were four POV's, but all were distinct. I loved that (in my opinion) the book was one extended metaphor. I loved that while it was easy to read it made me think...about life, about change, about what's important in the face of adversity. To me it was philosophical in nature and I love that in a book.

The question is this: do we/should we have absolute control over every aspect of our lives? If I had the ability to change the PAIN (emotional or phys
Inah (Fueled By Chapters)
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Upon reading the first few pages of this book, I was immediately hooked. I’ve been craving for books with witches in them but for this one, hekamists worked.

The book was told in four different perspectives: Ari, Markos, Kay and Win. All of whom are connected to each other. Kay and Diana are friends with Ari. Ari’s boyfriend is Win, whose bestfriend is Markos.

In a society where hekamists exists, people subjecting themselves into spells to make their lives more convenient, aren’t a big deal. In ex
Heather Wood
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Cost of All Things has a very interesting idea at the center of the story: what would you be willing to give in order to make your wishes come true? The hekamist angle was original and the story felt fresh, especially since I don’t read a lot of books about magical realism.

I liked the main character Ari and I wish the story was told in only her point of view. The multiple POVs felt like overkill and I think after learning the fate of one of the characters, one of the POVs could be left out.
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer
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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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