My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Title: Spells for Lost Things
Author: Jenna Evans Welch
Format: eBook (NetGalley)
Publication Date: 9/27/22
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Categories: Young Adult, Romance, Coming of Age, Family, Witches, Contemporary, Teen Readers
Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
Thank you to Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Willow has never felt like she belonged anywhere and is convinced that the only way to find a true home is to travel the world. But her plans to act on her dream are put on hold when her aloof and often absent mother drags Willow to Salem, Massachusetts, to wrap up the affairs of an aunt Willow didn’t even know she had. An aunt who may or may not have been a witch.
There, she meets Mason, a loner who’s always felt out of place and has been in and out of foster homes his entire life. He’s been classified as one of the runaways, constantly searching for ways to make it back to his mom; even if she can’t take care of him, it’s his job to try and take care of her. Isn’t it?
Naturally pulled to one another, Willow and Mason set out across Salem to discover the secret past of Willow’s mother, her aunt, and the ambiguous history of her family. During all of this, the two can’t help but act on their natural connection. But with the amount of baggage between them—and Willow’s growing conviction her family might be cursed—can they manage to hold onto each other?
Content Warning: foster care, parent with drug addiction, running away, divorce
I requested this book because I loved the colors of the book cover and the title. I love books about witches. The name of the author seemed so familiar to me and of course it is, since she wrote the Love & Gelato series. Here is what did and didn’t work for me:
+ I love Willow and Mason. The characters don’t meet until about 20% into the story but we get a good background of Willow and her need to travel, her feelings of being trapped with a mom who has pushed her away and a dad busy with his new family. Mason’s mom is a drug addict and he’s been in the foster care system for a long time but all he wants is to be with his mom again, but he can’t find her. He moves to a new foster family but maybe this time it will be different or not.
+ The story is set in Salem, Massachusetts and with their history of witches its the perfect setting. Willow learns more of her mother’s secretive past there and meets Mason. I love uncovering the Bell women’s past, including meeting Willow’s aunts who all dabble in a little witchcraft – they are so sweet and funny. The restored house that is part of the secret history sounds absolutely magical.
+ The romance is sweet and really beautiful. I love how Willow and Mason meet, become friends and partners, but feel a magical bond between them. They are still young and have a future wide open to them but I love how they start falling for one another even with their futures undecided. I like the hope of the two of them together.
+ I found myself tearing up at the end of this story mostly because of Mason’s story. He’s had a tough time and all he wants is his mom. He has to realize in the end that she might not be the best person to raise him and I can only imagine his pain and hurt. It’s a surprisingly emotional story! On the other hand, Willow has her own issues with her mom and it does get resolved in the end. I’m just happy Willow found her family and home…same as Mason.
~ Willow’s mom is a hard one to crack – she’s kept her past secret and it hurt Willow a lot. Willow doesn’t know her mom like she thought and I was so frustrated with her mom because all Willow wants, is to be close to her mom. It’s a sad situation. This book was about romance and family, but definitely the bonds between a mom and her child which I can relate to.
~ I thought Nova, one of Mason’s new sister was an interesting character who was there in the beginning but as Mason and Willow spent more time together, we heard less of her – but I’d love to know more about her!
~ the characters don’t meet right away and I do wish they meet sooner. We get a lot of background information on Willow and Mason in the first few chapters, but I do think some of that could have moved quicker to them meeting.
Tropes: broken families, family secrets, first love
Why you should read it:
- it’s a heartfelt story with innocent romance, and tells a story about bonds between sisters, family, mom and child
- it’s got a little bit of witchcraft, and mystery
- Willow and Mason’s romance is the sweetest thing
- Willow and Mason have their personal life challenges and I like that each had to deal with it in their own way, but they come out safe and loved in the end
Why you might not want to read it:
- it’s not a book about witchcraft – there isn’t much of it
This is such a heartwarming story, especially around the themes around family and moms. Mason’s story brought tears to my eyes as he struggles with moving to a new foster home and trying to find his mom. I love that he meets Willow in the process, a girl who is always dealing with trying to find a place that feels like home. There isn’t much witchcraft in the story but I feel like whatever was tied to witches or witchcraft was used to help them hope for something better for both of them in their separate situations. Lovely story and I look forward to reading more from this author.
Here are other books by this author that I have read or reviewed on this blog:
Love & Gelato by. Jenna Evans Welch ~ never reviewed on blog but goodreads says I gave it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.