The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
• March 13, 2018 • Candlewick Press
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When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Guilt and fear instead led the island’s original eight settlers to burn “the witch” out of her home. So Rona cursed them.
Fast-forward one hundred–some years: All Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. She has reason to hope: First, her supernatural powers, if they can be called that, are unexceptional. Second, her love life is nonexistent, which means she might escape the other perverse side effect of the matriarch’s backfiring curse, too. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. Nor senses a storm coming and is pretty sure she’ll be smack in the eye of it.
In her second novel, Leslye Walton spins a dark, mesmerizing tale of a girl stumbling along the path toward self-acceptance and first love, even as the Price Guide’s malevolent author — Nor’s own mother — looms and threatens to strangle any hope for happiness.
I received this book for free from Candlewick Press for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
First sentence: “Nor Blackburn wasn’t afraid of blood.”
When you come from a family of cursed witches, you try not to fall into the same patterns as your ancestors. Nor Blackburn tries to avoid the trappings of being a Blackburn, but it’s hard when she’s a teenager, trying to survive while having an unexceptional Burden she can’t do anything with and fearing that her mother will return to Anathema Island and wreck havoc once again on her life.
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