From the New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato comes a poignant and “beguiling” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) novel about two teens trying to find their place in the world after being unceremoniously dragged to Salem, Massachusetts, for the summer.
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 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?
This book was a perfect balance between gravitas, humor and emotion.
I confess that I read it after seeing another blogger (yes Sam it’s you) being so enthusiastic about it!
And I am glad I took a chance on it!
We will see the story through Willow and Mason’s POVs.
Willow will soon enter her senior year of high school and wants to spend it abroad.
Since her parent’s divorce and her moving to California, she has never felt at home anywhere anymore. She doesn’t fit . There is a hole in her soul.
And she feels that traveling is the answer to her problems. Beginning with spending her last year of high school in Paris with her cousin Beatrice.
But her mom is certainly not on board with that project!
Suddenly, Willow will be dragged by her mom all the way to Salem where she’ll discover that her secretive mother had a mysterious past filled with a huge family home, dating back two hundred years ago, three very old, very mischievous great aunts that might be witches and…that her family might be cursed!
Her deceased aunt left clues on how to break the curse and it will soon become a quest and a treasure hunt!
Willow won’t be alone in her quest!
She will be helped by the cute and lonely Mason!
Foster kid, always looking to find his mom who left him years ago because she was an addict, Mason finds solace in astronomy. He believes in signs because his mom believed in them. And he needs to find her because she is his compass.
Residing with one of his mom’s high school friends, he does not try to fit in very hard as he plans on leaving as soon as he found his mom.
When Mason will cross path with Willow, it will feel like preordained. Another sign!
Soon both will ally to help Willow break her family curse and find some answers.
I found this story cute, smart and emotional. It broaches topics like divorce, fitting in, addiction, foster care…with sensitivity and humor! The humor was provided by Willow’s eccentrics great aunts and her cousin Bea!
It’s easy to read, pulling at your heartstrings and with a cast of very loveable characters.
Both narrators: Renee Dorian and Ali Andre Ali did a very good job impersonating Willow and Mason.
Thanks for reading.