cover image Spells for Lost Things

Spells for Lost Things

Jenna Evans Welch. Simon & Schuster, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5344-4887-2

Centering family and brimming with atmosphere, Welch (the Love & series) crafts a beguiling romance set in Salem, Mass. Rising high school seniors Willow Haverford and Mason Greer did not plan on traveling to Salem. Los Angeleno Willow, who has never felt at home anywhere and grapples with extreme wanderlust, accompanies her mother to the witchy haven to help settle the estate of an aunt Willow never knew existed. Willow is stunned to learn that she has several family members living in Salem—all of whom identify as witches—whom her mother has kept secret from her. Meanwhile, Bostonian Mason is moving in with his mother’s old friend after years of bouncing between foster homes. He hesitates to get comfortable; all he wants is to find his estranged mother, who struggles with a drug addiction. When the teens meet, Willow recruits Mason’s help in following the clues her aunt left about an ancient curse plaguing her family. Welch utilizes an extraordinary sense of place, a lightly magical story line, and the healing power of love—both familial and romantic—to great effect. Main characters read as white. Ages 12–up. Agent: Laurie Liss, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept.)