Cover image for The price guide to the occult / Leslye Walton.
Title:
The price guide to the occult / Leslye Walton.
ISBN:
9780763691103
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
272 pages ; 22 cm
Abstract:
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.
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Summary

Summary

From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting maelstrom of magic and murder in the lush, moody Pacific Northwest.

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.


Author Notes

Leslye Walton was named a William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist for the publication of her debut novel, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. Born in the Pacific Northwest, she has an MA in writing. She lives in Seattle, Washington.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Walton follows The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender with a lyrical and robust multigenerational story set on the fictional Anathema Island in the Pacific Northwest. Now inhabited by hippies and artists, the island was originally populated by a small group of homesteading farmers, as well as Rona Blackburn, a witch. When Rona's romantic relationship with one of the island's founding fathers' faltered, she cast a vindictive spell that forever entwined her bloodline to the island. In the present day, 17-year-old Nor is the eighth generation of Blackburn daughters. Like the women before her, Nor has a single magical power, known as a Burden: in Nor's case, animals, plants, and insects speak to her. When Nor's abusive mother, Fern, publishes Rona's spell book, the wildlife on and around the island flees, leaving Nor and her friends and family to fight the black magic that Fern has begun to harvest. In succinct, evocative sentences, Walton paints vivid scenes while maintaining a gripping plot. Addressing abandonment, self-harm, first love, and other topics, Walton weaves a rewardingly complex tale that brims with suspense and romance. Ages 14-up. Agent: Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders Agency (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

Nor Blackburn is the eighth and therefore last of the Blackburn daughters, descendants of the infamous witch Rona Blackburn. The Blackburn women all have gifts (or Burdens), and Nors is the ability to hear the thoughts of plants and animals. A high-school dropout whose only ambition is to be as unlike her mother as possible, she lives with her grandmother on Anathema Island, a Pacific Northwest community that both benefits from its ties to witchcraft (Guided Walking Tours of Anathema Islands Witch-Relevant Landmarks and Legends. Available Thrice Daily) and lives in fear of them. Then Nor witnesses the mass exodus of all the animals from Anathema Island, and the plants begin to act strangely. Nors impulse to self-harm becomes harder to control, and she regularly awakes from horrific nightmares full of menace and bloodall harbingers of her wicked mothers return. Waltons (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava ?Lavender) horror tale features a vivid setting, lyrical prose, and engaging characters; Nors formidable pipe-smoking grandmother Judd, her best friend Savvy (a punk rock Pollyannawith big brown eyes, ocher-brown skin, and wildly colored hair), and her love interest Reed Oliveira provide comfort and care to a protagonist whose mother is hell-bent on murdering her. elissa Gershowitz (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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