*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Willow and Mason have lived opposite lives on different coasts. Willow lives with her rich mom outside of Los Angeles in a fancy modern house, while Mason has spent the last few years in the foster care system in Boston. But two things happen at the same time, leading to Willow and Mason to travel to the mysterious Salem, Massachusetts.
Willow didn’t even know her mom had a sister. But when her mom tells Willow that the unknown sister passed away, the two set off to Salem to get the estate settled. At the same time, Mason’s mom’s former best friend Emma decides she wants to take him in, leading to Mason to move to Salem with Emma, her husband and her four daughters.
When Willow arrives in Salem, everything goes crazy. Turns out she knows nothing about her mom’s childhood, including her real name. And she has a few aunts…who claim to be witches. Willow’s mom even had a Book of Shadows.
By chance, Willow and Mason cross paths late one night on the roof of a house. They didn’t speak to each other, but the two felt a strange connection. By the next day, the two are thrown together again. When it’s clear something strange is happening in this town and it has to do with Willow’s family secrets, Mason is eager to help and to get closer to Willow. The two don’t have many clues to start off with, but they’re determined to learn the truth about the previous generations of Salem witches.
We’re big fans of Love & Gelato and Love & Olives, so we were surprised that Welch’s latest had to do with magic and wasn’t set in Europe. However, the Salem setting and the mention of witches had us excited to read this YA book to kickoff spooky season ready. While it’s isn’t a scary book, it’s still a fun read for this time of year.
We found Willow and Mason to be intriguing characters from the begging. We could tell they would get along before meeting they met because of the shared trauma of absent parents. Willow’s mom was terrible and her dad was too obsessed with his new family to pay attention to his oldest child. As for Mason’s family, we get details about his mom at the beginning and everything he had to endure because of that.
Willow and Mason are thrown together to solve the mystery of the Bell family, which is Willow’s mother’s family. A witch cursed the women of the family generations ago. The aunts told Willow it’s her duty to learn the truth, with the help of an assistant. The clues and backstory were really interesting to learn about. An ancestor named Lily Bell was cursed by a witch at a garden party. The question is, why Lily?
As the two learn the secrets of the small new England town, they become closer. It was nice to see them open up to each other about their pasts and their dreams for the future. The romance is really cute and we shipped them together from the start. However, we found it to be a little too slowburn. It Takes almost until the end of the book for anything to happen.
Which leads us to our next point, the ending felt a bit unresolved. We know about the curse and why Willow’s mom stayed away, but we don’t really see what happens next. Welch left it too open ended. We have many questions about where the characters end up after those days spent together in Salem.
Overall, Spells for Lost Things is a cozy mystery with magic and romance sprinkled in. While we enjoyed it overall, we think the story need an epilogue and wish we got more romantic scenes.