Skip to main content

The Cost of All Things


The Cost of All Things

At first, THE COST OF ALL THINGS by Maggie Lehrman looks like it’s a book about a heartbroken girl mourning her boyfriend’s death. However, the reader will quickly be enticed by the plot’s supernatural twist. The book is told from four different points of view: Ari, Win, Kay and Markos. Their stories come together to tell the aftermath of the tragic “accident” known as Win’s death.

Ari goes to a hekamist --- essentially, a witch --- to rid her mind of any memories she has of her boyfriend, Win. Little does Ari know that the spell not only costs her $5000, but also, her talent.  Ari is an amazing ballerina who has been invited to join the Manhattan Ballet junior corps, but with the memory of Win gone, so is her ability to dance.

Win was the perfect guy, perfect friend and perfect boyfriend until he died. He tells the story of what leads up to his death, connecting the past to the present. Kay is Ari’s friend, and she has many insecurities. She has a hekamist create a spell to ensure that Ari and their other friend, Diana, will never leave her. Not only is the spell a physical threat to the two girls, but it also leads to Kay’s eventual invisibility. Markos is Win’s best friend and feels like an outsider in his own family. He falls for Diana in the aftermath of Win’s death, and she helps him experience introspection.

THE COST OF ALL THINGS is enticing, unique and downright riveting. It’s a book unlike any other and definitely sets the bar for any future work by Maggie Lehrman.  

As the story unravels and more details of Win’s life are revealed, the reader learns more and more about who the characters truly are. Does Ari truly love ballet? Was Win actually in love with Ari or the idea of her? Who is Kay underneath all her layers? Is Markos the guy everyone thinks he is? I personally loved Markos throughout the novel. His personality was like staring into the sun --- painful but breathtaking. It felt as though he was a tangible person, as if he were a friend of mine. As he falls for Diana, readers are sure to fall for Markos just as hard.

The novel gets more and more complicated with each chapter, but the book is written well enough that the subplots don’t seem overbearingly dramatic. When the truths come out, they are completely unexpected. The final scene in the hardware store will have readers’ hearts racing, palms sweating and minds rooting for the characters, even the ones that they don’t like.

I can definitely say this is one of the more interesting books I’ve read, especially with the supernatural twist tossed into a seemingly normal world.  Some of the characters could have used more detail, but the story was still captivating without it. I would love to see a sequel to see what happens after everything is resolved. Will Ari ever get her talent back? What happens to Markos and Diana? THE COST OF ALL THINGS is enticing, unique and downright riveting. It’s a book unlike any other and definitely sets the bar for any future work by Maggie Lehrman.  

Reviewed by Katherina T., Teen Board Member on May 11, 2015

The Cost of All Things
by Maggie Lehrman

  • Publication Date: May 12, 2015
  • Genres: Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray
  • ISBN-10: 0062320742
  • ISBN-13: 9780062320742