Markos’ dad dies. Cal, Markos’ brother, has a harder time handling it than his brothers, and in fact, lashes out and starts Ari’s house on fire, killing her parents. Ari gets a spell to forget the pain of losing her parents. Markos’ mom, who knows what Cal did but didn’t want him punished or locked away, starts getting a long-term spell to make him forget, so he can’t hurt anyone else. In the meantime, Echo’s mom, a hekamist, notices that she’s fading and helps Echo become a hekamist, ostensibly so that Echo will have a means of supporting herself when her mom dies, but also spells Echo unknowingly so that Echo can’t leave her. Echo sees the signs of her mom fading, and secretly has a plan to go to New York or some big city to find another coven so that she can continue being a hekamist and not have to hide away. Then, Ari and Win start dating, and Win and Echo start getting to know each other, and Win asks Echo to make him a spell that will make him not depressed so that (he feels) he can feel like he deserves Ari. He doesn’t take it for the longest time, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because he doesn’t want to take it until he can pay Echo $5,000 for the spell, knowing she’ll be able to use that money to start a new life on her own. He even borrows the money from Markos (who took it from his mother, who was, unbeknownst to everyone, going to use that to pay Echo’s mom her monthly installment for Cal’s can’t-hurt-anyone spell), but instead of giving it to Echo right away, hides it in the back of Ari’s closet. When he finally decides to take the spell, he heads over to Ari’s (without anyone knowing), but slams into a tree on the way there and dies.

A week later, Ari gets a spell to erase her memory of Win because, now that he’s gone, it’s too painful. She pays for the spell with $5,000 she suddenly found in the back of her closet. Very soon, thereafter, though, she realizes that the real cost of that spell is that she can no longer dance, a skill that was to play a big part in her future. She starts grieving the loss of that, rather than Win, but everyone thinks she’s mourning Win. Echo, meanwhile, comes to Ari demanding payment for Win’s spell, somehow know that Win had hidden the money in Ari’s closet, so she goes after Ari to get the money, saying she’ll tell everyone that Ari erased Win’s memory if she doesn’t pay her. Ari, not knowing where the $5,000 came from, refuses to pay her.

Sometime during all of that, or maybe before, Kay, a friend of Ari’s, got a spell to make Ari and Diana (a third friend) always be her friend and never be able to be away from her for longer than three days or 50 miles. Kay is very insecure. The same night that Echo demands payment from Ari, Diana and Ari hatch a spur-of-the-moment plan to go to Boston to get away, and start to do so without Kay, but Diana has a really bad fall, resulting in a horrible bruise covering half of her face. Kay realizes that it was her spell that caused Diana to get hurt. She feels like she’s a really horrible person, but doesn’t try to fix anything. Spells can’t be reversed anyway. Diana, also that same night, meets Markos.

Eventually, Ari recognizes that she’s going to have to pay Echo the $5,000, and even starts to want to as she realizes that she wants to help Echo, who she realizes is a good person. But before she figures out how to get the money, Echo’s mom tells Markos that she got a spell to erase Win, and then Markos tells everyone else, so Echo has no leverage with which to continue blackmailing Ari. By this point, however, Ari really wants to help her get the money to leave. Echo even makes a spell to help Ari recover her dancing ability, although Ari doesn’t take it for a while (wants to get money to pay her).

But finding out that Ari forgot Win exacerbates Markos’ grieving for Win, who was his best friend. Markos is mad and sullen; he stops eating, showering, etc. At around the same time, Kay gets a spell to make Cal fall in love with her, but that novelty soon wears off for Kay, and starts making Cal physically sick. So Markos and Cal are spiraling downward, more so than everybody else. Cal tries to hit Markos, but finds he literally cannot.

Meanwhile, Diana and Markos are starting to fall in love. But Markos finds out that Diana found out about Ari’s forgetting-Win spell a few days before the hekamist told him, and she (Diana) didn’t tell him. He’s really mad at her for that, and breaks up with her.

Suddenly, Cal goes missing. Diana unwittingly goes to Markos’ family hardware store looking for Markos to see if she can patch things up, but Cal is there, and his mom’s forgetfulness spell has completely worn off by now. He’s besieged by the memory of what he did to Ari’s parents, so he locks Diana in a cage and douses the store in chemicals, intending to start a fire.

Soon after, Markos and Ari and Kay figure things out enough to go to the hardware store too, but Cal overcomes them as well and drops a lighter. Kay redeems herself to herself by telling Ari and Diana and Cal about her spells on them and pledging to get them reversed. She also calls 911.

Though they’re all injured, Ari gives Cal the spell that Echo had made for her, the one that would make her able to dance again, but tells Cal that it’s a forgetfulness spell. It doesn’t make him forget, but it does disorient him long enough that they’re all able to get out to the waiting ambulances.

In the end, Cal and Markos’ mom is arrested for obstruction of justice when it’s discovered that she knew about Cal’s first arson incident and covered it up. Cal is sent to a mental hospital. Ari and Diana remain friends. Kay’s okay on her own, because she’d rather be that way and a good person than have friends but be bad. Markos is burned, but Diana forgives him, and they have hope for a future together. Echo dies in the fire, and her mom shortly thereafter.

 

Plot Summary: The Linear Version of the Plot of The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman

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