The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

My Rating: 5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 10/10 originally I was thinking about putting a 8 or 9 out of 10, but then I saw the pictures of the hardback copies and I realized that this is 100% a 10/10 cover! All I wanted when I saw the picture of Lesley’s book on her twitter was to hold it in my hands. Plus it fits so much of the story so well!

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publish Date: March 13th, 2018

Number of Pages: 288

Received: Netgalley provided an e-arc in exchange for an honest review

Purchase: Amazon


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.

Opening Sentence: “They have been called many things.”


A special sort of magic lives inside Leslye’s books. The Price Guide to the Occult is no exception. It is lyrical, beautiful, and brutal. The subtleties of Leslye’s writing blows me away. Any lover of witches and oddly beautiful writing should pick this book up.

What I Loved:

The Idea. I want to go inside Leslye’s brain just to see where these really unique ideas come from? A book around a magical Price Guide? Where does that come from?

The detail. Leslye is brilliant at creating atmosphere. She uses everything at her disposal to create this lush gem of a story that evokes unease. It’s the little things that you might not even notice but subconsciously while reading that just make the book that much more interesting. I just love how this is written!

It is on par with reality. If someone came out and started granting everyone’s wishes for a price and could prove their legitimacy the world would scramble to get in on the offer. The utter chaos and following that Nor’s mother causes and creates is very accurate and believable.

The magic. I love the varied abilities and how they are used. I love it when a novel is unique with how it creates abilities. Plus my favorite ability, knowing the thoughts of animals, has always been interesting to me.

The story nuance. I really loved that even though there was a main story. The story was layered with subplots that were just as interesting as the main plot. A lot of times sub-plot isn’t done well and I was happy to see how wonderfully it is done in The Price Guide.

Final thoughts:

Both Leslye’s novels could be described as strange and wonderful. The Price Guide to the Occult on its own is layered, rich, and undeniably magical. I loved every single moment of reading it!

About the Author:

Leslye Walton was born in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps because of this, Leslye has developed a strange kinship with the daffodil–she too can only achieve beauty after a long, cold sulk in the rain. She was named a William C. Morris Debut Award Finalist for the publication of her novel The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. The book received several accolades, including the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Pacific Northwest Book Award, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and was short-listed for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. The book was also number one on the Spring 2014 Kids’ Indie Next List, and was named one of the best books of 2014 by Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, the Boston Globe, Bustle, Hudson Booksellers, Amazon, and more.

Leslye is a full-time writer currently living in Seattle, Washington with her chihuahuas, Mr. Darcy and Doc Holliday. Her next novel, The Price Guide to the Occult, comes out March 2018.

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

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-Till next time!

25 thoughts on “The Price Guide to the Occult: A Review

    1. Amy you know I love Leslye’s writing! I’m here for every single book she writes for the rest of her and my days. I think she is brilliant! It makes me happy that you love her too! We can fangirl together over ever release of hers in the future!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh wow, this book sounds absolutely amazing. I love it when authors have ideas that are a little weird and unique, their writing sounds impressively nuanced. I’ll definitely be checking this one out! Thanks for bringing it to my attention! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your style of writing reviews. I’m pretty sure I’ve said that before, but still.

    I find magic interesting some times, so I’ll just note this one down.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I did not realise Leslye Walton had another book out!! Thank you! I had all but given up on her second novel ever arriving. Ava Lavender is a stunning book and I’m thrilled to hear her second book is as impressive. Well, I will certainly be picking this one up sooner rather than later!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I haven’t read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (I know, shame on me), but I am still definitely adding The Price Guide to my TBR. There hasn’t been nearly enough witches in YA recently and I cannot think of a better witchy story than one centered on a Price Guide. Like you said, the premise is so unique and too tempting for me to pass up. Thanks for the great review!

    Liked by 2 people

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