• Conjured
  • Conjured


4.2 9
by Sarah Beth Durst

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Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She's been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is

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Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She's been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won't say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she's lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book

An unusual blend of magical worlds, psychological thriller, and teen romance.
New York Times bestselling author of the Daughter Laini Taylor

A twisted circus of a book, completely freaky and delicious at the same time. I could not stop reading!

Eerie and provocative, this is a thinker of a thriller that will appeal to teens.
VOYA - Lisa Martincik
Eve has been placed in a witness protection program with no memory of what she may have seen, nor any memories of her past. The company, WitSec, is desperate for her to remember, even though it means enduring strange visions and sessions of forgetfulness. Together with an honest coworker at the local library, she is finally able to find trust, love, and magic... but can she find a serial killer? A quirky fantasy, by turns sweet and dark, Conjured provides a rewarding experience that fades a bit with post-reading consideration. For a character with no past, Eve carries the story surprisingly well, and shifts in narrative from third- to first-person to track her acceptance of her own personhood. Hers is a journey of self-creation and definition, and her sweet and adventurous romance with Zach provides strength, even as it treads frustratingly close to a typical rescue scenario. In a story where little is unvarnished "good" or "bad," their relationship appears almost an aberration. This is easy to overlook while Durst's clear writing brings robust life to the creepy past and confusing present as Eve works through the puzzle of what her supposed protectors want and why she is so important. But after the pieces and fun plot twists have all come together, close scrutiny reveals some disappointing plot holes. Still, after meeting the interesting people and places of Conjured, it is hard to not hope for a return visit. Reviewer: Lisa Martincik
Children's Literature - Toni Jourdan
Eve is a teenager with no memories of her past; even her appearance is new to her. She lives with Aunt Nicki, who is not really her aunt, and everyday Malcolm, who shows up to drive her around. Both of them are heavily armed. Eve has dream-like memories of a carnival tent, complete with a Magician and Storyteller, and traveling around with people and body parts tucked away in small boxes that sway as the cart moves from town to town. Only it is not a dream—Eve is a survivor of a serial killer who haunts her dreams and will never give up looking for her. It is practically impossible for Eve to live a normal life, but her protectors try to input normalcy by finding her a job at the local library where she shelves books alongside the ever-cheerful Zach. There is an instant chemistry between the two…a sort of magic that occurs when they kiss. Zach unlocks Eve’s memories, allowing her to remember more and more about who she is and finally where she came from. Eve is no ordinary girl and this is no ordinary world that she is struggling to survive in. One day the librarian unbuttons her collar, shows Eve the extra eyes embedded on her sternum, and tells her that “she’ll be watching” her. Aidan, Victoria, and Topher tell her that they are friends and that she is even dating Aidan, but Eve does not remember or trust them. Eve knows she is different but cannot put all the puzzle pieces together. This bizarre roller coaster of a tale keeps readers on their toes, because nothing is ever as it seems to be. Reviewer: Toni Jourdan; Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Suffering from severe memory loss, Eve is taken to a safe house and told she's in a witness protection program, but that fact and many others are called into question when she meets other "witnesses" who believe that the agents will eventually kill her. With no information about the crime she witnessed, the teen has no idea who to trust. She's also haunted by chilling visions that immediately follow when she uses her various powers to do things like making the birds on her wallpaper fly or walking through walls. Eventually, she is able to remember enough to go traveling through many magical worlds on a hunt for "the Magician," only to find out that she herself was created as a way for him to store power from young magical beings by the inference of their dying breaths. Only her nonmagical boyfriend's belief in her newfound humanity is able to convince Eve that she doesn't have to be defined by her past. This is an urban fantasy without a solid sense of time or place. It's contemporary in tone, but there are no distinct regional flairs or cultural references. Due to Eve's memory loss and the story being told entirely from her perspective, readers learn things in fits and starts with memories slowly taking shape and reality constantly being questioned. The narrative progresses slowly and can seem disjointed at times, but the action does pick up and leads to a satisfying, if slightly creepy, ending.—Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Someone is killing atypical teens, and Eve is a witness, a target or an accomplice--she just can't remember which. Eve doesn't know who she is or where she came from after waking up from surgery with a new name, a new face and an underdeveloped cover story provided by the agency that now supports her. She struggles to adjust to her strange new world, finding solace only in her work as a library page with Zach, who is cute, intelligent and as agenda-free as any typical teenage boy. Everyone else--agents "Aunt" Nicki Gallo and Malcolm Harrington and a clutch of other agency-protected teens--manipulates and misleads her. Eve's newly acquired magical abilities and resultant visions of a bizarre and brutal carnival prove vital to the agency's work but destructive to her short-term memory. She is an unreliable and constantly confused narrator, but her pursuit of the truth and her selfless love for Zach help to transform her from a puppet into a real girl. Durst excels at describing grotesque violence and gorgeous magical transformations alike, painting a touching portrait of first love against a backdrop of Twilight Zone–type terrors. Patient readers will respond to this slow thriller about a girl with memory loss and magical powers, and a murderer on the loose. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

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Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

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Conjured 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Eve is told she is in a witness protection program and she has been given a new name, face and life. She doesn't remember anything and they are depending on her to get her memories back of the serial killer she escaped from. She knows he used magic to kill others because that is what she was told. She has some magic herself and every time she uses she blanks out and loses what memories she has. She is given a job in a library and tries to live a normal life. Her dreams haunt her of stuff she can no longer remember and slowly her memory comes back. She has to remember everything and learn more about her powers before more people die. Wow what a book. It turned out like nothing I expected it would. Eve really is like a child as she is learning what everything over again. She is living with her "Aunt" Nikki an agent sent to help her. She is also protected by Malcom another agent. These two remind me of bad cop good cop because Nikki most of the time seemed really mean not caring at all about Eve's feelings. Malcom was much nicer to Eve doing what he could to help her. While working at the library she meets Zach. She falls for him and they realize if he is around her power is different. I like all the magical aspects of this book and all the different people we see. At the beginning I thought the book was going to be slow. I kept hoping something would happen to explain more. The author does a good job as when it does you get a big impact. I really liked how different it was to other books I had read. There is all kinds of different beings in this book that I would have liked to see more of but they weren't a big part of the book. I would tell anyone who love a book with some mystery, magic and more to pick this one up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it was very mysterious and just nothing that I thought came as plan in the book. it made me keep reading on and on.
Armori 7 months ago
If you enjoyed Erin Morgenstern's "The Night Circus", this book is a darker, more twisted version of it, and only modern day-ish, but it will still leave you in a state of wonder. Or if you just enjoy a nice mystery/fantasy/romance in general, you should read this book too. Honestly I had pretty high expectations for this book and unfortunately it didn't quite meet those expecations. But the storyline was interesting, the romance was cheesy at times (especially all that kissing) but still cute, the plottwist at the end was great, and the very ending of the book was beautiful. It was worth reading. This book also has a lot of important, encouraging messages such as no matter how worthless you are, no matter who you are, there is always someone out there who will love you. And that is what makes the beautiful romance that is in this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WoW what an amazing book! Truly spellbinding read....
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Eve doesn't know anything about her past. No family. No home. Even her face has been changed with a series of surgeries. All Eve knows for sure is that a madman is on the loose--a killer who uses magic to murder his targets. And she might be the key to solving the case. If she ever remembers. Everyone is keeping secrets from her--maybe even her own mind. Recurring dreams of a carnival with tinny music and a sinister magician haunt her. Sometimes a storyteller is there spinning tales as she tries to sew buttons into Eve's skin. Eve can change the color of her eyes and make the birds printed on her wallpaper fly around her new room. Protected by two witness protection agents and befriended by a boy who never lies, Eve will have to make sense of her past if she ever hopes to have a future of her own. Conjured is a tense novel of suspense with bits of magic and character study thrown in. It is nowhere near as coherent as the jacket summary suggests. Readers expecting a linear story here will be disappointed. Eve remembers nothing of her past and loses time to blackouts several times throughout the story. Her lack of memory is manipulated and exploited. These gaps and Eve's own confusion are crucial to the plot but they also create a significant distance between readers and Eve's characters. This gap narrows as the story progresses (and as Durst changes writing tense and person to reflect the changes) but it still makes for a very disorienting--and sometimes slow--beginning. As her name suggests, Eve is an almost completely blank slate at the beginning of the story. Consequently her character often feels lacking in personality (since Eve doesn't even know her own personality really). That said Durst does an excellent job creating memorable secondary characters as both friends and foils to Eve. The setting and the premise are also fascinating. This isn't a book for everyone but readers who enjoy clever writing and unique plot structures will be rewarded by a completely surprising and original novel as Conjured builds slowly to a shocking revelation and a conclusion that will have readers holding their breath until the dramatic finish. Possible Pairings: Wonder Show by Hannah Barnaby, Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler, Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Paperback_Princess More than 1 year ago
I’m sorry to admit that this was my first Sarah Beth Durst book. I am so sorry for my ignorance. I knew who she was, I had heard of her, but never had I experienced her brilliance. This book was clever and so original that I adored nearly every moment of it. I almost didn’t want it to end, but I felt so happy and content with it that I’m alright with this book staying a standalone. The only reason that I’m not giving this book a full 5 stars is because the first 50 pages were very slow and I was thrown by the third person perspective. I’ve said time and time again that I’m not a big fan of that perspective and that it tends to leave me feeling a little lost, but once I got used to it in this book, I really adored it and gobbled the book up. I loved falling into this world. I really felt for Eve as she struggled to hold onto her memories of her life before. I wish that Eve and Malcolm’s relationship had been explored a little more because it was obvious from the start that he cared for her, and I wish we could have seen a little bit more of that paternal affection. I do feel that the book was a little short for something with such a unique plot. There were so many aspects that I would have loved to learn a little bit more about. I loved how different all the characters were, I especially loved Zach who reminded me a lot of Henry from Grey’s Anatomy. He was quirky and forward and made me laugh out loud at some points. This book is great and a perfect book to pick up and learn more about how awesome Sarah Beth Durst is. I actually got to meet her at BEA this year which was so awesome, although I am so bummed that I couldn’t get this book signed by her (Since I didn't have it....).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At the beginning i was alittle puy of then in the 3 rd chapter it hooked me with the mystety and the love triangle and wanted to know more about eve and her powers and why she does what she makes me thubk about my life a d i use it in mu everyday life . Love it