Series: Blood and Salt #1
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on September 22nd 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Horror, Mystery & Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Format: ARC, digital ARC
Source: Penguin, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”
These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.
Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.
As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.
*Warning: Prepare yourselves for swearing.
There are books that I want to cherish, but end up wanting to throw against a brick wall–Blood and Salt is one of those books. Despite this, I’m actually not sure if I want to recommend it to everyone, or tell you to let it burn in the pits of your TBRs.
This book started off brilliantly. Check out the first line, and I dare you to tell me you aren’t intrigued:
The dead girl hung upside down over our kitchen table.
Chills-inducing, right? Sadly, after the first couple of chapters, everything just goes downhill… and stays down. Let me elaborate.
The intensity of the horror aspect died down
a notch ten notches after the initial chapters. The gorgeous setting had so much potential to be used for the promised creeptastic plot, but ended up turning into a large display… of corn. A shit ton of corn.
I mean, sure, the actual plot was pretty well-thought of and is actually kind of epic, but execution was flat. This book ended up turning into your typical YA paranormal romance, with the heroine entering an unknown world, with scenes where she gets to dress up and be pretty–surrounded by corn!–and eventually finds out that she’s the Chosen One.
So basically, the horror aspect of this book was a fail–there’s still the romance to look forward to, right? You, my friend, are unfortunately wrong.
The romances in this book were weird and unrealistic as heck. To be honest, I was kind of expecting the insta-love, but it still hit me hard in the head. Bonus points because there are two romances in this book. Hooray. But we’ll only talk about the main one because it was the most annoying one.
See, Ash is normally repulsed by men–and I mean that literally. But when she meet’s the *gorgeous* Dane, she instantly wants to be closer to him, and all that cheesy shit. And even when he’s such a douchebag to her, she’s still insanely *attracted* to him.
The characters themselves were inconsistent as fuck, especially the men, particularly Dane and Rhys, Ash’s brother. Like come on, guys, GET A GRIP ON YOURSELVES. One minute, they’re cracking jokes and trying to be sweet, and then in the next, they’re being total jackasses to the women.
I’ll admit, the book was easy to read. The writing style was fairly simple and easy to get into, although it did get really repetitive at some points.
If I read the word “Oh,” one more time I would’ve exploded.
The ending was the book’s saving grace, though. It wasn’t mind-blowingly epic or anything, but it was much more composed and emotional than the first 90% of the book. Yes, I did cry a bit towards the end. Yes, it’s because of the romance.
Overall, like I said earlier, I’m not sure if I want y’all to read this book or to ditch it, so I’m just going to leave y’all with a warning: If you want to read this book, go into it with lowered expectations.