Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Blood and Salt - A Wonderful October Read!
AUTHOR: Kim Liggett
PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
PUBLISHING DATE: September 22, 2015
FROM GOODREADS: Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror.
“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.
MY THOUGHTS: After having given this book some thought, I have decided to go with a 4 paw rating for a few reasons. I did go back and forth while reading it, and may have even entered "2 paw" territory for 20-30 pages, but overall, I think this is a worthy debut novel.
This book centers around Ash and her twin Rhys, with a few creepy kids from the hidden utopia of Quivira thrown in for good measure. I have to admit that I really enjoy Rhys. While kind of a wimp, he was definitely the voice of reason compared to whimsical "I just met Dane and now I love him" Ash. In addition, Beth is truly wonderful and I really hope there is lots more of her in future installments. The book is written in present time, but while in Quivira, you definitely realize how much in the past the inhabitants are still living. Ash has flashbacks/visions throughout the book which helps bring to light Quivira's history and how Ash and her family play an important role in its future. I loved the horror aspect of this book and that's probably what really bumped me up to 4 starts. Come on, a hidden community in the middle of a cornfield, and that's not even the creepiest part about the corn (can't spoil anyone).
My biggest problem with the book was the insta-love between Ash and Dane. While reading it, I kept waiting for the big historical connection to explain the sudden attraction, but it never did quite deliver. I will say there are some twists and turns at the end which made this troupe more tolerable, but I really enjoyed the slow pacing of the relationship between Rhys and Beth better.
Overall, this is a really solid debut by an author definitely on my watch list. Her website indicates more horror books to be released in the future and I can't wait to see what she comes up with. Not to mention there is a sequel for Blood and Salt in the works and I will be picking it up as soon as it is released. I enjoyed this book and am glad to say it pleasantly surprised me.
I received my copy from Penguin First to Read.
RATING: 4 PAWS
I read this as part of my R.I.P challenge. It would be perfect for a scary, Halloween read.