Blood and SaltAuthor: Kim Liggett
Genre: YA Horror, Paranormal, Romance
Series: Book 1, Blood and Salt duology
ARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Expected publication: September 22nd 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pre-order from: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
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.
*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Penguin and Netgalley.*
I've been seeing a lot of shining reviews of this book, and I feel like mine is going to be an unpopular opinion. It's not that I didn't like Blood and Salt; I just wasn't blown by it.
For starters, it wasn't horror-scary. It was creepy, yes, (crows and a dead girl hanging upside down are creepy *shudders*) but I wasn't really scared. I can't say I'm desensitized because I don't even read a lot of horror/thrillers. So yeah, I was kinda disappointed with the scare factor. Or lack thereof, rather.
I also didn't care much for the characters. As much as I love sibling relationships, I felt like Rhys was just a dead weight most of the time. Pathetically weak and constantly complaining. Although I gotta hand it to him being a good judge of character. Or he just had better instincts than Ash. And Ashlyn! I don't know what to think of our MC. Even though the book was written in her first person POV, I felt disconnected with her. And for someone who had zero experience on dating, Ash seemed like an expert on flirting with a boy she just met. What!
The insta-love, I could quite forgive because of the whole selecting-your-mate-based-on-scent Larkin thing. But as usual, I'm not a fan of that. I don't get the romance. Dane is such a shadowy character and acts like a jerk. I don't know what Ash sees (or smells) in him.
The writing is gorgeous but the pacing is slow and dragging. You'd think that would make it scarier, but it actually had the opposite effect on me.
BUT! I was still glad I didn't drop this book halfway through because it got better by 80%. Congratulations, book, you were able to redeem yourself. The plot picked up and there were some mysteries revealed. Some were quite predictable, some were really surprising. The last parts of the book were engaging enough to make me want to read the sequel. (It's a duology!) I still want to know what happened to Ash and Rhys and Dane. And Beth, of course!
I wasn't much of a fan of Blood and Salt, but I didn't flat-out hate it, either. It was okay, although I was expecting it to scare me. (It didn't.)