Salt & Storm, agh!! This is a tough one…
Book Review: Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper
Title & Author: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Paranormal
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
How I Got the Book: ARC via the publisher
Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she’s to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.
Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane–a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.”
Strong Start, Weak Finish
I personally chatted (and still need to finish the conversation, oops) with the lovely Lisa of Lisa is Busy Nerding about this book. And, ya’ll, it wasn’t pretty.
Salt & Storm makes me sad because it started off so good and then it kind of crashed and burned.
First, here’s the deal: On a whaling island off the Massachusetts mainland, there’s a family of witches. They keep the town running with their luck charms and their interpreting of dreams and their love potions. Avery Roe’s supposed to take over for her grandmother, but is taken away by her long-time absent mother who wants to stop Avery from becoming the next Roe witch.
I was immediately drawn into the book. The way the book describes the magic and the island and the townspeople was really interesting, and I liked how everything is so entwined for Avery. She wants so badly to be a Roe witch, and her resentment toward her mother and her single-minded determination were almost palpable.
With such a strong start, what went wrong then in Salt & Storm? Well, it all starts with a boy. Of course. His name is Tane and he has tattoos. And it’s not his fault, really.
To be more accurate, it started with a dream that becomes a sort of prophecy. And, from there it gets too spoilery for me to tell you the rest, but trust me when I say the end is TORTUE.
As a reader you know what the options are, but then things are spun in such an odd, almost cruel way that you can’t believe what’s happening.
I was totally on board with the narrative in Salt & Storm until the second half of the book. I don’t think things have to end in a cookie-cutter way to be good, but I do think there needs to a sense of things happening the right way and not thrown together.
Plus, there are too many feels. Just too many all around.
Despite a very strong start, I ended up feeling disappointed with the ending of this book. It was emotionally exhausting and the storyline felt tortured. Salt & Storm is a book I would recommend with reservation.