Details of the Book
paperback ARC, 341 pages
Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons,
an imprint of Penguin Group
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Synopsis: “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.
What starts out as a really creepy read fizzles out around the middle. Since I'm not a fan of horror, I was really apprehensive about this book, but after getting through the very beginning, it stopped being scary. Also, just like the scary elements dissipated in the middle, so did a lot of the interesting aspects of the plot. Instead, there are a lot of ordinary teenage problems, such as being the outsider trying to fit in and lusting after a boy that won't give you the time of day. I wanted more fantasy and intrigue from this book, because I found the main plot line about Katia and the Larkin's to be very interesting.
Blood and Salt does pick up again once you pass the middle hump, but not enough to fully win me over.
Another problem I have is with the romance. The main couple in Blood and Salt is borderline insta-love, because they are drawn to each other due to magical reasons. Personally, I much prefer a couple that slowly get to know each other and then they fall in love; This isn't the case here. However, I did like Leggitt's writing style because it's funny and really captures the voices of teenage characters accurately. Furthermore, I adore some of Leggitt's characters—particularly Rhys and Beth—because they are both cute and hilarious. I will be picking up the next book in this duology because despite my problems with Blood and Salt, there were still a lot of things that I enjoyed about it.
1) I love Rhys; he is so funny and has the most normal reactions to all of the supernatural/paranormal events. You'll be seeing a few of his quotes below ;P
2) Leggitt's writing style is beautiful and witty. She really captures the voices of her characters so well that they feel real. I especially love her dialogue!
3) I love the main plot surrounding Katia and the Larkin family; It's intricate and fascinating. Also, the magic and the history are perfectly woven together.
1) I don't like the idea of people falling for each other because they are drawn to their body odor. Dane was the first guy that Ashlyn has ever smelled that didn't make her want to puke. I'm not even kidding. Yes, the lovers do spend some time together but it happens so fast and the explanation is that they are drawn magically together due to their aromas.
2) The details about Quivira and it's townspeople drag; it reads like filler information. The details of the main plot regarding Katia and the Larkin family are so interesting that when it came to the details regarding the village, I was just bored and wanted to get through it as fast as I could.
3) Even though I'm not a fan of horror, I wish that there was more of it in this book. I felt that those aspects of the book were so well-written that the other details paled in comparison.
1) "Did Mom seem weird to you?"
Rhys shook his head and laughed. "I don't even know how to answer that."
I scanned the crowd. "Weirder than usual."
"Other than the fact that she believes she's part of an invisible cult where our five-hundred-year-old ancestor is performing corn rituals and Coronado from my eighth-grade history class is terrorizing the world in an attempt to keep his immortality. . . not really."
2) Rhys pressed his lips together, taking a deep breath through his nose. "These people think they're going to become immortal." He tried to keep his voice low and even, but I could tell he was on the verge of a mental breakdown. "Even if Katia's real, how could she do that? They're delusional, Ash. And I don't want to be here when they figure out they've been had."
"What if you're wrong? What if all this is real? And aren't you the slightest bit curious about our dad?"
"I'm curious about the Loch Ness Monster, too, but you don't see me going to Scotland with a harpoon!"
3) People walked by carrying wooden casks of homemade ice cream. A couple of kids whipped past us, running down the hill, trailing kites behind them—not the cheap Mylar kind with pictures of Spider-Man—real kites with long ribboned tails that spiraled in the breeze.
"It looks like a Norman Rockwell painting down there," I said.
"Oh, totally." Rhys crossed his arms. "Other than the fact it's a creepy cult who worship our five-hundred-year-old ancestor who's supposedly hell-bent on wearing Mom's body like a skin suit, it's exactly like a Norman Rockwell painting."