Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review ~ Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

Series: Blood and Salt #1
Genre: YA horror
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Goodreads Description
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. 
Um. Because it's YA horror and YA HORROR IS AMAZING. Or, it can be. I have pretty high expectations of novels in the genre. :D

But anyway, I really liked the sound of Blood and Salt. The cover and description were eerie. Plus, I had heard really good things.
Source: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'm changing things up a bit for this review! I'm so conflicted on Blood and Saltas a whole, but my thoughts on the different elements are much easier to sort out. There were parts I liked, and other parts I didn't. So, what worked?

Ideas - Yes

I liked the concepts and ideas! The corn, the immortality, the twists, the conduit stuff--the ideas were cool. The execution, however . . .

Plot - No

I was bored? Nah, it didn't reach that level, but I had a really hard time staying interested in what was happening in the story. While the ideas were cool, the execution wasn't for me. I wasn't really interested in learning about Katia and Coronado. I wasn't into the prep for the ceremony (though some parts in the first half were pretty funny). I wasn't into uncovering the history and secrets of Quivira. My reaction to everything was *shrugs* and it makes it hard to decide just how much I liked the book.

I also had a tough time keeping track of what was going on. Maybe I was confused because I didn't care enough or maybe I didn't care enough because I was confused. 

Romance - No . . . ish

I guess it was the idea that I liked the most because when Dane first showed up, I was rooting for him and Ash. I was impatiently waiting for something to happen between them. However, when that did happen, I wasn't into it anymore. It felt forced! They were supposed to have a really strong connection, but I wasn't convinced. Despite that, though . . . I still really like the idea of them.

Vibe/Feel and Writing - Yes

Immediately upon starting this book, I loved the vibe. Creepy. Mysterious. Eerie. It didn't feel that way all the way through, which was disappointing. The times when the book did feel like that, though, were the moments I really liked what I was reading.

A lot of that vibe had to do with how scenes, settings, actions, etc. were described. For that reason, the writing gets a thumbs up from me.

Progression - Oooh, yes

This is such a small comment, but I need to mention it! The book progressed from surprisingly funny to dark and twisty. Sure, it was still dark in the beginning, but there were some pretty hilarious moments.

Characters - Mostly

I immediately liked Dane, but I can't really say why because it feels like I didn't get to know him very well. Rhys was interesting. He was very stubborn in his beliefs. He started out quiet, but grew a bit angrier, more urgent. Out of all the characters, he seemed to show the most emotion--genuine emotion--and it made him stand out more. While mostly everyone else felt kinda flat (like Ash), Rhys didn't feel that way.

Ending - Er. Well . . .

The ending was sad, bittersweet, and kinda beautiful. I was a bit over the book by the time I reached this part, but it left a mostly positive impression on me. If it didn't, I probably wouldn't be looking forward to reading the sequel.

Random Tidbits of - From mostly to yes

The twists were pretty good. Even though the plot didn't interest me much, I did like it when twists occurred. There was a really nice brother/sister bond and struggle between Rhys and Ash. The horror elements were decent and helped make the book worth reading (I probably would've DNFed if those elements weren't there). And lastly, I really liked the focus on love (what kind is strong and true).


I don't know, really! I can definitely say that Blood and Salt didn't live up to my expectations, but my level of disappointment is tough to figure out. Whatever it is, it's not enough to prevent me from reading the sequel. There are certain things I'm very curious about! I want to know what happens next.

2015 challenges this book counts towards:
2015 Debut Author Challenge

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