Title: Blood and Salt
Author: Kim Liggett
Publishing Information: September 22, 2015 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Horror, fantasy, mystery, romance
Series Information: First in a duology
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Was gifted a copy by Cassi of My Thoughts Literally
Recommended For: Fans of atmospheric novels that make you feel as if you are caught outside on an October evening. For fans of Kendare Blake, The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle and Gothic novels filled with beautiful writing and unforgettable characters.
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.
It is hard to say what I loved most about Blood and Salt. This might be silly to say, but the whole scary corn aspect really added to the atmosphere for me. You see, I grew up in a house right across from a farm, and they had a GIANT cornfield. A cornfield where we would often play hide and seek, or dare each other to go into at night. Honestly, very few things are scarier than being in the middle of a cornfield on a chilly, windy evening. That being said, the atmosphere of Blood and Salt was stellar. I loved the creepy cult vibe of the whole settlement, and I kept waiting for the veil to drop. Let me tell you, did that veil ever drop. I was equal parts sad for the inhabitants of the settlement, and horrified at their mentality. As little tidbits came to light I was shocked by some of the revelations and absolutely couldn’t put the book down.
Now, what about the romance, eh? The first thing that I am going to say is that there is no love triangle in this novel. To be quite honest, I am unsure what book other people were reading when they noted that there is a love triangle. It isn’t even like there were blurred lines here, there is no love triangle to speak of. At all. Second little thing to note about the romance is that the Romeo and Juliet aspect comes (not at all from a love triangle) but from the aspect that Ash & her beau come from different family lines who are forbidden to be together. You know, like Romeo and Juliet. Okay, so the thing that there is, however, is some serious instalove happening. As we read on the we come to understand that there are REASONS for this sort of thing, but there was a certain burning desire between these two characters upon seeing one another and at first glance it totally set me off. As I said, things become more clear throughout and things got a little achy and there were yearns and I enjoyed it, but in the beginning the romance wasn’t my favorite part of Blood and Salt. However, and I can’t say too much here, Ash’s reaction to the relationship near the end of the novel was stellar. It felt real, and it felt strong.
“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.”
The other relationships throughout the novel were fantastic, though! I loved the relationship between Ash and her brother Rhys, their loyalty to one another was fantastic and I loved how fiercely they loved and protected each other. Their relationship felt very real to me. Another character that stole the show for me was Beth. I loved her. I loved her quirk, but most importantly, I loved her strength. She was kind and though she seemed so naive at times, she was so very fierce and I just loved her so much. She is absolutely embedded in my mind.
What if I told you that the actual plot and voice in which Kim Liggett writes was my favorite part? Surprised? I was too. The plot was twisty and dark and though I saw some twists coming, I was completely shocked by others and I absolutely love it when that happens. The whole story was fast paced, filled with intense and even horrific moments and the conclusion left me astounded. I am not kidding when I tell you that I absolutely could not put this book down. I devoured it and cannot wait to see where things go.
Shelf Talker: Blood and Salt was extremely good. I loved the voice, I loved the setting, I loved the relationships. I devoured this in one day and cannot wait to read the sequel. The villains were villainous, our heroine was so strong and heroic, loyalties stayed true, and the kisses were fiery. What else could we ask for? In fewer words, Blood and Salt was an interesting and stellar novel.