Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper | Book Review

Posted October 10, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 4 Comments

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper | Book ReviewSalt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 23, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
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0 Stars
A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

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.

I’m SO sad, you guys. So sad. I was so intrigued by the idea of whales and witches and magic and an eerie little stormy village on an island. But honestly, Salt & Storm is the biggest disappointment of the year for me. I’ve been battling with even writing a review, but I decided to go ahead. My thoughts are very unorganized, so this is just going to be a list of things.

1. There is hardly any magic at all.
2. The writing style just did not work for me.
3. I felt like the characters spoke in a really weird way.
4. I was really upset by a dream Avery has, which includes a gruesome scene about a whale being killed by humans. It was disturbing. My review policy states that if I encounter a scene like this I’m done, but my curiosity got the best of me. Stupid curiosity.
5. I’m not sure what the point was of even including witches in this story, because there was so little having to do with them. In theory, witches are really important to the island because they bring the whales in to be killed or lead the whalers to the whales, whatever (yes, another disturbing thing to read about), but nobody was doing anything really witchy.
6. I hate Avery’s mother for taking away her freedom to choose to be a witch. This mom went as far as to almost kill Avery’s best friend in order to keep her from fulfilling her destiny.
7. Death. So much death. And I guess it was not a large quantity of death, but the fact that most of the deaths were disturbing or upsetting.
8. The characters were extremely boring. I honestly did not care, even when I could tell the author wanted me to.
9. The romance is not even worth mentioning. I hated it. I can tell the author tried to not have it be insta-lovey, but it was. And I did not like the guy at all. I can’t even remember his name.
10. There were a few twists that kept me going, but I skimmed so many passages just looking for the major details. I was bored. This book is SO SLOW.
11. In order to not spoil anything, I’m not going to discuss the ending. But I hated everything about it. Death, heartbreak, and other events that make you go, “Ok, wait what? What has been the point of this book anyway?” happened.
12. I was left feeling so unbelievably depressed. I had to go and talk to my mom and basically confess what I just read, because I just could not shake that awful dark cloud that this book installed over my head.
13. I wish I had DNFed.

*sigh* Well, there you have it. My brain dump. And honestly, I was over this book until I listed out how upset with it I am. Just thinking about it has me in a funk all over again. I can’t honestly say I would recommend this to anyone.


Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Mini Book Review

Posted May 5, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 6 Comments

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor | Mini Book ReviewDaughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 27, 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 418
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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5 Stars
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Guys, this book is WEIRD! Haha. It took me a little while to get into it because of its strangeness, but then I was hooked on the story. Laini Taylor is an amazing author, and I feel kind of weird for not having read this book sooner! I am so glad my book club decided to read it for April, because I finally had an excuse to read it.

Karou is the most interesting character I’ve read about in a while. She has blue hair, she is an art student in Prague, and she is not entirely human. She was raised by a demon who lives on the other side of random doors throughout the world. He gives her languages for her birthday, and gives her wishes (hence the blue hair and the fact that her ex-boyfriend itched terribly while he was nude modeling for her art class). Karou runs errands for this demon, and when he needs her he sends a tiny little demon bird to get her. She comes across Akiva on one of her errands, barely escapes with her life, and her world kind of spirals out of control from that point on. Karou is not quite sure who she is, and there are many people who hope things stay that way.

Seriously, Laini Taylor’s imagination is CRAZY. Maybe it’s the bright pink hair? I don’t know. But she is masterful at creating a dynamic and HUGE world that I am convinced exists somewhere. I usually hate stories with angles and demons (haha. No, not talking about Dan Brown here), but I really enjoyed this one! And the mystery of who Karou is, who Akiva is, and what’s GOING ON just kept me on the edge of my seat. The language is beautiful, and can I PLEASE go to Prague!? One of my book club members, Karin, was actually in Prague when she read this and I am SO JEALOUS. From what she told me, though, Laini paints an amazingly accurate Prague… so maybe I’ve been there already? Give this book a shot if you’re in the mood for a little bit of strange and a hugely weird world.

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