September 2014 Book Reviews

THE WITCH OF SALT AND STORM

Kendall Kulper

A dark and beautiful story of forbidden love, secrets, and magic. Avery Roe is supposed to be the next witch of Prince Island, taking over from her grandmother as her mother refused the role. Avery is the key to continuing the line. Avery’s mother knows that the island witch’s life is only pain and loneliness and unimaginable sacrifice, and tries to keep Avery from fulfilling that duty by cursing her so she can never return to her grandmother. But Avery is willing to give up anything, and when she meets tattooed harpoon boy, Tane, who might be able to break her mother’s curse, Avery gets mixed up in strange, unfamiliar magic, and finds herself falling for the boy with the tattoos. (And I did, too!) Avery knows she can only awaken her own magic through pain, but she has no idea exactly what kind of pain is required . . . 

I’m a little bit heartbroken after reading this book. Okay, A LOT. As the story continued, I became more and more invested in the characters and was totally sucked into the atmosphere and the mystery. The book is set on a small island, protected by charms, with a rich history of witches. The islanders have advantages of magic at their disposal. I loved the history of the Roe witches—their individual talents, their curse, their gift. The world-building was something I really enjoyed. The writing was absolutely beautiful, too. And the story was very unique. I couldn’t compare it to anything I’ve read before, so it felt fresh and different and I liked that. Overall, it was a strong read with memorable characters and a powerful finish. Great debut!

FROZEN

Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston

An action-packed adventure in an ice-covered future. Nat is “marked” and wants out of New Vegas. Wes is a runner, someone who can get her out. Nat has the map to the Blue — a place where the sun still shines and the sea is clear. The Blue promises growth and life and warmth, while the rest of the world as we know it is in ruin. Ice covers most surfaces, nothing grows, it’s freezing, the sea is poisoned and full of junk. The book really picked up around the halfway mark. I haven’t read anything with a pirate-like element, so that was refreshing. It made me think Pirates of the Caribbean meets The Day After Tomorrow, which is pretty cool. It was an imaginative, interesting story with an exciting conclusion.

A LITTLE IN LOVE

Susan Fletcher

Little acts of love fuel this touching and passionate retelling. We all know Eponine’s story isn’t a happy ending, and even with that knowledge I had hope and still felt heartbroken when I finished the book. Her struggle and determination to be a better person is admirable, and I wanted nothing more than for a little goodness to come her way.

Susan Fletcher renews Eponine’s story, showing the Les Mis characters in a new light, yet staying true to the original. The book is atmospheric and charming and it was a real treat to follow Eponine, Cosette, and Marius’s journey this way. Eponine’s story is a great idea for a novel, and I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

Also read this month:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 5 stars

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire 5 stars

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout 5 stars

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout 5 stars