Google+ Reading Teen: SALT & STORM by Kendall Kulper {Review}

Friday, September 19, 2014

SALT & STORM by Kendall Kulper {Review}

"Review my Books" Review by Valerie

Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 23, 2014)
Goodreads | Amazon

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.
Give a warm welcome back to Valerie! She recently reviewed GET EVEN for us, and now she's returned to review SALT & STORM! Thanks Valerie! ~Andye

Right at about halfway through this book, I had to complete two weeks’ worth of Advanced Univariate Statistics in three days while sick but these external circumstances are sadly not to blame for this two star rating, this book just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Honestly, I will probably forget that I ever read this book in eight months; I tried and tried to connect to the MC, Avery Roe, but I never could which led me to have apathetic feelings towards her actions throughout the entire book. Avery likes to believe that everyone in the entire world (excluding us, the concerned readers) is against her and this gives her the right to be dramatic. If you can’t tell, I didn’t enjoy this trait about her; in fact, it annoyed the crap out of me.

One word to describe me while reading this book: lackadaisical. Avery would stress out and make a dramatic choice. Sure, that’s fine, I would think. Then she would completely change her mind and do something else dramatic. You do you. Whatever. She would complicate absolutely everything and decide to do something completely unnecessary and ridiculous. Eh. I’m sure you’ll change your mind before long. Basically, I didn’t care what she did.

I was just bored throughout this book; the writing was fine, the story was fine, the characters were fine, and the romance was fine. Scratch that last part, the romance was lacking; I was reading Sway by Kat Spears at the same time as this and the chemistry in that book was insane while the romance in this book couldn’t elicit a tiny ripple in the ocean (she’s a water witch).

I didn’t hate this book at all, I just didn’t care which I think is worse; it’s like when your parents say they aren’t mad, they’re disappointed, that’s how I am with this book. The book had a promising premise but it just fell flat and I didn’t like how it weirdly came together, I wasn’t satisfied.

A few things I did like: the Roe witches are the bomb dot com and I enjoyed seeing some strong female characters who men respected. Preach.

Avery grew up shadowing her grandmother, the resident witch, because her mother essentially quit being a witch and abandoned her. I enjoyed how Avery looked up to her grandmother and had a love of magic as a whole. We eventually find out why her mother left and why she did the things she did which was helpful to understand the whole story.

Every Roe witch has their own unique gift and Avery’s was dream interpretation; she would often see how someone dies which reminded me of Helena Bonham Carter in Big Fish, go watch it if you haven’t, it’s my favorite movie ever. After I first found out that this was Avery’s gift, this is who I imagined for the rest of the book.

The plot could have been interesting: Roe witches can’t die. Avery Roe is destined to come into her powers. Avery dreams of her death. Now that is a conundrum if I’ve ever heard one but yet, it wasn’t executed well.

It should be noted that this is a standalone novel; there is not a sequel in sight.

FAVORITE part: that cover is simple yet beautiful.

FAVORITE quote: “There’s magic in talking out loud, like drawing out poison, like exposing a wound to air.” That gives you just a taste of the writing to see if you would like it. I loved this quote because I’m a psychology student and a firm believer that talking is good for the soul.

Thanks for reading. Signing off,

Valerie Pennginton


  1. Thanks for the honest review! I am really looking forward to reading this one, but your review definitely raises some legitimate issues. I'll be interested to see how I feel when I get around to reading it.

  2. Some of my faves are the Monument 14 Trilogy by Emmy Laybourne, Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red Trilogy, and A.G. Howard's Splintered Series (Book 3 this coming January). I also loved the Grisha Trilogy and Under The Never Sky and The Clockwork Series. I have Grave Mercy on my bedside pile and Sarah J Maas' entire Throne of Glass series waiting TBR. I also HAVE to recommend The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. It's the first in a new series that was utterly amazing! It's technically not YA but it's still AWESOME! Oh! And Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson. Also first in a series. I've been on a fantasy kick lately! Happy Reading!

  3. Yeah, I finally decided that I was going to read what I wanted, or else I'd always be Reading review books and never get to what I really wanted. Which was the whole point and reading in the first place.:-) but yes, definitely, definitely, definitely read those books.

  4. Yes!! Read Finnikin and tell me what you think!

  5. Thanks for your review Valerie! Sorry didn't love it but at least it was still a good read!

  6. Yeah, I've heard mixed reviews on this one. I'll be interested to see what you think!

  7. Oops, I knew I spelled that wrong. I adored Jellicoe Road. Have you read that? I know Finnikin is very different but I have a feeling I'll like it just because Melina Marchetta wrote it.

  8. Oh my goodness.... I LOVE Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Girl of Fire and Thorns. And so many of the others are on my TBR pile!

  9. Thanks for sending it to me, Andye! This is actually my first time writing a review for a book that I didn't super enjoy and I think it was a good thing, I need practice for writing honest reviews I didn't love.

  10. Ooh so could prolific 11yo read this series?

  11. Definitely! It helps readers get a grasp on your tastes too. :D

  12. I haven't! I tried it on audio, but it was messed up and I couldn't hear it, and then I just never got around to it. I do own it though!

  13. I listened to the audiobooks with my 12 & 13 year olds. They liked book one, but got somewhat bored with the later books as they're much more detailed. It kind of surprised me because my daughter usually likes that kind of book, so who knows. I really loved them, though. And there's nothing inappropriate for a young reader :D

  14. Oh, I didn't realize Monument was a fantasy, I just thought it was dystopian. I really want to read Ruby Red, I've heard great things! And Splintered too. I have that on my shelf. Sadly I didn't like The Queen of the Tearling at all . . . but Kiss of Deception was pretty good! :D

  15. No, you're absolutely right! Monument 14 is dystopian. I just went off on a tangent! So many great books that it was one of the first to come to mind! Whoops! ;)
    I'm sad to hear that you didn't like The Queen of The Tearling. I also liked the Beautiful Creatures/ Caster Chronicles series. The books but definitely NOT the movie. Sadly disappointed in the movie. Have you read Sherrilyn Kenyon's The Chronicles of Nick? I have the first four books and am dying to read them. Also have Trial By Fire on standby. :D

  16. Finnikin of the Rock is the best YA Fantasy I've ever read. And I've been waiting for Kristin Cashore to announce another novel. I know it's coming. My other favorite is The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa. So many awesome and fun characters in those books.

    Then there's this awesome fantasy called Broken Forest which even has a bit of SF mashed in (shameless plug lol).

    If you're into adult fantasy, I highly recommend R.A Salvatore's forgotten realms novels. They start with and there are so many books that follow. I've been reading about the same group of characters for over ten years and it's still epic as ever.

  17. I am ashamed to say that I have't read any of these! I do own the first two books in The Grisha trilogy, Shadow & Bone trilogy and all three of the Under the Never Sky books. I should really get on those.

  18. I'm actually reading the second book in the Seven Realms series. I've typically struggled to read books in a series, but the Seven Realms is pretty darn good-- I can't say no!

  19. Yay!! And they just get better and better!!!

  20. If you loved Finnikin you definitely need to try The Demon King!! Also The Poison Study series by Maria V Snyder!!

    Thanks for the recs too!!

  21. I keep seeing the Chronicles of Nick books and thinking I should try them. Have you read them?

    I liked Trial by Fire a lot! Hope you like it too!!

  22. Dark Triumph is sooo good!! Mortal Heart is slower but still good too. Definitely give the Lumetere Chronicles a shot. I was so thrilled when I learned about them!

  23. I agree! I wanted to love this much more than I did. The Roes overall had such potential and kind of fell flat.


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