Friday, 8 June 2018

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno | ARC Review

Book: Summer of Salt

Authors: Katrina Leno

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 272 Pages

Format: ARC

Source: Sent to me for review from HCC Frenzy

Links to Purchase:  Amazon CABook Depository, Chapters Indigo

A magic passed down through generations . . . 

Georgina Fernweh waits with growing impatience for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has been passed down through every woman in her family. Her twin sister, Mary, already shows an ability to defy gravity. But with their eighteenth birthday looming at the end of this summer, Georgina fears her gift will never come.

An island where strange things happen . . . 

No one on the island of By-the-Sea would ever call the Fernwehs what they really are, but if you need the odd bit of help—say, a sleeping aid concocted by moonlight—they are the ones to ask.

No one questions the weather, as moody and erratic as a summer storm.

No one questions the (allegedly) three-hundred-year-old bird who comes to roost on the island every year.

A summer that will become legend . . . 

When tragedy strikes, what made the Fernweh women special suddenly casts them in suspicion. Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, of love, of salt—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.

I’ve been trying to find a way to talk about Summer of Salt that doesn’t sound like me raving, but let’s be real — It’s so good. It’s pitched as Practical Magic meets Imaginary Girls, but to me, it’s like a witchy Sara Dessen, with a beautiful beach town/island complete with quirky towns people and businesses. But this is all just as much about the magic as it is about siblings, and about how far you’d go to save those you love.

I want to talk about the characters first. Our protagonist, Georgie, was interesting to read about, and was really the vessel for the story. Her plot line, about how her magical powers had yet to manifest, was interesting, and while it stayed in the background mostly, it had a really powerful conclusion. The relationship she had with her sister, Mary, was such a spirit. She's super interesting, and while their two personalities clashed, it didn’t feel cliched. Their opposites were complimentary, and their arguments and frustrations with one another seemed genuine. As someone with a sister, certain sibling cliches really bother me, but these girls felt like their own people who were siblings and also friends.

I also want to talk about the lovely LGBT+ representation in this book, that’d be swell, thank you. It wasn’t a story about coming out, or about the issues surrounding sexuality. Georgie’s sexuality isn’t questioned, and her romance in the novel was sweet and fluffy — the exact kind of side story romance that one would hope for in a beach read. Prue was such a sweet character and their relationship is so uncomplicated that it brings the breath of fresh air that one wants in a summer read. The relationship is the sprinkles on top of this ice cream sundae of a book -- it doesn't make or break it, but it sure is sweet.

The side characters were another really fun addition to the story! All of the birdheads who flock to the island to catch a glimpse of Annabella were, with the exception of some, flat characters, but that fits. Georgie and Mary only know these people as birdheads with weird quirks, and seeing them in that exact light really brings character to the Fernweh Inn. It develops this weird atmosphere that the Inn already has, and it cements in some type of reality.

I'll come out and say it here, I had no clue that that was what the ending had in store. The ending is a stunning collision of this magical world's brightness, and the darkness of a contrasting reality. I won't get into any kind of spoiler-y territory, but know that this unassuming book packs one hell of a punch, that is perfectly executed.

Overall, I want this to be everyone's summer read. I want every single person's summer aesthetic to be this book. I'm talking magic. I'm talking sweet romances. I'm talking supporting small business. Everything. This book is magical, and beautiful, and I loved it.

5/5 Stars. Obviously.

Happy Reading!

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