Hi everyone! Today, I’m reviewing the wonderful Summer of Salt by author Katrina Leno!
What the book is about…
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.
What I thought of it…
This was absolutely gorgeous. The writing was stunning and lyrical, exactly the kind I love. Anyone who enjoys whimsical books will love this.
I really liked the protagonist, Georgina; I found her to be real and funny, and I really liked how her personality came across in the writing. Supporting characters were also well-developed which is always a positive in my book (it’s never fun when everyone but the main character is two-dimensional).
The representation/diversity was great. The f/f romance was awkward and adorable, and I was rooting for Georgina and Prue the whole time. I also LOVED the inclusion of an asexual character (if I’m remembering correctly, the word itself was actually used). Vira was a real gem; she was hilarious and sassy, and is a new contender for my favourite female character in literature (up there with Laini Taylor’s Zuzanna).
I had a couple of small complaints in that there was a little too much focus on birds – I’m really not a bird person! I also predicted the twist STRAIGHT AWAY. I’m talking IMMEDIATELY. But it was still a fun and cute story so I wasn’t too perturbed.
I will say that things took a very dark turn. I had actually known in advance due to trigger warnings on another reviewer’s blog (I know it’s considerate to warn other readers of potentially upsetting content but in this case, it was a huge spoiler!) So I wasn’t hugely shocked by what happened but I can’t blame the author for that.
My final word is on the ending. It was phenomenal. Right up to the end, I was unsure whether this would be a 4 or 5 star rating but Leno deserved all the stars for those last few pages. She handled the situation so tactfully and said exactly what needed to be said. I’m so happy with her for writing those words.
Overall, I’d say this was a 4.5 but I rounded up because of the way Leno handled the ending. I’d definitely recommend this one for fans of magical realism or cute contemporaries.
Have you read Summer of Salt? Or any of Leno’s other books? Tell me your favourite magical realism book! x