Saturday, January 4, 2014

SALT by Danielle Ellison

Oy vey. My cholesterol is too high from so much SALT. one thing salt can do is make you bloated and sluggish. If you're addicted to French fries like me, then you know that while they just look and smell so tantalizing, nice and warm and salty...mmmm--but then you cram them in your mouth and feel like you have to go and take a nap because you're moving at the pace of a hybrid sloth-snail.

That's what salt does to you.
And yes, I also mean SALT.

Book: SALT by Danielle Ellison
Bookdictive Categorization: YA urban fantasy 
Rating: 2/5 stars
Procurement: Netgalley ARC
Recommend? If yes, to whom?: No, I wouldn't recommend it, at least to other bloggers/avid readers. It's extremely fluffy.

Precursor very quickly: This is a gorgeous cover. I said it when I did the cover reveal for it and I'll say it again, there is just something about it that draws me in. LOVE it.  

I wanted to like this. Truly, I did. I was addicted at the very beginning. World building seemed a tad flawed, especially since I've been to DC and the area that SALT takes place in seemed more like where Hey Arnold lived (Bronx?). But this sassy heroine, lighthearted and contrary? My favorite brand of heroine! Order up a side of Penelope fries and call me content because I LOVE my heroines sassy and contrary, that's what makes them badasses! 
But then...Penelope slowly starts looking a little less badass.
Okay, let me explain. Penelope is a witch that has no powers. A demon stole them, and killed her parents, when she was nine, forcing her and her twin Connie to live with their grandparents.
First little flaw right there: She's a witch but she's a demon hunter called an Enforcer. Sort of. She's actually not a demon-slaying Enforcer just yet, and the majority of the novel is actually focused on her trying to pass the test while not having magic. Okay, so not exactly what I thought this book would be about, but I pressed on.
Then Carter was introduced. It was blatantly obvious that he was the love interest, which ruled out the possibility of a DTL (Death Triangle of Lurve for you noobs) since her guy bff is gay and there are no other guys introduced. I should be happy, right? WRONG. I was not happy, ugh, this was probably one of the more zzzzz-worthy romances in YA that I've come across.
So. Tepid. The make-out descriptions were chaste, and don't go assuming I'm some lusty book slut. Most YA builds on the internal romance, going straight for the heart and the feels. But their chemistry was so lackluster that the making out seemed bland. Carter is too perfect--tortured past involving his parent, a slight air of mystery (not a lot though, it was INCREDIBLY easy to predict what was going to happen to his story arc), and HAWT according to the other characters. Then there's all this stupid focus on the mushy hand-holding and going out with Ric and Penelope's sister Connie and her boyfriend. YAWN. Like Ric wants to be the fifth wheel in your tepid romance? No thanks. 

With the romance boring me, that pretty much left me with the "action." Here's the equivalent of the excitement generated by all the action scenes, as depicted in the gif below.
Thrilling. Everything came so EASILY for a basic witch who was missing her powers. Because she relied on Carter or her family members to pull magic from, this made her all-powerful so every single enemy gets comically decimated and accompanied by omg-this-cheese punchlines. It's like a One Saturday Morning Disney cartoon: "The moral of the story is: Good always wins, and you'll get the guy." I'm not begging for a happy ending by any means, but there was no climax to this book, so I needed SOMETHING at the end, and there wasn't anything. The final battle scene? Yeah, okay, that was not a battle deserving the title of "final battle." 
Lastly, what pissed me off the most was the lack of magic. I could have forgiven ALL of this if there had been some sort of magic spell learning. Something, anything, just not this repeated attack where you either throw salt or you make them explode. Cool, you're a badass, I get it, now go make some potions or find an ancient spell book if you're going to be labeled as a witch. There's really not a lot of witchcraft in here, and I think the book could have gone slightly better if there had been the creation of a different type of race of magic-abled people. 
In the end, the only redeeming qualities were the writing, which I thought was pretty good for a first-time author. I liked the voice of Penelope for the most part. But that's about it. It's not a memorable book. Basic witches to the back, now bring me my French fries! 

***an electronic ARC of this book was provided to me through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review, and in no way reflects anything beyond my gif-induced beliefs***

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