Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Title:Salt & Storm
Author: Kendall Kulper
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date:September 23rd 2014
Pages: Hardcover, 398 pages
Source: BEA 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
You don't know what you must give up to become a witch.

Avery Roe wants only to claim her birthright as the witch of Prince Island and to make the charms that have kept the island's sailors safe at sea for generations, but instead she is held prisoner by her mother in a magic-free life of proper manners and respectability.

Avery thinks escape is just a matter of time, but when she has a harrowing nightmare, she can see what it means: She will be killed. She will be murdered. And she's never been wrong before.

Desperate to change her future, Avery finds a surprising ally in Tane—a tattooed harpoon boy with magic of his own, who moves her in ways she never expected. But as time runs out to unlock her magic and save herself, Avery discovers that becoming a witch requires unimaginable sacrifice.

Avery walks the knife's edge between choice and destiny in Kendall Kulper's sweeping debut: the story of one girl's fight to survive the rising storm of first love and family secrets.


Salt & Storm sweeps you into the old world of the American Northeast where whaling was a way of life, as were witches.  Avery Roe is destined to become a witch just like every other woman in her family. She is destined to protect the sailors and whale hunters. She has her future planned out, that is until her mother traps her.

The book starts off quite strong, introducing the way of life for the townspeople and how the witches play a role in their safety.  The setting and mood are very well done, I felt immediately drawn into this old New England way of life and wanted to know more about the Roe witches.  The reader is also quickly introduced to the love interest in the story, a nice bonus was that it was not a love triangle, instead it was a powerful relationship that development into a strong first love.

The plot pacing was great for the first half of the story but as time progressed it seemed to lose steam. Parts started to drag and with a potential ending disclosed in the beginning (and in the synopsis) it was easy to start to lose interest and guess at how Avery's destiny was going to play out.

Overall, I am not the biggest fan of the ending or the other relationships within the book.  The secondary characters are hardly developed and do not play large roles at all.  Salt & Storm had high potential and lived up to it in parts but not everywhere.  I recommend it with some hesitation,.

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