Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror.
“When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.”
These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time.
Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own.
As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before it’s too late. Before she’s all in—blood and salt.
Full disclosure. I DNF’d this one around page eighty. I’ll probably be giving it away in a give away at some point. I think I read enough though to give a review of why it didn’t work for me.
Anyway, I was excited about this book. I had it on my TBR list for awhile, and saved reading it for this week-Halloween week. The thing is, it did not work for me.
I was expecting instant love, but what I wasn’t expecting was some fucked up world building (meaning, lots and lots of info dump).
In theory, I should’ve loved this. A lot of the world is heavily rooted in Pre-Columbian America, but I just couldn’t connect. And when there was a random naked ritual that sounded borderline like an orgy. I left the building.
I read Brave New World, that’s enough orgy porgy for a lifetime, thank you very much.
The random naked trope just annoys me. It’s not because I’m a prude, but random moments of nakedness with no explanation other than to make the main character uncomfortable and add sexual undertones to the story just doesn’t work for me.
It also doesn’t help when eighty pages into the book, the characters remind me of cardboard cut outs. The main character clearly has the YA Little Miss Special Snowflake going on for her. Her brother is playing the role of the token best friend. And her mother’s a deadbeat. I didn’t stay long enough to meet the love interest, but I don’t think I could’ve handled the pain.
Despite being annoyed with the cliches this book used and the main character, I will say that it moved first. But there was just something weird about this book. Something that didn’t connect with me so I DNF’d it.
So in the end, I’m not sure if I DNF’d it because it really didn’t work for me. I’m not sure if it’s so much because the book wasn’t for me or that it suffered from structural and character issues.
I can’t recommend it, but at the same time I can’t say it’s truly awful. Because I really see some people liking this better than me.
Overall Rating: A DNF. It fails for me though.