Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
YA | Magical Realism | Contemporary
Published by HarperTeen
Released June 5, 2018
Goodreads | Amazon
On By-the-Sea, you and me will go sailing by
On waves of green, softly singing too.
On By-the-Sea, you and me will be forever young
And live together on waves of blue.
This isn’t a book that was on my radar until I purchased it to participate in Chelsea Palmer’s Facebook book club. I am so thankful that I decided to read it, however. I absolutely adored this book, and it’s the perfect novel to read now that it’s summer.
Summer of Salt takes place on the island of By-the-Sea and follows the Fernwehs family, who are known to have magic. Georgina and Mary Fernweh are twins nearing their 18th birthday, and Georgina is beginning to think that her magical gifts will never come.
The island is known for hosting a rare bird named Annabella that arrives every summer. The island is remote, but every year a whole hoard of bird watchers arrive and take over the island. Annabella is particularly special to the Fernweh family and might have magical qualities of her own.
There are two new bird watchers on the island this summer, Prue and her brother Harrison. While Harrison is obsessed with Annabella, Prue and Georgina strike up an adorable romantic relationship.
This summer, however, Annabella doesn’t show up, and everyone on the island is worried about her. Meanwhile, Mary begins behaving strangely, and Georgina tries to understand why.
As I said before, I really enjoyed this novel. It was a relatively short read (less than 300 pages), and the story moved along at the perfect pace. It was also a very atmospheric book, and actually reminded me a lot of Leslye Walton’s The Price Guide to the Occult, which I read back in February.
I was intrigued by the very first sentence:
On the island of By-the-Sea you could always smell two things: salt and magic.
While the story was a bit predictable at times, I didn’t feel as that took away from my enjoyment of it at all.
The book does deal with rape, which I wasn’t expecting going into the novel, but Katrina Leno handles the topic extremely well. She even deals with victim-blaming, such as when victims are blamed for what they wear or do, rather than placing all of the blame on the rapist.
If you’re looking for the perfect atmospheric summer book to read, pick up Summer of Salt. You won’t be disappointed!