*** Possible Spoilers Ahead! ***
Book Title: House of Salt and Sorrows
Author: Erin A. Craig
Main Theme: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Thesis: Some say that the Highmoore Estate is cursed, because why else would so many beautiful daughters be taken away from them? Each death is more tragic than the previous, and it is beginning to take a toll on them. Annaleigh begins to see the ghosts of her dead sisters. Meanwhile, they sneak out every night to go to extravagant balls, full of dances and courting. Somehow, during all of this, Annaleigh needs to discover the secrets that are harboring in their own household, before it claims her next.
What Drew Me In: You know, this was one of those books that just kind of floated into my hands, you know what I mean? I saw it pop up on one of those lists that people recommend for you to read, and then I was looking for a couple of new books to take home from the library, and remember this book. So I put it on hold and when I got it, I dove right on in. And I’m super glad I did!
My Thoughts: This was another one of those books that totally took me by surprise on how much I liked it. I have always been a fan of those books that have a fun “sea tale” twist to it, like pirates and mermaids, or old fish tales told by local sailors and haunting homes and villages. This was definitely an old fish tale. And I knew there was a paranormal twist to things, but this book blew me out of the water! It was definitely a lot creepier than I thought it would be, especially towards the ending. There is some weird stuff at the ending!
As far as characters go, I felt like you are given enough time with each character interaction with the main character, and I really enjoyed that. And there is plenty of them, between the sisters, the dad, the stepmom, the servents who work at the manor, and family friends. I enjoyed each character for their quirks and flaws. Well, maybe not the oldest surviving sister, she’s kind of annoying to a degree. But what eldest sister isn’t annoying? I even liked the stepmom, who is painted as the bad guy of course. Her story is really interesting. That’s all I’m saying, I can’t spoil anything!
The plot was good too, especially the whismicalness of the balls and parties that the girls sneak off to every night. What girl doesn’t pretend to be a princess with gorgeous gowns and suitors kissing the back of their hands? Okay, maybe I wasn’t that girl. I was more of a mermaid/fairy kind of gal. But the amount of story telling and details really gets your creative juices flowing and helps you imagine a gorgeous story. Even details of the manor and local village, especially during their Harvest Festival. I loved how much effort the author put into her story without it being to overwhelming.
Would I Recommend This Book?: Honestly, yes! But a word of warning: This may be a Young Adult book, but I would not let your young pre-teens read it. Some of the scenes, especially towards the end of the book, are really disturbing. If you think your pre-teen can handle it, by all means, let them read! But I know of a few that would not be able to handle it well. On the plus size, because of it’s target to older audiences, I think you adults would love this book as well.