Melanie's Reviews > Summer of Salt

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
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it was amazing
bookshelves: young-adult, lgbtqiap, contemporary, buddy-reads, read-in-2018, witches, romance, magic
Recommended to Melanie by: Madalyn (Novel Ink)


(My amazing friend Madalyn, at Novel Ink, gave this to me as a birthday gift!) 💖

“Of all the stories about my family, the Fernweh women and the island of By-the-Sea, there are two that no one will ever forget. One is the story of how my sister, Mary, and I were born. And the other is the story of the summer we turned eighteen. This summer.”

This was nothing short of a beautiful delight to read. This was moving, and powerful, and magical, and sweet, yet also heartbreaking. This reads like a mix between Girl Made of Stars and The Wicked Deep, and if you love either (bonus points for both) then you will completely love this story, too!

This book is set on a very small island, where Georgina and Mary’s graduating class only consisted of 30ish kids. This summer is not only Georgina and Mary’s eighteenth birthday, but it is also the last summer before they leave the island for the first time to go away to college. Their mother runs the inn that has been in their family for many generations. Yet, no one really stays until the summer solstice, when a magical bird comes to the island and attracts so many tourists.

Georgina - Our main character, a lesbian, and a witch who has not discovered her power(s).
Mary - Georgina’s twin sister, who has already discovered that her power allows her to float in midair.
Vira - Georgina’s best friend, who works at the local ice cream parlor, who is aroace, and my freakin’ favorite.
Prue - Visiting the island, bisexual, and has feelings for Georgina.
Harrison - Prue’s brother, who has come to the island to see a bird that appears every summer.
Annabella - The magical, one of a kind, bird, who also might be somehow related to Georgina and Mary.

“I think a person can be a home, sometimes, just as much as a place or a house can.”

The entire island, and all of these character’s lives change when Annabella doesn’t make her annual arrival to the island. Georgina makes it her mission to not only find out what happened to Annabella, but also what happened to her sister, Mary, because she is acting really depressed and secretive. Georgina also is trying to figure out if she will never manifest any magical abilities like most of the women in her family, and she is also realizing that maybe she has real feelings for someone visiting the island this summer.

Yet, this book also has a darker message about rape and rape culture and the topic is laced throughout the entire story, so please use caution. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship with the person. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had sex before. It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. It doesn’t matter what you’ve said before. It doesn’t matter any circumstances; if it’s not consensual then it is rape. Rape culture is so real, so apparent, and so very much thriving in 2018. And for anyone who needs it, especially right now: I believe you.

“Because there was nothing in a girl’s history that might negate her right to choose what happens to her body.”

This is also a story about sisterhood, and unconditional love, and it discusses the sacrifices that we are willing to make to help the ones we love. This is a book about sexuality and those moments when you feel so validated and you feel like you are finally the person you’ve always wanted to be. This is a book about community, and found family, and respecting your family heritage, culture, and customs.

“How I would miss you—every part of you—but especially the smell, always the smell: of salt, of brine, of water, of spells, or potions, or feathers, and of what it would mean to leave it all in just two months.”

Overall, I just loved this. I think it’s the perfect blend of light and dark. It feels so whimsical since witchcraft is delicately folded in to this story, but it feels so hard-hitting and realistic, too. The messages, discussions, and themes are important and life changing. The characters feel completely fleshed out and I couldn’t help but fall in love with all of them. Plus, the f/f romance in this was magnificent and gave me all the feels. And this story is written so very lyrically, that I never wanted it to end, because I wanted to stay on this island with these characters forever. I truly loved this, and I think it’s one of the best 2018 publications. I recommend it with my entire heart and soul.

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Content and trigger warnings for off page rape and sexual assault, mention of drugging people without them knowing (not in a date rape way, but it still felt bad to read), underage drinking, drug use, anxiety depictions, and an animal death.

Buddy read with Taryn at Taryn and Her Books! ❤
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Quotes Melanie Liked

Katrina Leno
“Because there was nothing in a girl’s history that might negate her right to choose what happens to her body.”
Katrina Leno, Summer of Salt


Reading Progress

September 7, 2018 – Shelved
September 7, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
September 7, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 7, 2018 – Shelved as: lgbtqiap
September 7, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
September 26, 2018 – Started Reading
September 28, 2018 –
page 150
58.59% "If you loved The Wicked Deep, but wish it was more gay, you have to read this book! 💕"
September 28, 2018 – Shelved as: buddy-reads
September 28, 2018 – Shelved as: read-in-2018
September 28, 2018 – Finished Reading
September 29, 2018 – Shelved as: witches
September 29, 2018 – Shelved as: romance
September 29, 2018 – Shelved as: magic

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Taryn (Taryn and Her Books) Great review, Melanie!! Thank you so much for reading with me xx


Lea (drumsofautumn) Beautiful review <3


Melanie Taryn (Taryn and Her Books) wrote: "Great review, Melanie!! Thank you so much for reading with me xx"

Thank YOU for buddy reading it with my! Happy reading with whatever you pick up next, beautiful! 💛xx


Melanie Lea (drumsofautumn) wrote: "Beautiful review <3"

Awh, thank you so much, Lea! I hope you're having happy reading, gorgeous! 💛xx


(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas Glad you enjoyed this one. I enjoyed Girl Made of Stars so I'll have to check it out based on your reference. :)


message 6: by Felicia (new)

Felicia Beautiful and thoughtful review, Melanie 💖


Melanie (Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas wrote: "Glad you enjoyed this one. I enjoyed Girl Made of Stars so I'll have to check it out based on your reference. :)"

If you loved Girl Made of Stars you really will at least enjoy this one, sweetheart! You have to let me know how you feel after you read it! And I hope you're having happy reading currently, Bern! 💖xx


Melanie Felicia wrote: "Beautiful and thoughtful review, Melanie 💖"

Awh, thank you so much, Felicia love! 💖xx


Kristy This sounds really interesting. I loved Girl Made of Stars, so I am going to check it out. Thanks for the thoughtful review, Melanie!


Melanie Kristy wrote: "This sounds really interesting. I loved Girl Made of Stars, so I am going to check it out. Thanks for the thoughtful review, Melanie!"

I bet you'd really end up liking this one too, Kristy love! And thank YOU for these kind words! I hope you're having happy reading, love! 💛xx


Kristy Melanie wrote: "Kristy wrote: "This sounds really interesting. I loved Girl Made of Stars, so I am going to check it out. Thanks for the thoughtful review, Melanie!"

I bet you'd really end up liking this one too,..."


I never do this (my TBR is so long already), but I got it from the library and loved it! Thank you again, Melanie!


message 12: by Navessa (new) - added it

Navessa Well. This looks awesome.


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