Mini Review: House of Salt and Sorrows | NetGalley ARC

by - 3:14 PM


Publication Date: August 6, 2019
Tags: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Publisher: Delacorte Publishing
Pages: 416
★★★
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
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🌊 a horror retelling: this story is pitched as retelling on the 12 Dancing Princess with a bit of scary thrown in. I haven't actually read a lot of retellings following this story, so I was definitely interested in how the author was going to deliver her rendition. The world has so much to offer and the author does a really great job in introducing the People of the Salt as well as their neighboring cities. The original story was used as a foundation for the plot but there was a lot of creative freedom that was taken to make the novel unique.

🌊 vivid descriptions: imagery was definitely the highlight of this novel. The word choices made from describing the beautiful balls to the horrific visions were all so vividly portrayed. The amount of detail that is used to describe the dresses and the fairy shoes take an entirely different turn when describing the ghosts and monsters - but it had the same powerful impact of evoking very clear imagery while reading. 

🌊 pacing is a bit lulling: this point was probably one of the biggest “eh” factors that made this story…less enjoyable. The pacing of this story goes from very slow to a sudden rollercoaster of events. I’ll admit, I definitely skimmed a good chunk of pages because I was getting bored and then all of a sudden had to stop and go back because out of nowhere, ten different plot twists were happening. It makes the flow of the story feel jarring with less of a flow. 

🌊 relationship settings: I really loved the portrayal of sisterhood and family within the story. We start with Eulalie’s funeral and the entire family in mourning - right from the start there is deep connection between the sisters that help them get through all the ups and downs of the story. They do have their disagreements and disillusionments, but they ultimately are rooted in their love for each other. The romantic relationships on the other hand…left me conflicted. We are technically introduced to two love interests for our MC: Fisher the childhood friend and Cassius the mysterious stranger. I’ll be honest, I didn’t trust Cassius but Fisher didn’t really stand a chance. Because of those conclusions, Fisher’s interest in Annaleigh felt redundant (though he did handle her “rejection” well) and I never quite got on board the CassiusxAnnaleigh ship. There just wasn’t enough in their relationship to really ground me - I ended up skimming past their conversations and it all boiled down to just a common interest in the other and a realization that something was wrong and this stranger person could help. I don’t know, maybe it’ll grow on me.


have you read House of Salt and Sorrows? check out my spoiler thoughts:
 

Does House of Sorrows sound like something you'd pick up when it comes out? 

A quick thank you to NetGalley for providing an e-ARC for review. :) 

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