Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Alexis:

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. I’m currently on an extended Spring Break, and my classes have all been moved online for the rest of the semester. While I’m bummed about that, it means I have more time to read and post on here. Without further ado, let’s start the review!

A dark, gothic fairytale retelling? Very up my alley!

Annaleigh lives in Highmoor, a manor on an island by the sea where the people worship a sea god. She used to be one of twelve sisters, but four of her sisters have died tragic deaths. When Annaleigh’s younger sister begins seeing ghosts, she believes that her last sister to die was actually murdered. In between dancing in myserious balls with her sisters, Annaleigh works to uncover the dark truth.

I really enjoyed this book! I it had a lot of twists and turns, and while I guessed two of the major plot points, the rest, particularly at the end, were great and surprising.

I loved the cast of sisters. They felt very Jane Austen to me, especially when they prepared to go to the balls. Craig’s descriptions of Highmoor and the world around them brought this fantasy world to life. I loved the octopus imagery and the descriptions of the sea. While most of this book was dark and gothic, there were fun ball and festival scenes in between. I also enjoyed learning about the gods and mythology of this world.

I should’ve known from the book’s description, but this book is full of (in-depth) murder and death. So if you’re not into any type of horror, then this isn’t for you.

My only critiques are that the romance was a little too underdeveloped and cheesy for my taste, and the dialogue in certain scenes felt a little flat. But if you’re looking for a fun fairytale read that doubles as a horror/murder mystery book, then pick this up! Its beautiful cover is never leaving my bookshelf.

VERDICT: 📚 📚 📚 📚 /5

Review: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Alexis: DNFed 11/25/18

Okay, so I rarely DNF a book. But I just couldn’t finish this. I was so disappointed because I love Pride & Prejudice retellings!

I only got about 45 pages in, then I skipped to the ending, and then I skimmed the middle.

To start, the writing style is just weird. It feels too flowery, too forced, like the author was trying too hard to sound like Jane Austen.

This is supposed to be a modern retelling. Instead, it ends up being a modern yet sleazy retelling. The story features a TV show that’s basically The Bachelor. There’s a lot of tasteless sex, and Lizzy and Darcy even have hate sex. Lizzy and her sisters joke about how they think Mary is gay so often that it makes me uncomfortable. A lot of other additions are completely unneccesary. 

Instead of being loveable and annoying, Mrs. Bennet is rude and annoying. She also seems to be prejudiced (ha) and she hates everybody. There’s a line where she says, “Liz…life can be very hard for mulatto children.” Yikes.

Check out this other line: “From his first sighting of Jane, Chip’s face crumpled; and the sequent gush from his eyes would surely have been sufficient to bathe a medium-sized dog: a corgi, perhaps, or a border collie.” What?

The beginning wasn’t good, there were four different—equally bad—endings, and everything I skimmed in the middle wasn’t good, either. This book definitely wasn’t for me.

VERDICT: 1 out of 5 books