Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Hardcover: 352 pages
"Romeo and Juliet" meets "Children of the Corn" in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror. "When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in blood and salt. " These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time. Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the town's history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own. As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself and discover the truth about Quivira before it's too late. Before she's all in blood and salt." (Publishers' blurb)
I really liked the premise of this! There's something about cults that repulses and fascinates me, the idea that your mindset can be twisted into thinking it's right. This book definitely wasn't afraid to delve into dark subject matters, from the brutally described deaths to the unsettling cult traditions.
There was also an interesting supernatural element to this, especially in the flashbacks of Ash's ancestor Katia. This plot unravelled alongside the present day story, and the two wove together in an interesting way.
My favourite part of this book was the building tension, in the romantic side story and the quest to save Ash's mother. By the end, I was reading this at crazy speed because I really wanted to know what happened!
The only downside of this was that it took me a while to get into. For some reason I didn't engage with the voice and the writing style immediately, though I did get into the flow as the tension started to increase.
Overall, I found this a really unique concept and a very tense, creepy reading experience. If you're feeling the post Halloween slump, this is a perfect read to keep the scares going!
If you liked the sound of this, now try:
The Accident Season by
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore