It’s literally been ages since my last Buddy Read, but I honestly love them so much that when Jenna @BookmarkYourThought contacted me, I couldn’t be happier. Jenna describes herself as “a lover of coffee and words. With a passion for reading and love of learning, the goal of this blog is to foster book discussions and provide a safe place for any bookworm to share their thoughts.” I’ve been following Jenna for quite a while now, she always posts interesting discussions and beautifully written reviews, and I would only advise you to follow her blog because it’s truly worth your time. Make sure to follow her Instagram as well, her aesthetics are going to be worth it when they pop up to your feed.
Q1. Why did you decide to pick this book?
Jenna: “There are THREE main reasons why I decided to pick up this book. The first being that I wanted to explore magical realism again. I’ve only read two books under the “magical realism” genre, both of which weren’t the best experiences. After seeing so many people loving this novel, I thought I’d give it another go. The second being the diversity. After reading some reviews, I was happy to see a lot of different sexual orientations represented in the novel, which I find still lacking in A LOT of literature. And lastly … the cover is gorgeous and I knew I’d want it on my shelves whether I liked it or not. Yes … I’m a book cover snob.”
Laurie: “I first heard about Summer of Salt on Marie’s blog back in January, and at the time, I was looking for books that included a sapphic romance. I don’t usually read Magical Realism but the synopsis sounded interesting and I was drawn to the cover – it appealed to me in a way I cannot describe. Those of my friends who already read this book gave it great reviews. It was because of all of these factors that I almost instantly clicked on the “to-read” button. A few months after that, when Jenna and I were deciding on which book to pick, we settled pretty quickly on that one.”
Q2. What was your favourite element in the novel? What’s something you think needed more work or attention?
Jenna: “My favourite element is the magical element and the island life. I found the magic very profound and unique, something very different from other books I’ve read. It made the read more fun. And the island living concept was absolutely incredible … the beautiful descriptions of the land and nature and such really captured my attention, making me feel as though I was on the island myself.
Unfortunately, the story moved WAY too fast. There’s about a 5-week jump that REALLY let me down … I feel as though the author could’ve explored the story (and romance) a bit more if she wrote an extra 100+ pages. It made me feel less connected with the story and the characters. And that also leads me to the romance … there was VERY little build-up, which made their connection seem … well, small and insignificant. I just didn’t see the point of it with the overall story.”
Laurie: “In my opinion, the twin’s relationship between Georgina and Mary was really accurate and its portrayal was beautiful and on point. In such a short novel, Leno really managed to show the complexity and unconditionality of the sisters’ love and devotion for each other.
The diversity of the cast was something else I adored in this book, but it is also something that needed more attention. When you include a bisexual girl, an aromantic/asexual girl and a lesbian, it’s important to speak about that aspect of their personality and how it affects their lives. More broadly speaking, I feel like the author tried to tackle an excessive number of issues for a 250ish pages book and therefore, none of the issues were treated extensively enough. ”
Q3. What were your expectations? Did the book meet those expectations?
Jenna: “Going into this, I was expecting it to be a balance of romance, coming of age, and mystery. For the most part, the book met my expectations. But the lack of plot development and romance focus was a letdown. Overall though, it’s a beautiful story filled with SO MANY powerful messages that can be relatable to current society.”
Laurie: “Obviously, I expected to love this book, or at least enjoy it a lot otherwise I wouldn’t have added it to my TBR. And I can say that even though it was quite good, it wasn’t as enjoyable as I expected it to be. It was short and easy to read, but because of the multiple diversion in the plot, I didn’t have time to really connect with the characters and therefore care for them as much as I should have.”
Have you read this book?
What would be your answers for those questions?