Tag Archives: water

Book Review: The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate

    Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill         Published Sept 13, 2011                  272 Pages
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Published Sept 13, 2011
272 Pages

Powerful story but too many things left unsaid.

Josie Henderson is an African American woman who loves the water. She spent her entire life trying to know the ins and outs of the water and ultimately became a marine biologist-actually-the only African American senior-level scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

But Josie isn’t as successful as she believes. Yes, she has the career and a white husband but she left home running away from her father, her brother, who struggle with addiction and her mother who watched it all happen and was too late to help.

With her brother’s latest stunt of Rehab over things fall apart more quickly than anyone, especially Josie, anticipates.

Told in four different voices this was a good book. It was also believable to the point that you believe this is book is someone’s’ life story.  You see the struggle with all the characters and their lives, past and present. But even with that there are things that I didn’t quite understand. Why did her brother begin drinking and using? What happened to him that caused him to begin drinking? He was married with a house, car and a good job. Josie didn’t fall to addiction because of what she saw however she had other problems.

Also I didn’t understand Josie. I get the fact she was running away from home and avoiding. I even kind of get the fact she didn’t want to have children. What I didn’t get was how she was treating her husband. She married a white man but then turned around and complained about him not understanding her culture or music after she meets a black male who is on the same career level as her. She doesn’t tell her husband anything but opens up to another male both physically and emotionally mainly because she felt a connection to him because he was black.

As in for things left unsaid I wanted to know what her brother couldn’t face. His father was able to get clean but he couldn’t why? What happen to Josie? She was a mess in a half.  Also what happen with Josie and her husband? He knew something was going on but didn’t bluntly say anything.

As for the writing there were no issues. Southgate drew me in well mainly because beyond the addiction it wasn’t a book talking about how Josie fell off the track and had to pick herself up right or even her brother for the time. They both got into a really good high school on scholarship, graduated and went to college. I loved that because although there was issues at home and hint of teasing at school the book didn’t stress a past struggle outside the addiction running in the family.

Overall this book gets 9 out of 10. I love when all I can complain about is the characters themselves and not the writing.

Book Review: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

I love books that have titles that make you assume what the book is about and its completely different from what you thought.

       Dial Publishing Published Aug 15, 2013             360 Pages
Dial Publishing
Published Aug 15, 2013
360 Pages

Violet White lives in a small (and of course) boring town named Echo. She lives in a huge mansion on the edge of the cliff that overlooks her town with her brother. Her grandmother Frankie recently passed away and her parents . . . well they are artist who pretty much took all of the family’s inheritance and went overseas to gain exposure? Discover themselves? Either way the parents left their two teenage kids broke and in a mansion that is falling apart.

Violet gets the great idea to rent the guesthouse to bring in some money. & guess who comes to rent it??? That is right new boy in town named River West. Violet is attracted to him and considering that she has never been attracted to any other boy before this is new for her (of course). However, West isn’t exactly a normal boy with a clean past or future.

Before I tell you the good about this story I need to tell you the bad. THIS BOOK WENT ALL OVER THE PLACE. Tucholke (the author) added big twists to the story when there was really zero need for it. She created a mystery when there was no need for it well actually, that is not completely true; She could have created a BETTER mystery if she started it in the beginning of the book and not towards the end. Violet’s grandmother didn’t become a mysterious woman to the readers until 7 chapters before the book ended. It felt like an after thought in which the questions were answered enough where I really don’t care any further about Frankie. She hid a secret but for what? The only conversations you see between Violet and Frankie is that she became a fairly religious person.

Another thing wrong with the story was River West. There was really no depth to his character. I’m not just saying he was strictly just a pretty boy with problems but why did he have problems! LIKE COME ON! He caused problems for no reason and he wasn’t trying to run away and do right. He wanted to do whatever he wanted.

Okay enough of the bad. . . . here is the good:

I thought the setting was amazing. Tucholke did an amazing job of placing an image of the town in your head and making it stick.  Violet and her brother come from a rich and long line of family and I was waiting for some town secrets. Tucholke made you want the town secrets not because the book was bad but the story itself told of secrets that the reader needed to know. Although it was done poorly, I still read the book wanting and wanting.

Overall, the books gets a 6 out of 10. There is some really good potential in this book and in this author. It just lacked execution.

Tania Lasenburg is a communications major that plays video games and cyber stalks Gym Class Heroes. Follow her on twitter @mrztanyapickles