Book Review: House of Salt and Sorrows

Title/Author: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craighouse
Genre: YA/ Fantasy/ Retelling
Publication Date: August 16th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 402
Rating: ★★★★ stars

I’m not familiar with the 12 Dancing Princesses story, so I went absolutely blind into this book (other than the hype I received at ALA MidWinter Conference).

Annaleigh, her 11 sisters, father, and stepmother live in a manor right next to the sea. The 12 girls are princesses that sneak off in the night to go dancing and to get away from their town who thinks the family is cursed. One by one each individual girl slowly gets picked off and dies. As the tension grows and Annaleigh slowly becomes mad, is this all just a horrifying dream or reality?

The cover is beautiful. I love all the detail on it and it gives off a good feel to how I was picturing the book while reading it. I felt this story was a nice slow burning pace seeing how our main character slowly starts to go mad towards the end of the book. The end of the book was very interesting and the stepmother ended up giving me vibes of Melisandre from Game of Thrones.

However, I felt that there was this weird love triangle to be forced between Annaleigh and two other characters. Eventually, I grew tired of the dancing plot and was ready for the end of the book.

Overall this book was definitely interesting and is worth the hype. 4/5 stars. If you liked the Selection series by Kiera Cass I think you would enjoy this book.

I received an ARC from the publishing house at ALA MidWinter Conference. 

Book Review: The Selection by: Kiera Cass


For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Summary from

Meh. The one word that described my reading progress throughout this book. This read was neither the best or worst.

The Setting

  • The setting for this particular book described by is YA and Sci-fi/Dystopia. I got the YA feel even though it felt more middle grade to me, but the Sci-fi/Dystopia part? Ummm what the heck. I got that society has fallen and everything is a mess with a war going on. To myself I felt no Sci-fi Dystopia feeling what so ever besides the Caste system and the “rebel” fights. Other than that I did not get a feeling for Sci-fi or Dystopia.

The Main Characters

  • So here’s a little throw down on what characters I like/dislike. America: sometimes enjoyable, but mainly annoying and winy. Why she’s SO in love with Aspen? I have the slightest clue. Aspen: jerk. Prince Maxon: charming, enjoyable, and my favorite character.

The Main Conflict

  • That’s cool if America wants to rebel against her parents and not want to join the Selection, but I wished we could follow a different character’s POV… (cough cough Prince Maxon). If we followed his POV I think that this could be a pretty cool novel but with the winy chick handling this story was not okay. Anyways I felt the main conflict was boring and hopefully it gets more enjoyable through the following books.

Other Issues

  • More chick fights/Competition

I wished this book had more competition and girl fights. You’re fighting to be there and be the feature princess/queen of Illéa. Maybe I got my hopes to high for this aspect I was looking forward to.

  • Sucky foreshadowing/Very predicable

I found this book very predicable at times (like the ending). It made for a lack in suspense and not very climatic.

Final Thought.

  • This book was not what I expected. I thought there would be a lot more girls fighting and crying, rather then some girl in a horrible love triangle. This is one example of a book where the love triangle thing just does not work with the story (at least in my opinion). I wished I could have liked it more but I didn’t not. So with all the crap I had to deal with throughout this book, I ended up giving a 3/5 star review for this book. Yes I had a lot of cons, but I still enjoyed it enough to get through it along with my fav character, Prince Maxon, who helped made this an enjoyable read.