Everything Sad is Untrue
Salt & Stone picks up right where Fire & Flood left off. The remaining competitors (64 from the original 122), are recovering at base camp, waiting for the next leg of their race. Tella, Harper, Guy, Olivia, Jaxon and Braun have formed close bonds, and intend to stay together until the end if possible. All too soon, the next leg of their journey, crossing the sea, begins.
I'm not usually able to say this, but I enjoyed book two even more than book one. Tella asserts her independence, which, while increasing the tension between her and Guy, is necessary for her development as a believable character. There are some deaths, a reunion, a new character, and some great twists, some predictable and one that blindsided me. Towards the end of the race, there are three challenges that must be met in order to advance to the finish. If you've read The Testing, Independent Study and Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau, the feel of Tella's challenges is very similar to what Cia experienced. If you haven't read the series, you might like to consider it.
The ending leaves some unanswered questions, and I'd really like there to be a third book, but Scholastic has only bought the rights to the first two, so there might not be a third. That would truly be disappointing. Guess I'll have to get more people reading these two books! :-)
Definitely stock this on your middle school library shelf, but be warned that it does contain quite a bit of violence. If your readers can handle the Hunger Games and Divergent violence, they can handle this. Tella is morally strong so she does the right thing, even when survival instinct says to do the opposite.
Middle School former Teacher Librarian - then MYP math and science. Update... VERY recently retired! Still adjusting that I'm not just on summer vacation!!!
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