Monday, March 16, 2015

'Salt and Stone' by Victoria Scott


What would you do to save someone you love?

In Fire & Flood, Tella Holloway faced a dangerous trek through the jungle and across the desert, all to remain a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed for a chance at obtaining the Cure for her brother. She can't quit--she has to win the race, save Cody, and then fight to make sure the race stops before it can claim any more lives. In the next legs of the race, across the ocean and over mountains, Tella will face frostbite, sharks, avalanche, and twisted new rules in the race.

But what if the danger is deeper than that? How do you know who to trust when everyone's keeping secrets? What do you do when the person you'd relied on most suddenly isn't there for support? How do you weigh one life against another?

The race is coming to an end, and Tella is running out of time, resources, and strength. At the start of the race there were one hundred twenty-two Contenders. As Tella and her remaining friends start the final part of the race, just forty-one are left--and only one can win.

Tella. Tella oh Tella. She really turns into someone else. She became a leader. She is a very nice, good person. Tella is a great person. She really is. In the first book, I didn't know what to think. But now? She gains her leadership. She really does. She becomes this great heroine. I started to love her character. Tella is a caring and kind person. Someone who wouldn't hurt another person willingly. She would have someone in trouble to hurt anyone. She can't hurt people. It's not in her person. That's what I like about her. I'm starting to truly like Tella Holloway. She grows in this book. She becomes someone else. A stronger person. A person who takes risks to get what she wants. 
Guy turned into someone else in this book. He became someone else.  Completely. He seemed to be a tough guy. But he showed heart and feelings. There is one example I do care to point out. The end with M-4. Yeah. That shows how much he cared for M-4. How much heart Guy Chambers truly has. Guy wasn't a character I liked. This book changed everything. He turned into this guy who could be scared. He could be feared, but he could be scared. (If that makes sense.) Guy Chambers. His backstory is unknown. He was tutored in survival. He knows the truth about the Brimstone Bleed. He doesn't let this knowledge make him cocky or anything. He was still Guy Chambers. But I want to know about his brothers. And who is hurt in his family to make him a Contender. 
Harper! Huzzah! Something broke in her. I can tell. Something so earth-shatteringly devastating. She seemed different in this book. She was still cocky at times. But it doesn't seem like Harper is Harper anymore. I want Harper to heal. And it seems like she will at times. Then just all disappears. I hope Harper finds meaning in life. She is a great character. Brave. Determined. Courageous. She deserves to be happy. I hope she does end up happy. 
And Cotton. I wanted more. I know his secret. But still. I want his family situation. How his family reacted to him being called into being a Contender. And how he was chosen. And why they added him as a Contender. 

The plot was quite interesting. Okay...very interesting. It was exciting. 
The action drew me in. I was attracted to the thrilling action. It was very good action. I had to know what happened next. I read it quickly. I could barely put this book down. I had to know what happened. I couldn't not know. The action is quick. And the fights are not really external. It's the internal battle to keep going. Can I keep going? And there is the threat of attack. People die in the Brimstone Bleed. They die and struggle and survive. 
This book has a lot of dramatic moments. Moments when you're clinging to the pages and praying something great happens. It's like that for the rest of the book. 
The plot twists tore me apart. The one about Cotton? The one with Harper? Man. Those were heart-wrenching! I couldn't believe them. 

The characters really were connected. These environments really proved the importance of friendship. They had a close bond. It was beyond friendship. Maybe a familial-like bond. I loved this bond. 
It shows that romance isn't everything. Your friends can help you. You don't need to go into life alone. People can help you. They don't always hurt you. I think Tella really needed her friends. Why? She's a person-person. Being around others is good for her. Unlike Guy who can probably do the Brimstone Bleed by himself and not suffer the consequences, Tella needs other opinions to get her through decisions. She needs friends to support her. People to defend her. Other Pandoras to stand up when she's threatened. Tella is a strong person. Tella is a good character. But she does need other people to help her. 

I can't wait for the next book. The ending meant for another book. 
About the ending...who won? I couldn't figure that out. It seemed too vague. So...I know who it's not. But...I'm unsure of how the 'first five gets job' works. What if they're kids? Do they wait? I'm confused... 
And I'm left with questions. Where is Madox? How is he? What about Cody? What will happen next? Where will Braun go? How about the others? What about those that lose? What happens to the Pandoras? So many questions and no answers. 
The things I'm talking about are some small details. The ending is pretty good. The story seems to lead to the conclusion of the Brimstone Bleed. Once you get there, the ending isn't easy to get. The winner is hard to attain. You truly have to be in best condition to win. Those two physical limitations tests? I can't even imagine trying to do them. They seem like pure torture for someone who isn't conditioned to run or swim. 
The ending leaves for more. Which is exactly why I can't wait for the next book. As much as I hate cliffhangers and waiting for the next book, this series is worth it so far for me. 

I'm not sure about the romance. I feel like it has chemistry, but I don't agree with the emotional troubled caused. Guy and Tella are a love-hate relationship. They push and pull each other. Tella is insulted. Guy insults. It's tiring to read. I can't imagine how it is to both parties. This book really shows their differences. I'm surprised that the two didn't kiss more. Oh well. This book doesn't follow the rules of young adult fiction. These two aren't the best for each other, though. Guy doesn't always see that Tella is a big girl who can stand on her own two feet. She's strong and smart. She doesn't always need someone leading her by the hand. And Tella doesn't see that Guy truly cares. He's not trying to be rude or anything. He's just being Guy Chambers. 
And the new guy and Harper. Hm. I'm not sure. I think they'll be good for each other. They are both lost people. They need someone to help. Harper, as I said, is really different in this book. She's off. She's not paying attention to everything. Harper seems like she's floating off in her own little world. And New Guy. He has so many things he could do. He could be cruel. He could be kind. He has to choose. Family or his morals. These two could go anywhere. I thought that New Guy was actually tricking Harper. Like he was leading her on or something. I was surprised when he was actually being true. Which seems odd in the Brimstone Bleed. I guess people under pressure can surprise you. 
And I just noticed a funny joke. New Guy. Like...New Guy Chambers? Get it? Haha. I meant New Guy as new person, though. Don't think I'm using the new person as Guy's replacement. Guy is perfectly fine. 

I didn't like that Tella still had her moments as an annoying teenaged girl. This actually really annoys me. I don't like teenager speak or teenager personality. I see enough teenager personality in real life. I don't need it I books as well. 
Yes. Teenagers are that vain. That blunt. That sex-loving. They judge future lovers on whether they have abs or not. That is the teenager lifestyle. 
And...I thought Tella would outgrow that part of her. I thought she would end up gaining insight and stop thinking like that. She sort of does what I hoped for. She brings up Guy's physique sometimes. (Which I don't like. I don't care if he's tall and muscular. I rather get on with the story.) 
I hope she doesn't lose her past self. I hope she doesn't become emotionless. While the teenager Tella annoys me, I know it's her way of coping. Letting her mind become Old Tella for a moment. That's how she survives. Which gives reason to teenager Tella.

This book isn't like the other ones. Unlike other books, not everyone is pairing off. The action is fantastic. Victoria Scott has a writing style of her own. The characters have depth. You care for the Pandoras. 
I have one word for this sequel.

In case you were wondering...I still say wow even though the score is not a five out of five. Why? Because I'm being wrong? Nope. It's because even if I give it a four out of five, the other things impressed me. I just didn't love everything. 

Sunny with a 15% chance of rain

No comments:

Post a Comment