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Khanh the Killjoy

Yawn

Salt - Danielle Ellison

I can't help but think this book should have been titled: Perfume: The Scent of a Witch instead of Salt (explanation to come). It might have been more appropriately titled Dirt, because it was just as dull.

This book wasn't terrible, but it was excruciatingly boring and the premise of the book is absolutely absurd. You could read the first 15% of the book, then skip ahead to the last 10% of the book without missing anything of vital importance. Sure, there's action, but action doesn't always mean excitement. Quite the opposite, actually.

In a nutshell, this is the plot: Penelope (Pen) is a witch who has had her powers stolen away from her when she was 9. She is an orphan. She wants to be a demon fighter (an Enforcer) anyway despite the fact that she is powerless to fight against them without other people's assistance.

Pen meets a boy, Carter. Pen keeps running into Carter. Carter smells like nutmeg. There is a spark of interest between them. Pen gets attacked by demons. The demons think Pen smells nice.

“Witch,” the demon hisses, “you smell good.”



Pen takes her Enforcer exams. Pen talks to Carter some more. Pen gets attacked by demons. The demons think Pen smells nice.blockquote>“You smell good,” another adds.Pen goes shopping for a pretty dress with her sister and her gay friend. Pen gets to know Carter some more. Pen gets attacked by demons. The demons think Pen smells nice..

“You smell good, little witch.”

Pen goes to a party, a ball where she gets paired with Carter. Pen gets to know Carter some more. Pen gets attacked by demons. The demons think Pen smells nice.

“You smell unique, little witch.”

He sniffs me, overexaggerated.
“You smell unique, little witch.”Pen gets into a fight with her gay BFF. Pen feels betrayed by Carter. Pen gets attacked by demons. The demons think Pen smells nice.

The demon gets quiet. It stares among the three of us, weighing its options. “You smell good,” it says to me.

Pen does research about her ancestors. Pen gets back together with Carter. Pen gets attacked by demons. The demons think Pen smells nice.

The demon gets quiet. It stares among the three of us, weighing its options. “You smell good,” it says to me.

Pen does some more research about her ancestors. Pen falls in love with Carter. Pen gets attacked by demons. The demons think Pen smells nice.

“She does smell really, really delicious,” the brown loafers boy says.

Pen finds out more stuff about her ancestors. Pen is in full-throttle love with Carter. Pen gets attacked by demons. The demons think Pen smells nice.

It steps back and inhales the air. “Do you know why you smell so good? You smell like the void, but with whipped cream on top. You are decadent.”

Pen solves the mystery of her family. Pen and Carter are Meant To Be. The demons think Pen smells nice. So does Carter.

He smiles and pulls me in. “Witch,” he says, his lips on my neck, “you smell good.”

Carter and Pen are the best smelling couple in the fucking history of the world. His scent, man. His fucking scent.

Carter steps toward me, and I catch a scent off him. Whatever it is smells a little like nutmeg. A nutmeg boy.

Really. I can't imagine what Carter smells like.

Carter leans in closer. I can smell his musky nutmeg scent.

Whatever it is, it sures saves money on a car freshener.

The other being that his car smells like nutmeg, which is a wonderful smell to be trapped in.

I wonder what that scent is.

He smells like nutmeg mixed with cloves and it’s such an intoxicating scent.

I mean, damned if I know.

“Most boys don’t smell like nutmeg.”



Man.

Girl-on-girl Hate: The Bechdel Test (wikipedia definition): asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. This book doesn't horribly fail this test, but it does not portray fellow females in a positive light.



Most of the other girls in the book, like Pen's fellow Enforcer testers (who should have been perfectly competent women) are shown to be empty-headed chicks who talk about guys and drool over guys in the major instances when we see them.

They are going on about some of the boys from their courses who are testing down the hall.
“You know who’s smart?” Miriam, a girl with black hair and a big nose, chimes in. “Keith Collins in region two. He’s totally going to be Bonded to whoever he gets.”
“He’s good kisser,” Beth mutters.
“Any girl would be beyond lucky to be Paired with him,” Maple says on a sigh.

The majority of the beautiful women in this book are cold, harsh, cruel. If a girl is beautiful, she is going to be represented as bitchy at heart, for example, one girl, Shira, is beautiful with a voice that is "sweet and dripping with venom all at once, whereas her plainer sister, Taylor, is sweet and nice. Another woman, Ellore, is perfect in appearance, but again, her beauty is portrayed as a bad thing, Ellore is "beautiful, perfect, and probably deadly."

Whenever a beautiful woman is seen as a love rival, she is portrayed as a slutty, thirsty bitch.

She smiles at Carter, completely ignoring me, and leans against the table, purring like a cat in heat. She chomps her jaws, blowing a bubble with her gum.

I'm pretty sick of one-dimensional books.

TSTL: There is a tremendous amount of deus ex fucking machina in this book, and that's the only fucking reason Pen survives as long as she does.

I was an idiot for going in there when I heard the scream. Such an idiot. What was I thinking?

The premise itself is absolutely stupid and incomprehensible to me. Pen has lost her power. She is fucking useless on her own, as a witch, because she cannot use powers to fight against demons, the type of demons that have killed her parents and siphoned off her powers as a child. Yet she insists on becoming a demon fighter, yet she insists on CONFRONTING demons, hunting them out.

Pen is not fucking badass, she gets saved a tremendous amount of time by Carter. I cannot understand how she can last all these years pretending she has powers when she has none, when she attends a school FULL OF FELLOW WITCHES. I cannot understand why she would want to fight demons, knowing that she is completely fucking useless against them without her powers. She almost dies more than once. She cries.

I almost died. Someone did die. Demons attacked me. I used magic. Carter is here. I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t.

Pen's thought processes are just mind-numbingly stupid. She goes out and hunts demons while being powerless; she essentially has a fucking deathwish. I shake my head every time Pen performs another seemingly impossible task because it is completely incomprehensible how fortunate she ALWAYS is.

Not recommended unless you want to be bored out of your mind.

At least Pen smells nice.