Mini reviews: A Castle in the Clouds, Summer of Salt

Hi friends! I’m back again with some mini reviews of my latest reads…. Let’s get to them!

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

A Castle in the Clouds, Kerstin Giergoodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

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A Castle in the Clouds follows a girl as she navigates secrets, romance, and danger in an aging grand hotel.

Way up in the Swiss mountains, there’s an old grand hotel steeped in tradition and faded splendor. Once a year, when the famous New Year’s Eve Ball takes place and guests from all over the world arrive, excitement returns to the vast hallways.

Sophie, who works at the hotel as an intern, is busy making sure that everything goes according to plan. But unexpected problems keep arising, and some of the guests are not who they pretend to be. Very soon, Sophie finds herself right in the middle of a perilous adventure–and at risk of losing not only her job, but also her heart.

Apparently, Kerstin Gier’s Ruby Red series is very famous and very well appreciated, too and… well, I did not know that. A Castle in the Clouds was my first book by the author and, if it missed some little things for it to be an unforgettable read, it was nonetheless a very entertaining, fun read overall.

A Castle in the Clouds is set in a big, luxury hotel in the middle of the Swiss mountains and I feel like it was a perfect winter read, or just a perfect one if you’re looking to get away, too. With the snow, the beautiful setting around Christmas and New Year’s time, it was lovely.

With a large cast of characters, A Castle in the Clouds sometimes had me a bit lost, introducing a lot of characters here and there and names I had a hard time remembering, at first. Yet, Sophie, the main character, was wonderful. She’s a high school drop out and an intern at the hotel, she’s awkward and thoughtful and I overall had such a good time with her. Her relationship with the other workers and her blooming romance made me smile more than once.

What bothered me the most was how uneven the pacing felt. Sometimes, it was dragging on with details about days that felt a bit unnecessary at first. I was only eager to get on with some mysteries that are settled here and there, but not really evenly paced through the story to make me feel captivated from beginning to end.

Overall, despite its little flaws, A Castle in the Clouds was a very entertaining read I’d recommend if you like fun, entertaining reads with a little hint of mystery.

Final rating: 3 drops!

A million thanks to Macmillan International for sending me an ARC of this book for reviewing purposes. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.

Trigger warnings: ableist words used (crazy…), kidnapping attempt, bullying, gun use.

Diversity: a main character of Asian heritage (non specified), a deaf side-character.

Summer of Salt, Katrina Lenogoodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

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Practical Magic meets Nova Ren Suma’s Imaginary Girls and Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap in this lush, atmospheric new novel by acclaimed author Katrina Leno.

A magic passed down through generations. An island where strange things happen. A summer that will become legend.

Georgina Fernweh waits impatiently for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has touched every woman in her family. But with her eighteenth birthday looming, Georgina fears her gift will never come.

Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, falling in love, and the mystery behind one rare three-hundred-year-old bird—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.

In Summer of Salt, Katrina Leno weaves another gorgeously original novel of magical realism and coming-of-age. Fans of April Genevieve Tucholke and Anna-Marie McLemore will be swept away.

Summer of Salt is one of these books that had been on my TBR since FOREVER and I know why. I don’t regret reading it one bit and can’t WAIT to read more by Katrina Leno.

I could feel the island, I could feel the rain, I could feel the sparkle of magic in the air with Summer of Salt. It’s really a wonderful, wonderful atmospheric kind of read, made even more stunning by the author’s lovely writing. I loved the main character and the side characters, too and I just felt like I was living on that little island with them all all the time I was reading and I loved that.

My favorite part about Summer of Salt was, I’m not going to lie, the sisters’ relationships. They’re twins, they’re close, they’re different and they fight, they sometimes don’t get each other at all, either. Yet all they want is to protect and be there for each other and my heart is happy because SIBLINGS BONDS OKAY. I also loved how soft and warm and wonderful the f/f romance was, and how it didn’t take over the entire story, either.

Despite appearances and this lovely book cover, Summer of Salt deals with some heavy themes and I’d definitely recommend you look at trigger warnings before heading into this. Overall, it’s definitely one of these books I’ll be thinking back on and I just can’t, can’t wait to read more by this author now.


Final rating: 4,5 drops!

Trigger warnings:  slut shaming, death of a parent (not narrated), sexual assault & rape (not narrated), drug (weed) and alcohol use, gun violence, animal death.

Diversity: f/f relationship, bisexual (or pan) main characters, aromantic / asexual character, lesbian character,

Did you read A Castle in the Clouds or/and Summer of Salt? Do you want to?

What are some of the latest books you’ve read that you would recommend? I’d love to hear from you in comments!





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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

35 thoughts on “Mini reviews: A Castle in the Clouds, Summer of Salt

  1. Summer of Salt has been on my tbr for the longest time, I really need to get to it! Your review reminded me of why I was so excited to read it when I first heard about it, I love when books have sister relationships as an important element of the story. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read The Summer of Salt a couple years ago and remember enjoying it. It was just such a soft and lovely book, even though bad things happened at parts. But I have very fond feelings for this book and how magical it was.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve read Summer of Salt, and yes it is EVERYTHING you say it is!! 😀 As you read the story you feel the island, and it becomes a character itself!! I’m in love with the graveyard where it is perpetually autumn ❤ I wish that was a thing!

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  4. Ohh… the thing I hate the most in books is when they don’t have even pacing! 😭 Still, A Castle In The Clouds sounds like a fun, winter-y read. And aww, Summer Of Salt sounds lovely!! *adds to tbr* Sibling relationships are the best things ever and I need to read it asap.

    Lovely reviews, Marie! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get that so much. A Castle in the Clouds was such a fun read though, definitely one you can pick up on a snowy day! and ahhh I’m eager for you to read Summer of Salt, I love this book SO much!!
      Thank you so much!! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These reviews are SO GOOD, Marie!! My contemporary heart glowed while reading this post.🤗💓I hadn’t heard of A Castle in the Clouds until now, but I just added it to my TBR. I love any book with a unique setting, and this one sounds really interesting! Also, I have to admit, I just adore the cover. I’m SO happy you liked Summer of Salt! Ahh, I really need to give it a reread. Definitely one of my favorites, what with its atmospheric quality and the magical realism and sister relationships~ everything I love, all in one book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much Olivia, so happy you enjoyed it! ❤ ❤ I hope you'll love Castle, it was a really fun read 🙂
      And ahh, I loved the atmosphere so much in Summer of Salt. Have you read anything else by the author? 😀

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  6. I also really enjoyed Summer of Salt. Leno’s writing was perfect for this book. She created and maintained the mood of the story so well, and so many fantastic females in this story. The romance was cute, the sisters were fantastic, and the relationship between Vira and Georgia was wonderful. Leno also wove in those magical elements so well.

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  7. I love me some amazing sibling bonds in books too and have been told and over and over again that I need to read Summer of Salt!! I so need to!!

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  8. Summer of Salt sounds amazing! I love a good sister bond book. I like to read a Castle in the Clouds too, though I’m a bit apprehensive now. I hate it when the pacing is not right.
    Great reviews! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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