I just finished reading “The Sea is Salt and So Am I”, and was completely STUNNED to learn that this is Ms. Hartt’s debut novel. I’m very much looking forward to following her career, and seeing what she comes up with next!
The author includes a trigger warning at the beginning, and I’ll do the same here: This book deals with teen depression, suicidal thoughts, and a suicide attempt. If these topics are triggers for you, you should probably look elsewhere for reading material.
That being said…the author handles these intense topics in a way that is simultaneously realistic, beautiful, and heartbreaking. Her main characters and their experiences are completely believable, and I had trouble putting the book down without seeing what happened to them next. I adored Tommy, liked Harlow, and was mostly mildly annoyed by Ellis, but all three of them captivated me. I am already mentally working out what comes next for them, as I can’t stand not knowing how their lives turn out after the end of this story.
The book is set in the fictional town of West Finch, Maine. The town is almost a separate character, and reading about it, the local problems, the wildlife, and the weather added another layer to this already incredibly nuanced novel.
Finally, I appreciated Ms. Hartt’s candor in the Author’s Note at the end. I will happily read anything else she writes, even if it’s just a to-do list. Seriously, readers of the world: Take note! This is an up-and-coming literary talent worth watching!
Five out of five super-sized chunks of the best sharp cheddar money can buy!