But who are The Salty Pals?

bolivian salt flats
Credit to Art Wolfe/Getty Images and The Los Angeles Times

Look, Simba… Everything the Salt touches… is our Kingdom…

In the beginning, there was a Book. The Book That Shall Not Be Named was the last one of a trilogy. The Salty Pals, not Salty yet, waited with baited breath its publication. They were happy and innocent.

Then the Book was published, and It betrayed them. Everything that was promised, didn’t happen. The Beloved died horribly. The protagonist turned into a tree. And the author said, “Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, BUT”.

And the Pals’ Saltiness knew no bound.


The Salty Pals is a group of four booklovers from around the globe. They bonded over their ability to both love and bitch about books at any hour of the day (but mostly night). After one too many fruitful conversation, they thought, “Hey, our terrible puns and saltiness factor are amazing, we should share with the world!” And so this blog was born.

The Salty Pals have specific, difficult tastes (they do, after all, like to bitch). Unless otherwise stated, their critiques are directed at the book, not the author; take their words with a grain of salt (told you: puns).

THE CREW

Captain Clo, The Saltiest Of Them All

Age: 27. Raised eyebrow: ready. Fucks to give: none. Her standard mode is “unimpressed” with an undertone of “perpetually enraged”. She of the “yeah well, this book was enjoyable, but not memorable, 2 stars”. Because just enjoying her isn’t gonna cut it, folks. She has beef with the Italian publishing industry and its infuriating marketing decisions. Covers related to the book’s content, what??

Genres: queer lit, YA fantasy, fantasy in general, urban fantasy, soft sci-fi, just started to approach hard sci-fi, cyberpunk, some historical fiction, Japanese lit because once a weaboo, always a weaboo.

Bekworm, Sugar with a Hint of Salt (Margarita. I’m a margarita)

Once dubbed The Uncritical Critic, literal decades of reading male writers who have no clue how women work has lead me to sneer at phrases like: “once beautiful but age has taken its toll” and “she’s different from other girls” (Go Fuck Yourself). Be entertaining and not a sexist pig, and you’ll get a high star rating from me. Sounds easy, right? And yet…

Genres: Any YA, lgbtq+ (particularly f/f pairings but not exclusively), urban fantasy, sci-fi, books about women written by women (I’ll pick up a male author now and then but it’s rare.

Bek Down Under

22. The Aussie Bek. Terrible writing fuels me. Why are so many books both straighter and whiter than my teeth? If I read your book and can’t help but think “man, I’ve read better fanfiction’’ you lose.

Genres: YA, urban fantasy, fantasy, queer books of any kind, horror/thrillers.

ThatLemur, A very small lemur

26. The Slow Reader ™. When I am not hate-reading or questioning literary canon, I like taking my time to go through a variety of genres. Very slowly. Very critically. Furtively retracing my steps as I go. I have incorporated my own obsessive anxiety in my literary diet and now we’re stuck together. Extra points to books that can make me stare blankly at the wall for an hour, questioning author/character motivations, over and over. Zero points if you are Walter Scott.

Genres: postcolonial, YA, lgbt+ literature, women’s literature (written for women, by women, from women, with women), any and all intersections thereof, I have no genre consistency.