I received this book for free from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
Published by Macmillan on September 15th 2015
Genres: Circus, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Performing Arts, Young Adult
Source: St. Martin's Press
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For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows-the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find. Lace Paloma may be new to her family's show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she's been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it's a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace's life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees. Beautifully written, and richly imaginative, Anna-Marie McLemore's The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice.
Ali: Did you always want to be a writer?
Anna-Marie: It took me a while to realize I wanted to be a writer, but I’ve always loved stories.
Ali: What inspires your writing?
Anna-Marie: My family, the beautiful cultures I grew up in, and the work of other artists, not just books but visual art, music, and so much more.
Ali: What is your favorite thing about writing “The Weight of Feathers“?
Anna-Marie: I loved writing the descriptions of the Palomas’ and the Corbeaus’ shows. Immersing myself in that world felt like a kind of magic.
Ali: Do you have any habits while writing? For example: a specific snack food you must have or maybe music playing in the background.
Anna-Marie: I often have music playing in the background. I also drink ridiculous amounts of fizzy water.
Ali: What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing?
Anna-Marie: I love being in water. I have a red mermaid tail that now goes with me whenever I can take it along.
Ali: Disney Princess or Disney Villain? Why?
Anna-Marie: Well, Melissa Grey once said something about me being a Disney princess gone wrong…
Ali: Thank you so much Anna-Marie for stopping by.
Anna-Marie: Thank you so much for having me!
“McLemore’s prose is ethereal and beguiling… The enchanting setup and the forbidden romance that blooms between these two outcasts will quickly draw readers in, along with the steady unspooling of the families’ history and mutual suspicions in this promising first novel.” —Publishers Weekly
“Readers beguiled by the languorous language—a striking mix of French and Spanish phrases, wry colloquialism, lush imagery, and elevated syntax—will find themselves falling under its spell. The third-person narration alternates between Lace and Cluck, doling out twists and building to a satisfying, romantic conclusion.” —Kirkus Reviews
“In this tale of magical realism, the magic is so deftly woven into the fabric of the story… Told with skillful poetic nuances, this Romeo-and-Juliet story of forbidden love will entice fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle who wished for a little more romance.” —School Library Journal
“Anna-Marie McLemore’s debut novel is a very imaginative modern-day romance akin to Romeo and Juliet and is infused with the whimsy of magical realism.” —RT Book Reviews
“An air of mysterious fantasy enshrouds the whole book, pulling the reader through it as if in a spell. McLemore is a writer to watch.”—The Guardian
“You’ve never read a love story quite like this one. Anna-Marie McLemore has created in entirely imaginative world and rich characters that will pull you in as if she’s spinning magic herself.” —Bustle
“With prose as magical as its characters, The Weight of Feathers is an exciting debut.” —Paste Magazine
“McLemore’s debut novel has ties to Romeo and Juliet, David Almond’s mythical Skellig, and the real-life performances of Cirque du Soleil.” —Booklist
I was starting to get a bit worried when I started “The Weight of Feathers” by Anna-Marie McLemore because I had heard so many good things about the book and I was bored out of my mind. I feel like “The Weight of Feathers” took forever to really get the story started. After about getting half-way through the book I was really considering putting it down because I wasn’t finding that part that kept me going back.
In a blink of an eye things changed. All of the sudden the author and story gave me something to come back for and then I found that I needed to finish the story right away. I needed to know what would happen and how the characters would end up. I do think that Lace and Cluck are very good together. I think they are great main characters. It just takes awhile to become invested in them.
By the end of the story I really liked it. I thought it ended very well and I feel like the second half of the story was the best. The reason I give the story 3.5 stars is because it took half the book to become interesting and for it to have a decent pace. I want a book that keeps a constant pace and keeps me wanting more and I don’t feel like that was what was happening with “The Weight of Feathers” until the second half.
Now let’s just focus on the second half of the book. Lace and Cluck were amazing together. I think the two of them together make an incredible team. I loved each and every moment that they would interact with each other. My suspicious of the background of the families ended up being right so I was happy to know that I have predicted the correct ending. As far as the writing goes. I think McLemore did a better job in the second half. I think pacing can be improved. I would definitely read another McLemore book. I will be looking out for more books by her.
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