Friday, October 2, 2015

Novel Review: The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Genre: YA Romance, Magic
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Spoilers?: No.
The Night Circus meets Romeo and Juliet in this stunning young adult novel about two teens who fall in love despite the almost impossible odds against them.

The Palomas and the Corbeaus have long 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.

The Cover:

I absolutely love this cover. The colors are perfect, and I love the images of the flowers and the couple at the top. It's beautiful and subtle and romantic without being too showy. It fits the book well, giving the right feel, and I just love it.


I’m not sure where to start with this book.
The writing. It’s very pretty, and I love the descriptions of the setting and the performances. It gives just the right feel for the magical performances each family has, and the accident that happens. It also fits well for all the cryptic warnings and gossip each family partakes in regarding their past.
The magic. And the performances. I loved those. The Palomas are mermaids, in a way, deeply connected to water. In opposition, the Corbeaus are crows, with feathers and wings, skillfully climbing in the trees. There’s just a hint of magic here, some real gypsy feelings, subtle but there nonetheless, with a lot of superstitions.
The families drove me crazy. They’re both in the wrong, hugely biased and close-minded, stuck in their ways. In competition with each other, but at one point it turned to real hatred, and it’s not good for anyone. It’s mostly the head of the households, the grandparents and parents that partook in the accident from years ago. They refuse to budge, seriously believing the other family is up to black magic. It’s frustrating and upsetting, and it made me want so badly for someone (several someones) to be smacked.
The families are entwined in this huge secret. Not everyone, but a lot of members know the secret, but the main characters are mostly entwined now and oblivious. The reveal was… not quite what I expected, but I liked it. It made sense, after everything, but it only frustrated me more, the bigheadedness of the families. The anguish that they’ve caused because of the refusal to see something different.
Now, the romantic couple. I liked Cluck and Lace from the beginning. Lace wants to be a mermaid, she loves the water and their tails. Cluck, on the other hand, has always been shunned and punished for existing by his family, and he wants out, only he’s not working very hard to find a way. They’re a Romeo and Juliet story from the beginning, with Lace getting close to Cluck and finding out about his family. Their chemistry was real to me from very early on, and I loved the way they fell. Slowly, unsure and afraid of the consequences, and yet wanting each other. I really liked the way that Lace grew protective of Cluck, too, because I completely understood her standpoint and I wanted to do the same thing.
The ending was very fitting. I do wish maybe something more had happened with their families, but I think this is more realistic. And it mostly just makes me happy for Cluck and Lace, because they deserve this.
I really enjoyed this book. It was beautiful and I fell with the characters. 

A review copy was provided by the publisher, St. Martin’s Press. Thank you!

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