October 11, 2017

Review: Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Collaborative feature with Alexa since Nov 2013. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.

Wild Beauty by
Anna-Marie McLemore
pub 10/3/17 by Feiwel & Friends
YA - Magical Realism
Received ARC from pub for review
Plot • The Nomeolvides women have used their gifts to grow beautiful gardens on the grounds of La Pradera for nearly a century. Their curse is that they can't fall in love too deeply or their lovers vanish, which they have. We're introduced to five girls who all struggle falling in love (or trying not to) and their mothers who have passed on this legacy. Then one day a strange boy named Fel appears in their gardens and Estrella, one of the girls, finds them. Fel doesn't remember a single thing about who is he or where he comes from but because he appeared in their gardens, the Nomeolvides women take him in as one of their own. But it's really Estrella, more than anyone, who is drawn to him and vice-versa. As she helps him try to remember his past, it uncovers secrets about La Pradera and her entire family.

Characters • Every single character felt so vivid even when they only appeared for brief moments. The gardens, these women and the strong emotions they all kept bottled up just leapt from the pages. But of course it was Estrella and Fel that I really connected with and loved reading about the most.

Writing • Anna-Marie McLemore is a favorite when it comes to magical realism. I love how she approaches the genre and each book of hers I've read has been so unique. I enjoy the way she incorporates magic with love, family, sexuality and coming-of-age stories. It's easy to just accept the magical aspects of her world and be drawn into the characters and their lives.

Overall feelings • This might be my favorite from her! Whimsal and beautifully written, I can't wait to read her next book.

Favorite flower • In terms of looks, peonies and roses are my favorite but for smell, jasmine is the one I love most.

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