The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Release date: Sept 15th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Magical Realism
So, before we go into what made me love this book so much, just let me say that I have come to adore magical realism. There is something so BEAUTIFUL in the way that these books are written. I really stepped out of my comfort zone this year, having read more contemporaries and epic fantasy books than I ever thought I would. And I have to say, it's books like this one that really fuel my love for the genres that I was not really comfortable with. So let's get on with it!
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.
The beautiful writing. The author makes the setting come to life, and it surrounds you with a kind of dreamy, magical feeling. the writing style just flowed so smoothly, and, dare I say it, reminds me of Laini Taylor. (Which means that it's VERY, VERY good.) And just like with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I loved the switches in POV, and thought the third-person-past-tense perspective was well-used!
The characters. I loved, loved, LOVED, all the characters. Cluck will always have a special place in my heart because I turn into a gooey puddle when I think of him. He goes on my "Characters-Deserving-A-Big-Hug-And-Double-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies" List. It was also very easy to relate to Lace , who is pretty spunky and determined. Both of them developed at amazing rates. And the chemistry between the two! They were so absolutely adorably SHIPPABLE!
The plot. SO. AMAZING. So, on of the reasons I don't love a lot of contemporaries is because they tend to be a tad bit predictable (eg: The DUFF, The Fault In Our Stars), but THIS book made my jaw drop open multiple times. I love how it's not only about the romance, but also about Lace and Cluck, especially, learning to identify themselves, giving this a slight coming-of-age vibe. I was wondering how they would get around the family feuds, and I think the author's resolution to it was realistic and perfect!
The ending was perfectly bittersweet. I really liked how the author didn't shy away from a realistic ending. It would have been so easy, given the genre of the book, to wrap up everything neatly with a cute pink bow on top and have everyone holding hands and singing together in the end, but that didn't happen. The end left me dreamy and sad and happy and excited and content and unsatisfied. I loved how this book made me feel.
My review might not actually do this book justice, so all I say to you is, go read it! It's so full of magic and heartbreak and romance that gives you the warm fuzzies. If you enjoyed Girl On A Wire or The Night Circus or Laini Taylor's beautiful writing style, you should give this a try.