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


Title: The Weight of Feathers

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore

Publication Date: September 15th, 2015

Format: E-Book

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, The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice.

five stars

This book review is so overdue I want to cry.

Thoughts

Would you look at that. Jinan has liked a hyped book. The world will never be the same again.

As you can guess from my statement above (and if you’re an active part in the internet book community), you’ll know that this book has been getting massive hype. And for once in my life, I wholeheartedly agree.

The language and prose in this book. Oh God. Beautiful.

He felt her folding his nickname up like one of her scarves, slipping it into her dress pocket. She kept it close. She didn’t let it fly out of the truck’s windows and drift on the highway’s current like a postcard.

Seriously how beautiful is that imagery? This book has a lot of these! YES YES YES.

Another thing I loved about this book? The world building. The Weight of Feathers is classified as magical realism so that means it’s a mixture of our contemporary world and a magical one. Here, some people have feathers for hair while others wear mermaid tails and have scales on their bodies.

Since this is a Romeo and Juliet retelling, I’m just gonna throw this out there. I don’t like Romeo and Juliet. I don’t think it’s the most epic love story of all time and I don’t understand why people label it as such. Maybe it’s because of the writing. If that’s the case, then I totally understand. I’ve read some of Shakespeare’s plays (Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, Richard III, and half of Twelfth Night) and his writing is so beautiful and flowery and encompasses a shitload of meanings. But I digress. The feud plays a very important role in the story so we have to talk about it. I think it’s a very interesting concept because it’s a very real depiction of how things are in real life. When two sides fight, they each blame the other. Each side is so biased that they refuse to think that they themselves had a hand in how the events progressed and pour all their hatred and frustration on the enemy. It was the exact same thing here. The Palomas blamed the Corbeaus and the Corbeaus blamed the Palomas and it was a vicious circle of hatred and hurt and disgust and rumors and lies and I really loved and appreciated that. There was no whitewashing. No trying to hide things by making them seem less ugly.

I loved loved the end. It was perfect. Freaking.PERFECT. (and no I won’t spoil it for you. All I’ll tell you is that it’s a happy ending so if you’re concerned about that, don’t be 🙂 )

Character Analysis

Lace

I adored Lace. She was a kickass female lead who didn’t let other people decide how she’s going to live her life. She stood beside Cluck when he needed her the most and even when he rejected her she never gave up on him because she cares about him. She didn’t go like “oh he doesn’t want me anymore so bye bye he can go to hell for all I care.” No, she still worked her ass off to make his life better. That’s real love, people.

Out of all of Lace’s family, I loved her father the most. He sided with her when no one did and I think Lace really appreciated that.

Cluck

Coming from a family with pure raven black feathers, Cluck’s red and black ones made him feared and hated by his family. His mother emotionally abused him while his brother went physical, leaving bruises and, often times, breaking his fingers. Cluck tried his best to repress himself, just so his family would be okay with him staying. He didn’t fight back when his mother and brother abused him. It was so sad seeing him that way because even though he did all those things, his family still didn’t accept him. His mother and brother still abused him. Shows how people will never be satisfied no matter what you do to please them.

His relationship with Lace was probably the only good thing in his life other than his relationship with his grandfather. His grandfather was like a father to him. He taught him everything he knows. He was so patient with him. Was he the same with other children? Not so much, no. If it weren’t for him I think that Cluck would have given up on his life a long time ago.

Bottom Line

I loved this book! I loved the magical elements that weren’t exactly what you’d expect when someone says ‘magical elements’. I loved Lace and Cluck’s relationship so much and that ending holy shit I was smiling so wide. Cluck deserves to be happy after all that crap that he went through ♥

Recommended to: Those who like retellings with really cool twists and those who want a brilliant and dynamic couple with a hate to love relationship. 

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