The Weight of Feathers: A Novel by Anna-marie MclemoreThe Weight of Feathers: A Novel by Anna-marie Mclemore

The Weight of Feathers: A Novel

byAnna-marie Mclemore

Hardcover | September 15, 2015

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A finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, Anna-Marie McLemore's The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice.

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.

ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and grew up in a Mexican-American family. She attended University of Southern California on a Trustee Scholarship. A Lambda Literary Fellow, she has had work featured by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, CRATE Literary Magazine's cratelit,...
Title:The Weight of Feathers: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 8.55 × 5.82 × 1.08 inPublished:September 15, 2015Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250058651

ISBN - 13:9781250058652


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous and captivating! One of the best examples of magical realism! Add Anna-Marie McLemore to your auto-buy list - her writing is gorgeous and captivating! THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS was a beautiful tale of star-crossed lovers; a retelling of Romeo and Juliet that turns into something much more original and sure to enthral and fascinate readers for years to come. At the beginning, magic exists only as a rumour, an idea to the reader and I loved that as you read on, it became more real and concrete. It of course always retains that sense of mystery, hence the term 'magical realism'. The reader understands this is taking place in America, but we are not quite sure on the exact time or location. I loved this and felt it made the book all the more relatable - I could imagine these characters anywhere. We see the Romeo and Juliet theme in the form of two rival families, who can't quite agree on when and why they became rivals. There are the two lovers, Cluck and Lace - characters I immediately fell in love with. Seriously, my heart broke thinking about the hardships they had to go through. Yet, this book turns into something you haven't quite read before. There is magic and heartache, and writing that reads like poetry. Crows and mermaids, feathers and scales. You may think you know what this book is about, but you end up getting so much more! I absolutely love McLemore's work and I will 100% recommend anything she writes.
Date published: 2017-02-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Subtle magical realism added nicely to plot The families of the Palomas and Corbeaus have been enemies for twenty years and every year the two families of traveling performers attend the same festival. The Palomas perform as mermaids, swimming and amazing their audience. The Corbeaus fly high in the trees as tightrope walkers. Lace Paloma is in her first year of performing in her family’s show and she knows to stay away from the Corbeaus and their black magic. But when disaster strikes the town, Lace is saved by none other than Cluck Corbeau. His touch banishes her from her family and he allows her into his. As they begin to fall for each other, they have to be sure no one else finds out who she is or else both their lives will be in danger. This book had such an interesting concept that when I first heard about it, it immediately was highly ranked on my TBR list. I was excited to lose myself to the magical realism and the feud between the Palomas and the Corbeaus, and the forbidden love between Lace and Cluck. The story was told in the alternating POVs of Lace and Cluck, which helped add to the feud between to the families since the reader got to see both sides and their beliefs. Each chapter, depending on which character’s POV it was, was headed by a saying either in Spanish or French. Lace was a rookie at performing in shows and was always trying to prove herself to her grandmother, who ran everything. All she wanted was to be a part of it and to show her grandmother and the others that she could contribute to their show. She did everything she was supposed to do so when she was cast out for allowing a Corbeau to touch her, in order to save her life, I was angry for her. Cluck was almost the opposite. He wasn’t a performer in his family’s show but fixed the wings they used in the performance. He was an outcast in his own family because of the colour of his feathers. He was bullied by the others, especially his brother Dax, but as much as he might have wanted to leave, no one truly left the family. Their paths crossed when Cluck saved Lace, without knowing who she was, and his touch marked her for all her family to see. For their protection, they believed they must cast her out and Lace believed she needed to seek Cluck’s forgiveness to erase her mark and rejoin her family. She ended up getting pulled into his family’s performance and learning that maybe all their beliefs weren’t true. The star-crossed, forbidden lovers tale has been done many times but I still enjoyed their spin on it. It wasn’t an insta-love connection, though there did always seem to be something between them right away, even before they knew it. The magical realism was mostly subtle. There were mentions of feathers and scales(or birthmarks) on the performers’ bodies and dark magic but it was never at the forefront of the story. The main story focused on the relationship between Lace and Cluck, the feud between the families, and the growth of the two main characters. The writing was beautiful. There were many quotable passages and it made the book a quick read because of the way the words flowed together. Stopping at any point felt like stopping in the middle of an important part because they all felt so connected. The only real complaint I had was that the ending felt a little fast and I had to purposely slow down in reading it so to not miss anything. Having to do that disrupting the reading flow a little and made it less enjoyable.
Date published: 2015-12-15

Editorial Reviews

"The Weight of Feathers is one of the most stunning books I have read in years, and one that I desperately wish I had written. Equal parts heartbreaking, insightful, and charming, it's a truly unforgettable read. McLemore's gift for finding perfectly unique turns of phrase astounds, but equally important is her ability to bring to life fully-realized characters that you'll want to live with long after you turn the last page of this exceptional debut." -I.W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above"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. A contemporary, magical take on an ever compelling theme." -Kirkus Reviews"Lush, elegant language, peppered with Spanish and French phrases, lends this romance an ethereal feel well suited to the book's magical elements." -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, STARRED REVIEW"McLemore's prose is ethereal and beguiling, the third-person narration inflected with Spanish and French words and phrases that reflect the non-magical aspects of the Paloma and Corbeau heritage. 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 "In this tale of magical realism, the magic is so deftly woven into the fabric of the story, readers might overlook the more subtle moments. 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"You've never read a love story quite like this. 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"McLemore's prose is vivid, with carefully chosen, colourful details giving readers a clear sense of place and character. 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"A gripping, beautifully rendered story with prose reminiscent of Eva Luna and a fantastical world as captivating as that of The Night Circus." -Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes"Scales and feathers touch and burn in McLemore's stunning debut. The beauty of the language wraps around you, not letting go until long after the final page." -Jaleigh Johnson, New York Times-bestselling author of The Mark of the Dragonfly and Secrets of Solace"Draws us into a world that's magical but still feels very, very real. The writing is beautiful, fluid, lyrical. I never wanted this story to end." -Robin Talley, author of Lies We Tell Ourselves"A gorgeous debut, lush and heart-tuggingly romantic, full of bittersweet magic." -Jessica Spotswood, author of The Cahill Witch Chronicles"An unmissable story... Will leave you enchanted till the last page. Beautiful." -Emery Lord, author of Open Road Summer"A dazzling debut full of imaginative flair, long-buried secrets, and hypnotic power. It drew me in with its gorgeous passages and left me reeling with a fantastical story about love and struggling against the confines of family and creating a life all your own,.-Nova Ren Suma, author of The Walls Around Us and Imaginary Girls