Wild Beauty: A Novel by Anna-marie MclemoreWild Beauty: A Novel by Anna-marie Mclemore

Wild Beauty: A Novel

byAnna-marie Mclemore

Hardcover | October 3, 2017

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"No one does magical realism quite like McLemore, and this third novel, laced with slow-burning suspense, folklore, romance, and spun together with exquisite, luxuriant prose, proves it.,,, Sheer magic: fierce, bright, and blazing with possibility."- Booklist (starred)

Love grows such strange things.

Anna-Marie McLemore's debut novel The Weight of Feathers garnered fabulous reviews and was a finalist for the prestigious YALSA Morris Award, and her second novel, When the Moon was Ours, was longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Now, in Wild Beauty, McLemore introduces a spellbinding setting and two characters who are drawn together by fate-and pulled apart by reality.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They've also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he's even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

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:Wild Beauty: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.57 × 5.79 × 1.26 inPublished:October 3, 2017Publisher:Feiwel & FriendsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250124557

ISBN - 13:9781250124555

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and Inclusive! This story was written so lyrically and the author paid such a careful attention to detail. It gave me some of the most beautiful mind images! And the characters were diverse and had depth
Date published: 2018-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Plot as gorgeous as the cover! This book is just as beautiful as it’s cover, and filled with so much emotion that it was palpable. McLemore has a style that is all her own, mixing a contemporary writing style with that of all the classic fairy tales. It runs the gamut of emotions, from happiness, to grief, and everything in between, but within it all is a thread of hope. It will make you feel for the characters within, and make you want to wrap your arms around them and hold them to make it a little better, if you can. This is also a really good introduction to magical realism for those who might not have been interested in the genre before, as it is written in a way that gently guides you into the journey that these characters are going to, without seeming too overtly strange or otherworldly. The characters are individual, and their struggles are painful, agonizing, really, and they are written so realistically. This book is just awesome.
Date published: 2018-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Beautiful This book was beautifully written. It took me a little while to get into the story but once I did it didn’t want to put it down ahahaha. I do wish the book was a little more eventful as it felt like not much happened at some points but over all I enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2018-06-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not sure I'm not sure if I liked this book or not. It was very slow moving and took me a long time to get through, but it was also beautiful.
Date published: 2018-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Okay I will admit I almost gave up on this book because the beginning is slow but trust me stick with it. This book is so beautifully written and the story is just magical. you will not be disappointed in the end.
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow moving initially the book was slow moving and nothing was really happening, everything picked up near the end but it was still meh. Garden sounded beautiful through her writing
Date published: 2017-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I liked this Came in the mail a few days ago and I have already started reading because I was so excited to get it, the characters had really interesting name but not to mention the beautiful cover!!
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A case of pretty writing but boring content I'm not sure what to think of Wild Beauty. There were a few things I loved and a few things I didn't like. Everything else fit into the 'meh' category. By the looks of things so far I'm going to have the unpopular opinion on this one. - There were some good things about this book. For one, the writing was gorgeous. Sadly this time around, it fell under the category of pretty writing to make up for the boring nothing that was everything else. - The biggest thing I struggled with in this book was that I didn't feel anything for any of the characters. I wasn't rooting for Fel as he tried to remember his past or even shipping any of the characters. Nothing. I just didn't care for any of them. A giant meteor could have fallen from the sky and killed everyone and I still wouldn't care. Maybe it was because I couldn't relate to them or maybe because the pretty words didn't make me like them. It could have be either but when I don't care about the characters it makes it hard to be invested in the story. Plus we didn't even know anything about them. The mothers and grandmothers were only known as just that and the cousins all felt like they were mushed into one person. - Speaking of the characters, a giant hooray for including a diverse cast! It was actually really refreshing to read about realistic characters for once. Plus it was mostly all female characters which is always great in my opinion. - The next big problem I had with Wild Beauty was the plot because nothing ever happened. In the beginning a strange boy appears which I great. That starts our story off. Then in the whole middle section nothing happened until the very end where they discover this big mystery that I didn't even realize was a mystery? It just felt like this book had no purpose. The plot just bounces around between Fel just hanging out and the Briars (specifically Bay, the most forgettable character ever). Nothing fits together nicely and we're never given enough details to know what's going on at any point. The ending sort of pulled everything together but by that point I was bored and not invested in the story AT ALL. - Going along with the plot, the world-building was lacking. Maybe it was me, I was bored enough that my eyes started skipping over sections, but I honestly had no idea what this world was. It seemed to be our modern day world except there was no technology mentioned ever. And then it seemed like it was more historical until Fel's past was brought up which just made me confused again. I also never fully understood the magic in this world. If someone came up to me and asked me to explain it to them I would come up blank. I get that it was more of a pretty whimsical story but that just didn't work for me. I think a lot of people will like this story. Its themes of love and family were great plus the diversity was awesome. If you're the kind of person that needs action or mystery or SOMETHING going on then maybe, like me, this isn't the book for you. * I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok a very good read.interesting storyline
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Completely Enchanting It was like reading the most beautiful fairytale ever written. Imagine a little house in the valley surrounded by dozens and dozens of blooming flowers. Where if you looked close enough you could see a shimmering glow in the sunlight. An enchanted garden masking heartbreak and loss. Wild Beauty is a lovely and enchanting story about love and family. The whole book was so magical and so well written, the writing was lyrical, soft and elegant. Words can not describe the beauty of the story telling in this novel. There is wonderful representation in this book as well. I highly recommend this novel!
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from For a very specific audience, but the writing is undeniably gorgeous Review originally posted on: http://angelachenwriting.blogspot.ca Solid 3 stars? Wild Beauty was a difficult one to rate. Honestly, my review can be summed up in one sentence, but I feel there are some areas of the book that I really appreciated but would like to talk about. Let’s talk about the good stuff. HOLY SHEEEET MCLEMORE’s WRITING STYLE IS GORGEOUS! Her art with words was just seriously… beautiful. Especially in describing the scenery and a character’s feelings. Honestly, if it weren’t for her writing style, I would have DNFed the book. I would honestly sell a piece of my soul to walk through the gardens of La Pradera, after reading McLemore’s beautiful descriptions. Yes, it was that great. Honestly, this book deserves 5 star for its writing alone. However… the rest is… just okay. I figured it was just not my cup of tea, the characters and romance. But one problem that really took away from my enjoyment of the book was how slow the story was. Unfortunately, I was really, really bored the first 100 pages or so because nothing happened. So if you prefer your books to be fast-paced—like me—then I would say Wild Beauty is not for you. But after those 100 pages, I started to find my engagement increasing, yet even saying this, things were still quite slow. Secondly, scrolling through other reviews of Wild Beauty on Goodreads, I noticed many reviews applaud McLemore of incorporating LGBTQ representation. And while I am all for LGBTQ rep in my books, I find that I was having some problems with this one—minor spoiler: (view spoiler) Forgive me if I find this a little unbelievable, because at heart, I am a very logical person… but if that’s what floats McLemore’s boat, then so be it. Being in the genres that it is in, I would suggest Wild Beauty to people who enjoy LGBTQ rep and magical realism, however if you are a writer, or trying to learn how to write, you should just read this book anyways, maybe not for the plot or characters, but for the AMAZING LANGUAGE USE AND WRITING (still not over it). Many thanks to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC for review.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Magical Mystery (Definitely Recommend) Guiltily, I must admit that I was initially really drawn to this book by the cover. It's beautiful! After reading this novel though, all I can say is that it's a perfect fit because the story is equally as beautiful and the cover is a perfect representation of the content inside. I'm going to be kind of vague with my review because I think this book is a good one to go into blind without knowing much about it. That's how I went into reading this and it made the story even more of a magical read. This book was unlike anything that I've read before and I LOVED that. Everything about the storyline and the fantastical elements was incredibly unique. I would describe this book as magical and mysterious. There is an air of mystery throughout which keeps you in suspense until the very end when everything comes full circle. Also, the descriptions and details in this novel are unreal. The style of the author's writing felt truly visual in that I felt that I could actually visualize everything whether it be a character with their unique physical traits or the setting (La Pradera...man, what a beauty to imagine). My favourite component and what I felt was the most important about this novel was the diversity. This novel was full of diverse characters with each individual's sexuality, race, and background. All of this was written respectfully and was incredibly well done. I really enjoyed this novel and will be looking out for more written by this author in the future. I definitely suggest to pick this one up on October 3 when it hits the shelves! **Thank you to Raincoast Books for supplying me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review**
Date published: 2017-08-17

Editorial Reviews

"A garden is the perfect setting for McLemore's plush, sensuous prose, which unspools the story with delicious languor. Part mystery, part love story, this evocative, lush novel is a delight for sophisticated readers."-Kirkus (starred) "[A] vibrant and magical tale that readers will not easily forget...This fantastical tale will delight her fans and entice a new audience." -School Library Journal (starred)Praise for When the Moon Was Ours:"McLemore's second novel is such a lush surprising fable, you half expect birds to fly out of the pages. McLemore uses the supernatural to remind us that the body's need to speak its truth is primal and profound, and that the connection between two people is no more anyone's business than why the dish ran away with the spoon." -Jeff Giles, New York Times Book Review, on When the Moon was Ours "McLemore dances deftly across genres, uniquely weaving glistening strands of culture, myth, dream, mystery, love, and gender identity to create a tale that resonated to my core. It's that rare kind of book that you want to read slowly, deliciously, savoring every exquisite sentence. I adored this book." -Laura Resau, Américas Award-winning author of Red Glass and The Queen of Water"Lushly written and surprisingly suspenseful, this magical tale is not just a love story, but a story of the secrets we keep and the lies we tell, and the courage it takes to reveal our authentic selves to each other and to the world." -Laura Ruby, Printz Award-winning author of Bone Gap"McElmore blends magical elements with a culturally vibrant cast to create a haunting modern fairy tale...Lush, reverential language remains a hallmark of McElmore's work... Readers interested in gender identity and the pull of family and history will find this to be an engrossing exploration of these and other powerful themes." -Publishers Weekly "McLemore mesmerizes once again with a lush narrative set at the thresholds of identity, family, and devotion... Readers will be ensnared in this ethereal narrative long before they even realize the net has been cast." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review"With luminous prose infused with Latino folklore and magical realism, this mixes fairy-tale ingredients with the elegance of a love story, with all of it rooted in a deeply real sense of humanity. Lovely, necessary, and true." -Booklist, starred review"Readers who stick with this novel will be rewarded with a love story that is as endearingly old-fashioned as it is modern and as fantastical as it is real." -School Library Journal, starred review"It is a story of secrets, and of speaking them, and the power of saying-and living-your truth, without fear." -Lambda LiteraryPraise for The Weight of Feathers:"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"Ethereal and beguiling... 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 "Readers beguiled by the languorous language...will find themselves falling under its spell...A contemporary, magical take on an ever compelling theme." -Kirkus Reviews "A very imaginative modern-day romance akin to Romeo and Juliet and is infused with the whimsy of magical realism." -RT Book Reviews"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