Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore Review

"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."
"Two households, both alike in dignity, in Fair..."

Oh. Whoops. Never mind. Wrong story, wrong work of literature. But let's admit it. The Weight of Feathers and Romeo and Juliet share quite a lot of similarities. Two rivaling families who hate each other, check. A daughter, check. A son, check. They fall in love with each other, check. And if anyone from the family finds out about it, they might die. Check, definitely check.

YA Magical Realism isn't quite what I've been expecting when I first picked up the book. I was actually expecting YA Contemporary Romance, but at the first mention of magic, I was thrown off and had to reread certain parts of the book. But other than that little bump in the road, I had a pleasant time reading The Weight of Feathers. It's filled with a much more subtle magic that isn't so direct as YA Fantasy, drama (of course; forbidden love demands drama, pain, and angst), and romance (one can't have forbidden love without the actual love). 

The plot sends Lace towards the other household. The enemy household. Branded (unintentionally) by Cluck, she is thrown out of her household and deemed cursed by her own family. Cluck, an outcast in his own family, is surprised by the attraction he feels for this girl, and together, they unleash a whole ton of trouble upon their own heads. The question of whether or not they will get caught is an overarching part of the tale and one of the biggest suspenseful points. 

There's something sad and bitter about Cluck that simply draws me to him. No. It's not love or a crush or something similar to that. He's an outcast, as I have said before. He is not part of the family, and he has been bullied by the golden boy in the family. Reading about him finding his own happiness (about him finding Lace) is the greatest part in the book. And though Lace is a bit tentative, their romance remains one of the biggest pushes of the plot. 

The ending is the most dramatic part of the book. And it gives a somewhat bittersweet end to the rivalry and the story. That's all I'm going to say. 

Overall, The Weight of Feathers is a curious story that brings an alternative ending towards the Romeo and Juliet shenanigan. Rival families, two lovers, and a conclusion that doesn't end in death. I recommend this for anyone who loves forbidden romance, magic, and a story a bit out of the ordinary. 

Rating: Three out of Five

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