The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore | Kick Butt Kontemporary

Title: The Weight of Feathers
Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
Pages: 320 pages
Published: September 15th, 2015
Source: Hardcover from Corinne Duyvis, thanks b
Genre: Contemporary, Magic Realism, Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.

Buy it now! 
For fans of the romance in Beautiful Creatures, The Host and The Winner's Curse. As someone wise must have once said, forbidden fruit is always the sweetest. This quote rings true for The Weight of Feathers which follows the classic Romeo and Juliet romance dynamic. Over recent years, the YA genre has really picked up on the 'forbidden fruit' aspect, and I think it's safe to say that characters tend to choose to be with partners they're not allowed to be with or shouldn't be with.

I don't know 100% for sure if this book classifies under the contemporary genre, but it definitely qualifies for me. It's, for the most part, fiction and it deals with a great variety of topics in society. This book was described to me as a Romeo/Juliet retelling, and I could definitely see the parallels. It's almost exactly like R&J if you added some magical realism and a dash of humor.

The magical realism aspect of this novel was my favorite part. I loved how the author made the book quirky with the fantastical aspects but kept it as a light-hearted contemporary romance. We know the story follows two rival families, the Palomas and Corbeaus. But how do we as readers discern one from the other? Well Anna-Marie McLemore seems to have made it very simple as she describes the differences between the two families' performing businesses and histories in great detail. The Paloma's with their escamas (birthmarks) and the Corbeau's, who have plumes (feathers) growing from under their hair.

You better brush up on your Spanish and French because you're going to get a whole lot of that! You know Spanish? Great! You know French? Even better! But in all seriousness, understanding these languages aren't required for you to read the book. I quit Spanish after 8th grade but, hey, I still understood every word because the author makes what they're saying clear. It was refreshing to see the tidbits of language infused in the writing and it played a huge part in keeping my attention.

If you're a fan of culture, you'll love it! So many great cultural references that it almost felt like I was living among these families in their homes. Speaking of families, this book's main focus is the family dynamic and not only the battle between each family but the inner battle that our two characters, Lace and Cluck, face when they realize they're falling for someone they shouldn't be.

I hate to even mention this but pacing was a little bit slow for me in the first 100 pages. I didn't have that desperately-want-to-pick-this-book-back-up-again feeling and by 150 I was praying for something to happen. Not to worry though, the book quickly takes off when romance starts to build tension and tension begins to spill secrets and intertwine the fate of both families.

The Weight of Feathers is a spell-binding masterpiece that must be read. Let your heart be torn out and cut into a million pieces! It's what all the cool kids are doing these days anyway :P I couldn't think of a better book to bring me back into the zone of reading more contemporaries this year! A well-deserved 4 star read. Smurhh but it's still getting a 1 star deduction because of the beginning :/ DON'T KILL ME FOR IT! 

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  1. Okay wow wow wow this book sounds really amazing! It's like the Night Circus with more culture and it seems more enchanting! I understand bits of Spanish so I hope I still understand what they're talking about! Great review!

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

    1. I just read the synopsis for Night Circus and it does sound something like that. I've heard people comparing it to that before but didn't think it was true at first. That Spanish will definitely enhance the reading experience :D Thanks for reading

  2. Great review. I totally agree with you about the pacing. I had a hard time staying interested in parts of this book, but I loved the writing and the magical realism.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. That was totally me while reading this book! So glad you liked it and thanks for reading :D

  3. Awesome review! This one is one that I have been thinking of picking up for the longest time but haven't yet. I do love forbidden romance so I may have to grab this one soon :D

    1. That's awesome Christy! I actually can't wait to hear your thoughts since you're a very good reviewer yourself :D

  4. I don't know about its slow pacing but being a retelling and with a dash of culture really captures my attention. I'll look out for this book and maybe just keep your thoughts in mind when I do pick it up. Great review!

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  5. I have seen The Weight of Feathers a couple of times at my library, but I was not really sure if I wanted to read it or not. The blurb seemed a little but weird to me. Thankfully it makes more sense now that you mention the magical realism. I really want to explore more the "forbidden fruit" books out there and I might start with this one, even though I am not the biggest fan of magical realism.


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