Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Review: Wild Beauty

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: October 3rd, 2017
Source: Macmillan
Date Read: 8/16/17 to 8/22/17
320 pages


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.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

I finished! My thoughts! Well. I didn’t really think of any while I was reading. Which sometimes happens when I’m into a book and its characters. For one, I don’t think I could adequately describe the plot of this book, except flowers, and a strange boy, and a family full of women, who can magically grow the flowers.

Oh, and they can’t leave their home, La Pradera, for fear of being branded witches. And for the fact that their flower magic goes completely out of control.

Before I say anything else, you should read this book if you love elegant writing. I literally can flip to any random page and I’ll find something like this:
“…the ground was whispering, the grass and the flower beds giving up strange things Estrella could not name.”
or
“Their mothers did not notice the other moments that made color bloom in their daughters’ cheeks.”
or
“She imagined pressing her lips to Bay’s so lightly the wind would find its way between them.”
As you can see, it’s extremely well-written. And, the writing is really flowery, literally and figuratively.

I also did enjoy reading about the characters, but I didn’t really have many feelings. It didn’t help that it was hard to differentiate between all the characters introduced. Also, the plot didn’t pick up until the second half of the book, so I ended up being quite bored until then. These reasons are partially why I have no words for this review.

Other cool things I liked about this book:

  • It’s beautifully written. I wish I could write like that.
  • All of the daughters have a secret crush on Bay, who’s a girl. And there is no backlash at all whatsoever.
  • The culture. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to what I have been reading recently, in regards to the fantasy genre.
  • SO MUCH FOOD. AND DESCRIPTIONS OF FOOD. Most of it was in Spanish though, so I can’t even repeat it here because I have 0 experience with Spanish and remember nothing.
  • And of course, all the flowers. Can’t forget those. This is magical realism at its finest (unless I'm wrong and I'm getting the genre wrong). 
  • I say I was bored with the first half of the plot, but it did pick up and I like where it went! Also conveys a really deep message that is pretty relevant to current and social issues.

But yes, don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy this a lot. 4 stars in fact! I just don’t have much to say about the characters and the plot unfortunately.