It amazes me how authors can create believable magical worlds that completely suck me in. I don’t know if it’s harder to create a whole new world, or to incorporate magic into “the real world”. I like both versions. The idea there is more to our world than we can see. really interests me. I also love different takes on worlds and realities.
The Weight of Feathers by Anne-Marie McLemore, contains a realistic world with magical intrigue. The year is never stated during the book and the unknown time gives the story a timelessness that adds to the magical elements.
The main characters are a new version of Romeo and Juliet. It’s not a remake though, McLemore uses the classic tale to develop her own story of two teens separated by their families and differences.
The two feuding families in the book come from two different cultures, one is French and the other Latino.
Both families are proud of their inheritance and magical gifts. The influence of both cultures in the book is strong.
Every chapter starts with a proverb either in French or Spanish depending on the point of view of the chapter. These sayings were thoughtful and gave a glimpse of the chapter.
Not only are these families facing cultural differences but they are also competing traveling shows. One family does a mermaid act and the other a fairy act. The families have physical manifestations of magic that they hide from the world.
The magic is very subtle during the book. At first I thought it was all rumors that the other families were spreading, but as the book continued the presence of magic grew.
The story was incredibly well written. The obstacles the characters faced were both relatable and new. I could relate to being a teenager, but not one with feathers or scales. (spoiler!).
The characters were believable, fresh, and imperfect, which made them perfect to me. I loved the depth of the characters.
The love story of these two characters was believable, imperfect, and pure. The development of the characters coincides with the development of their relationship and I appreciate the realizations they made about themselves and each other.
Overall, this book was the best love story I have read since The Fault in Our Stars. I recommend it as a summer read for those interested in magic, love, and the circus.