When the Moon was Oursby Anna-Marie McLemore
Published on October 4, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Publisher (via NetGalley)
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
Magical realism is one of those genres that I want more of but am also leery of because I tend to either really like it or I don’t. When the Moon was Ours falls somewhere in between.
Where this book excelled for me was the characters. I’m trying to read more diversely and this book was absolutely beautiful. McLemore has not only included a cast of culturally diverse characters but of different sexualities as well and though I’m not a good judge of the representation, I thought she did a good job in my own opinion.
But the book fell a bit flat for me. I like magical realism but usually need a bit more of an explanation for the kind of “magic” included in this book. There were too many different things for me to just go along with it. And though it seems like a lot of people loved the writing style, I just… didn’t. Wasn’t for me. Nor did I find the plot terribly interesting.
The characters were wonderfully created and developed, but this just wasn’t the book for me in terms of the writing and story, unfortunately.