Hello Readers & Writers,
I decided quite recently that I would start doing book reviews on my blog. The first will be dedicated to When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore. This review will be spoiler free so if you haven’t read it yet, there is no need to click away.
I chose this book because it was the first book I read in 2017 that really hooked me. I nearly forgot to get off the train.
My biggest disclaimer about the book is it may not be for everyone. Anna-Marie McLemore has a unique style of prose, one that feels like poetry and fairytale wrapped into one. There is a lot of description dedicated to nature, colors, and spices. Instead of prose that is
straight to the point, she guides the reader through beautiful images. I found myself unable to put the book down. I was in a trance, seeing picture after picture in mind. It brought me to life, almost like a story ripped from a painting. She connects a lot of emotions to nature and different shades of color. You will feel everything, not just in your heart, but through your senses.
The story follows best friends Miel and Sam. A water tower collapses in a small town and Miel comes out of it. At first the town is horrified; they see Miel as a feral creature that has breached the safety of their town. Sam, who is a child equally as young as Miel, approaches her and tells her that it will be okay. From there, the two grow into teenagers and that is when the majority of the story takes place.
This book is rather odd, keep that in mind. It is rooted in fantasy. Miel has the ability to grow roses from her wrists. She has secrets that she has yet to tell and face herself. Sam creates and draws moon in order to comfort Miel. He too is hiding something, that Miel and his mother know, but it takes a personal journey to truly come to terms with it. Aracely, who is Miel’s guardian, is able to cast lovesickness away from broken hearts. The Bonner sisters, a well known family in this town, are able to make boys fall in love with them as they please. They don’t know what the word ‘no’ means. There is also the antagonism that comes from small town setting. Everyone knows everyone so gossip runs wild as to prejudices.
Anna-Marie McLemore takes you far away from reality, which I loved, but also keeps bits and pieces of reality too. She captures intimate feelings of love, self-identity, family, revenge, friendship, and bravery. From the Author’s Note she leaves in the book, you learn she has a close relationship with one of the main plots in the book. I will not say what, but read the Author’s Note, and learn her closeness to some of the characters she created. Me, as a reader, I felt the sincerity. I felt the rawness. I felt what it’s like to not be what you want to be or struggle with who you are. Anna-Marie McLemore does not shy away from diving into the depths of her characters – a brutal honesty that I admire and I believe other readers will as well.
If you want to try something different, leave normalcy behind, read this book. It entrances you. The characters are beautifully diverse and strong. You will root for Miel and Sam through every page.
Let me know, if you have read this book, your thoughts below. I would love to discuss this book further. If not, consider picking it up.
It gets 5/5 roses from me.