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Search tags: anna-marie-mclemore
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review 2020-03-24 06:12
Review: Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore
Dark and Deepest Red - Anna-Marie McLemore

I believe this book earns the distinction of my first 5-star book of 2020. It was phenomenal. I have not read a book by this author before, but if this is any indication then I am going to have to read some of their other offerings. I honestly don’t have enough good things to say about it.

 

The contrasting stories were so expertly woven that when the two were merged in the final chapters I just sat in wonderment at the dichotomy and similarity of the two narratives. I found both of them enchanting. The world presented by the 1500’s France era of suspicion and fear at things the people did not understand and, as a result, were more than willing to blame the “other” people for. And the present day world of Emil and Rosella in which strange happenings are accepted as part of the culture but that the “other” group of people is still to be considered with suspicion for other reasons.

 

And through all of it you have two women, Lala and Rosella. Both of them struggling with the roles assigned to them by the society they inhabit. And there was also a lesson in these pages, but not quite the one the author explained in her Author’s Note. Personally, I found that a bit annoying. I don’t like being told by anyone what the point of the story is supposed to be. Their bottom line may not be my bottom line. And, to me, it treads dangerously close to telling me how to “properly” read the story. But since it was at the end of the book, I could only get mildly annoyed because I had already formed my own opinion about the book by that point.

 

Anyway, back to the message that I took from the story. This is a story about women. The roles that are assigned to them by the various people in their life; family, lovers, friends, and society as a whole. All women are told by the world who they ought to be. But the message of the story is that you can either accept that role or craft a new one. That it is within your power to take all the things that people tell you that you are and embrace them to a new end like Lala, or spit in the face of them and use their power to fuel your own like Rosella.

 

Frankly, this is a book that I would pass on to my daughter when she’s older as an example of the power she inherently has as a woman and the ways she can use that power to whatever end she desires. I loved it.

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review 2020-01-02 04:07
Dark & Deepest Red
Dark and Deepest Red - Anna-Marie McLemore

It’s no secret that I love McLemore’s work. Anna-Marie is probably my favorite author writing in Teen right now, and whenever a new title is announced I do a little happy dance. As it turns out that happy dance was very much in the spirit of things as this latest offering is a retelling of the classic story of the red shoes. This book is absolutely gorgeous. It has all the lush lyrical writing I’ve come to expect, as well and an emotional core that hit me right in the heart. Even better is that McLemore uses the story of the red shoes to tell both a very old story and a very new one all at the same time, and never gets bogged down or hamstrung by what came before. The story manages to feel familiar and fresh all at once. McLemore remains a master and I am ensorcelled by the sheer beauty of storytelling and wordcraft in this book. Dark and Deepest Red hits shelves on the 14th and you absolutely do not want to miss it.

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review 2019-09-07 00:00
Blanca & Roja
Blanca & Roja - Anna-Marie McLemore A slower read, one that I almost abandoned, but it grew on me. The kind of magical realism that takes place in a hard to pin down modern time (but not one with cell phones, I think). McLemore's ultra descriptive style I can see being too much for people; it's very lush and full of carefully chosen moments and imagery. Ultimately what kept me reading and (eventually) emotionally invested was the strength of the relationships between characters and how they grow in the time of the narrative, not their memories of their ties with each other. I think if I had read this as a teen it would be in my top 10.
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review 2019-03-26 07:51
Dnf Blanca and Roja
Blanca & Roja - Anna-Marie McLemore

DNF I have no clue what’s going on in this one. And not invested in the characters enough to want to read more and find out.

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review 2018-12-06 23:56
Blanca & Roja: Or, the Snow White/Swan Lake mash-up you didn't know you needed
Blanca & Roja - Anna-Marie McLemore

Everything Anna-Marie McLemore writes is gorgeous. I know that's not much of a review, but I'm tempted to just leave it at that. If you haven't read her books you should. And if you have then you know what to expect. This book is beautifully written, with characters that made my heart ache, and a story infused with dreamy surreal magic. It was lush, lovely, and worth savoring. Oh, and it's a Snow White, Rose Red, Swan Lake mash-up, if that speaks to you. And if re-tellings aren't your thing don't sweat it - this one has enough originality it stands all on its own.

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