Friday, October 7, 2016

Me on When the Moon Was Ours

Title: When the Moon Was Ours
Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (Macmillan imprint)

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.

When the Moon Was Ours is haunting and magical, a look at identity and secrets, at wanting to keep the things we love close so no one can steal them away.

This is one of those impossible to describe books for me. Reading this book hurt. Like my heart was instantly tied to Sam's, to Miel's, and I was helpless against their pull. Against their struggles, against their joy and fear and sorrow. Against their love, against their secrets that tear them apart. This book hurts in so many ways, in exquisite ways. Like roses and thorns, the scent lush and heady and the pricks sharp and painful. It was so easy for me to feel for Sam and Miel, to want their secrets kept secret, to want them to just be. But it's never that easy. They have to face the things that hurt them, that scare them.

At the end, when I finished, this book hurt so much I wanted to cry. Cry for boys like Sam, for girls like Miel, for girls like Ivy Bonner. This story is a lyrical and mesmerizing gathering of identity, cultural practices and customs, family, magic and impossibility, and love. Because they love, they want. Because they love, they protect. A glorious, heart-breaking fairy tale of a story. A must-read.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)

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