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A finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, Anna-Marie McLemore's The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice.
For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows-the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.
Lace Paloma may be new to her family's show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she's been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it's a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace's life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.
About the Author
Anna-Marie McLemore was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and taught by their family to hear la llorona in the Santa Ana winds. They are the author of THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, a 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist; 2017 Stonewall Honor Book WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature; WILD BEAUTY, a Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist best book of 2017; BLANCA & ROJA, a New York TimesBook Review Editors' Choice; DARK AND DEEPEST RED, a Winter 2020 Indie Next List title; and the forthcoming THE MIRROR SEASON.
"The Weight of Feathers is one of the most stunning books I have read in years, and one that I desperately wish I had written. Equal parts heartbreaking, insightful, and charming, it's a truly unforgettable read. McLemore's gift for finding perfectly unique turns of phrase astounds, but equally important is her ability to bring to life fully-realized characters that you'll want to live with long after you turn the last page of this exceptional debut." —I.W. Gregorio, author of None of the Above
“Readers beguiled by the languorous language-a striking mix of French and Spanish phrases, wry colloquialism, lush imagery, and elevated syntax-will find themselves falling under its spell. The third-person narration alternates between Lace and Cluck, doling out twists and building to a satisfying, romantic conclusion. A contemporary, magical take on an ever compelling theme.” —Kirkus Reviews
"Lush, elegant language, peppered with Spanish and French phrases, lends this romance an ethereal feel well suited to the book's magical elements." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, STARRED REVIEW
"McLemore’s prose is ethereal and beguiling, the third-person narration inflected with Spanish and French words and phrases that reflect the non-magical aspects of the Paloma and Corbeau heritage. The enchanting setup and the forbidden romance that blooms between these two outcasts will quickly draw readers in, along with the steady unspooling of the families’ history and mutual suspicions in this promising first novel." —Publishers Weekly
"In this tale of magical realism, the magic is so deftly woven into the fabric of the story, readers might overlook the more subtle moments. Told with skillful poetic nuances, this Romeo-and-Juliet story of forbidden love will entice fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s “Raven Cycle” who wished for a little more romance." —School Library Journal
"You’ve never read a love story quite like this… Anna-Marie McLemore has created in entirely imaginative world and rich characters that will pull you in as if she's spinning magic herself." —Bustle
"McLemore’s prose is vivid, with carefully chosen, colourful details giving readers a clear sense of place and character. An air of mysterious fantasy enshrouds the whole book, pulling the reader through it as if in a spell. McLemore is a writer to watch." —The Guardian
“A gripping, beautifully rendered story with prose reminiscent of Eva Luna and a fantastical world as captivating as that of The Night Circus.” —Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes
"Scales and feathers touch and burn in McLemore’s stunning debut. The beauty of the language wraps around you, not letting go until long after the final page.” —Jaleigh Johnson, New York Times-bestselling author of The Mark of the Dragonfly and Secrets of Solace
“Draws us into a world that's magical but still feels very, very real. The writing is beautiful, fluid, lyrical. I never wanted this story to end.” —Robin Talley, author of Lies We Tell Ourselves
“A gorgeous debut, lush and heart-tuggingly romantic, full of bittersweet magic.” —Jessica Spotswood, author of The Cahill Witch Chronicles
“An unmissable story... Will leave you enchanted till the last page. Beautiful.” —Emery Lord, author of Open Road Summer
“A dazzling debut full of imaginative flair, long-buried secrets, and hypnotic power. It drew me in with its gorgeous passages and left me reeling with a fantastical story about love and struggling against the confines of family and creating a life all your own,.—Nova Ren Suma, author of The Walls Around Us and Imaginary Girls