I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 3rd 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism
Love grows such strange things.
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.
The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.
Wild Beauty was one of the rare books where I absolutely adored the writing but ultimately failed to love the book itself due to the pacing. The writing is beautiful, lyrical, and magical, similar to Laini Taylor’s or Roshani Chokshi’s writing. As a reader, you’ll savor each sentence, amazed at how vividly Anna-Marie McLemore conjures up the world of La Pradera. She captures the spirit of the gardens and the emotions of the Nomeolvides women perfectly. My enjoyment of the beauty of the writing is what kept me reading for most of the novel.
There were other parts of Wild Beauty that I adored and that the author handled beautifully. This novel has a focus on the importance of family and heritage. The LGBTQ representation was incredibly well done. There’s some wonderful diversity. It deals with racism, sexism, and bias. It’s about learning to accept yourself for who you are. It’s about learning to love and to conquer your fears. Wild Beauty is one of the most feminist novels I’ve read lately. I would have absolutely adored it if the plot hadn’t been so slow.
The pacing of the plot was the one main negative of this book for me. Everything progressed at a snail’s pace until the ending. I actually ended up putting this one down a few times because the pacing just was too slow for me. However, the ending seamlessly combines the lyrical writing that permeates the book with some faster-paced action. If there rest of the book had been similar to the ending, it would have been a five-star read for me.
Wild Beauty is a beautifully written book that will immerse you in the world of the Nomeolvides women. You’ll fall in love with them and your heart will break for them. This story will stay with you long after you turn the final page. I would recommend this one to readers who don’t mind a slow-paced book.