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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Stefanie's Thoughts: Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

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.

ARC provided by Raincoast Books/ Feiwel and Friends
(all thoughts are my own)

This book is a thing of pure beauty.

I haven't read the authors previous books, but Wild Beauty really stands on its own for uniqueness. I can honestly say I haven't read anything like it before; it was a great ride of a book! From the opening pages I knew I was in for a treat; McLemore creates this brand new universe that feels so magical and filled with the most atmospheric descriptions I have ever read (I should point out that I typically struggle when an author gets to 'flowery' as one of my English professors called it, so I thought I'd find McLemore's prose a bit distracting; nope). Magical realism, as well, can be a hit or miss for me. I've read a couple in the past that dragged on, but not here/ I felt this book moved so quickly; the pace was perfect for me. I liked that at times it did go a little slower, because my brain needed to process this beautiful world that was created as the setting.

 Family relationships were one of my favorite aspects of this book. I really enjoyed how close the five sisters were and how their family always had five daughters, that was a cool concept and made me think of this as a fairy-tale. I liked how the daughters names were all of flowers; I think I enjoyed this more because I like flowers myself and my mom is a really big gardener and this made me feel more connected to the family.

This book also talked about the importance of family; I know a lot of books now involve broken/ dysfunctional families, but I don't always enjoy reading about ones that aren't perfect, but that's life. Families in real life aren't perfect, but you know at the end of the day you come home to them and they are there for you no matter what.

I first heard of this book through Goodreads when a friend added it on their to-read shelf and all I needed was to see the cover and knew I wanted to read this; thank you for adding it, because I'm not sure if I hadn't spotted it if I would have requested an ARC. Thank you, even if I don't remember who it was. This was a beautifully well-written book that I'm so glad I got to read! If you are a fan (or even if you aren't) I recommend this book if you are looking for something different. I think I'll be looking out for more books by this author in the future.

4 out of 5 stars.

Until my next review, Stefanie

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