When the Moon Was Ours Blog Tour: Review

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Release Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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.

After reading McLemore's wonderful debut The Weight of Feathers, I was really looking forward to When the Moon Was Ours. This author has such a gorgeous way with words! Even if I don't like parts of the plot, the writing always overflows my critical thoughts, and I'm swept away in the beauty of the prose. Needless to say, Anna-Marie McLemore's latest novel was fantastic, and, in my opinion, was better than her first novel.

YES TO THE DIVERSITY IN THIS BOOK! Oh my goodness, yes, yes, a million times yes. Wow, I was completely blown away by the cultural references in this book–you have some Pakistani stories come through, and this novel has hints of the La Llorona myth. Our two main characters are a transgender Pakistani boy who paints moons and a Latina who grows roses from her wrist. I mean, you can't get more unique than that, can you? Wonderful characters–even the Bonner Girls are described so beautifully.

However, while this book is brilliant with its descriptions, I felt like there needed to be more action. Sure, there was a really strong story with these characters, and there were secrets uncovered, etc. etc. BUT, I just wanted more. I mean, yes, I would read anything McLemore writes (a grocery list, the phone book–you name it), but I couldn't help but look past the prose now and then, wishing for a little more. The slow pace totally suited the story though, I will give the author that.

A beautiful and strange fairy tale, When the Moon Was Ours will creep its way into readers' hearts. I was shivering with delight while reading this one–McLemore's bewitching work had me spellbound, pulled into the current until the very last word.

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ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and grew up in a Mexican-American family. She attended University of Southern California on a Trustee Scholarship. A Lambda Literary Fellow, she has had work featured by the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, CRATE Literary Magazine’s cratelit, Camera Obscura’s Bridge the Gap Series, and The Portland Review.

Website Twitter Facebook  Goodreads

Picture credit to J. Elliott.


“With luminous prose infused with Latino folklore and magical realism, this mixes fairytale ingredients with the elegance of a love story, with all of it rooted in a deeply real sense of humanity. Lovely, necessary, and true.” Booklist, STARRED Review

“Luxurious language infused with Spanish phrases, Latin lunar geography, and Pakistani traditions is so rich it lingers on the tongue, and the presence of magic is effortlessly woven into a web of prose that languidly unfolds to reveal the complexities of gender, culture, family, and self. Readers will be ensnared in this ethereal narrative long before they even realize the net has been cast.” Kirkus Reviews, STARRED Review

“A love story that is as endearingly old-fashioned as it is modern and as fantastical as it is real.” School Library Journal, STARRED Review

“This is a beautiful exploration of claiming your gender and identity, your body, and your name, and how best to support a loved one going through that process.” B&N Teen Blog, “One of the Most Anticipated LGBTQ YA Books of the Second Half of 2016”

"McLemore dances deftly across genres, uniquely weaving glistening strands of culture, myth, dream, mystery, love, and gender identity to create a tale that resonated to my core.  It’s that rare kind of book that you want to read slowly, deliciously, savoring every exquisite sentence. I adored this book." Laura Resau, Américas Award Winning Author of Red Glass and The Queen of Water

"Lushly written and surprisingly suspenseful, this magical tale is not just a love story, but a story of the secrets we keep and the lies we tell, and the courage it takes to reveal our authentic selves to each other and to the world." Laura Ruby, Printz Award Winning-Author of Bone Gap

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Thank you so much to Brittani at St. Martin's Press for having me on the blog tour and for sending an eGalley for review!

1 comment:

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