Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Romance
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
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.
Beautifully written, and richly imaginative, The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice.
Find The Weight of Feathers online
I'm really struggling to write this review, to be completely honest. I'm not sure how I feel about this story. For the most part, I feel meh about the whole thing. I mean, I found it some of it interesting and I finished it quickly but it didn't leave a lasting impression on me except maybe some annoyance with certain aspects. After I turned the final page, I wasn't left thinking "wow". Instead, I closed the book and thought, "okay, what to read next?"
What I can say about this book is that it didn't really pick up until about 100 or so pages in. I'm kind of surprised I finished it, to be completely honest. It's not that it was boring in the beginning, but nothing captured my attention. I probably would have marked it DNF if it hadn't been a gift. I am glad I pushed through the beginning bit and was able to read the more interesting aspects of the story but I could have done without the confusing and often dull set up and backstory.
While reading this book, I felt like I wasn't getting what the author wanted me to get. Like, she would hint at something, some past deed that created so much hatred between the two families, and I just wouldn't understand. Now, normally I pride myself on being a fairly smart and intuitive reader so it really frustrated me having to reread passages multiple times and pick them apart in order to grasp what the author wanted me to. I think this was a result of her writing style, which besides this was nicely whimsical and pretty, but I could have done without the mystery aspect. For the longest time I just didn't get why the families hated each other so much. Even now, I half don't get it, and it's a central part to the story. ALSO, a lot of the book has sentences and words written in either Spanish or French, languages I am not proficient in (I know basically nothing of either, despite having taken many Spanish classes in high school) so that added to my confusion. While some were easy words that I could understand, there were also more complicated sentences that took my out of the book because I had to look them up.
As far as the characters go, I wasn't in love with them. In fact, I didn't even really like them until close to the end. Lace and Cluck were decent characters but they just didn't grab me. I didn't connect with them at all. They were there and there were times that they were interesting and in the end, I was rooting for them but I wouldn't be devastated if things didn't go their own way. They were just bland. Even now, I want to write more and expand on this but I'm really finding nothing to say about them.
Possibly the biggest problem I had with this book, the thing that made me want to give it the stink eye, was the fact that absolutely nothing was explained. GUYS. So many things were just there and there was never any explanation as to why or how. I especially wanted explanation of the events that happened in the end and I just didn't get any. I understand that this is a fantasy though, to be honest, I didn't realize that going into the book but I loathe when books are just like "this happened because of reasons". NO. WHAT REASONS DID IT HAPPEN BY. Oh my gosh, so frustrating.
I feel like most of this review has been negative. Don't worry, I did enjoy some aspects of this book. I liked that it was reminiscent of the classic star-crossed lovers theme, I liked the whimsical writing style and the descriptions of the acts each family performed, and I enjoyed parts of the romance.
Like I said before, this book was just meh to me. I was expecting to really like it but ended up being more annoyed than anything else. Still, it was a quick read and had a lot of elements I think readers will enjoy. The things that I found wrong with it are just things that happen to really annoy me.
“The sense of falling did not touch her, not as long as her body was between the hands of this boy who felt steadier in the air than on the ground.”