Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review: When the Moon Was Ours

When the Moon Was Ours When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I now know the names of more moon craters and species of pumpkins than I ever wanted to know.

This book is like a modern fairy tale about a girl who has roses growing from her wrist. It's also about gender and love and the secrets that can shatter us.
It's so beautifully written, so vivid. Which kind of bugged me after a while, but that's just me. I have attention span issues and sometimes I just want the story to get moving. But the descriptions were so gorgeous that I didn't mind it taking a little longer to read.
For a book where one of the main characters spilled out of a water tower and sprouts flowers, the magic angle is actually pretty slight through most of the book. I won't let the genre affect my rating (even though I'd much rather there be more magic and fantasy), it was so slight that I almost forgot about it sometimes, to the point that a few of the twists (no spoilers, but I'll just say Leandro was one, and the big climax was another) felt like they came out of left field until I remembered, "Oh, right. Magic exists as more of a metaphor."
The gender stuff is a little tough sometimes. Sam was assigned female at birth but identifies as male, something he keeps hoping he'll grow out of. And some characters purposely misgender and threaten to out him.
But overall, it's a book about love. Romantic and familial and self-love, and all the characters pop off the page. Within a few paragraphs of their introduction, I could feel the mythology of the Bonner girls that must exist in that town.

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