"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 since 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." via Amazon
I had the chance to read The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore for free via NetGalley. All opinions are 100% my own.
I know you're not supposed to, but I definitely judge a book by its cover. The cover and title of The Weight of Feathers grabbed my attention immediately.
When reading the description, I was pretty much expecting a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, maybe without the tragic ending. I'm kind of a sucker for romance, so that was right up my alley. But I was wrong. If you couldn't tell by the description and the cover, yes, there is romance between a boy and a girl from feuding families, but there was a lot more to it! As someone who isn't a huge fan of fantasy books, I absolutely loved that this book was set in the real world among normal people, but these two families both had traits and skills that were very much magical. It's fun to imagine that there is fantasy mixed in with every day reality. (There's a review on Amazon that calls it 'magical realism.' I hadn't heard that before, but it's perfect to describe this book!)
The book was told via Lace and Cluck's points of view. Lace's family is Mexican, so all of Lace's chapters have a Spanish title. They also throw in Spanish phrases throughout her chapters. Cluck's family speaks French and are descendants of Romani Gypsies so his titles are French along with French phrases thrown in. I have never taken French, so that was a little more difficult for me, but I liked having to figure out what things meant.
Both Lace and Cluck are kind of outcasts of their families. Lace desperately wants to fit in and please her grandmother and become a famous performer like her grandmother was. Cluck doesn't want to please his family, he just wants to stay out of their way, unseen. It's interesting that even as outcasts, both characters listen so intently to their family members' warnings about the other family.
Throughout the book, there are references to what started the feud between the Palomas and the Corbeaus in the first place. There is a reason that they cite, but it becomes clear the longer you read that there are more reasons that have not come to light. The whole way through I was squirming to find out what the reason for the feud was. The answer blew my mind. I love a good twist ending and this one did not disappoint. I didn't expect it at all.
The writing was very detailed and descriptive. One of my favorite little details that could easily be missed if you're not paying attention is that Corbeau means 'crow' in French, and Paloma means 'dove' in Spanish. I loved that detail. You may remember that I feel sympathy pains...well, the writing is so descriptive that there may have been a part that had be cringing on the treadmill. In my opinion, if a book can suck you in like that, the author has done her job!
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore is now available! If you couldn't tell by my review, it's definitely one that I recommend!