WILD BEAUTY by Anna-Marie McLemore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Once again, I find myself entirely conflicted.
First of all, something needs to be said for the writing. It’s absolutely lovely, and flowery in all sense of the word (hah, see what I did there?) Ugh. It’s as if Anna-Marie painted the flowers themselves. The woman can make your mouth water. If you’re a writer, this is a must read, much like Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer. I actually really loved Anna’s other book, ‘The Weight of Feathers’.
But if you are a reader looking for a fast-paced story, look elsewhere. It put me to sleep nearly every time I started reading it. The story is very slow moving and abstract, so go into it with the right expectations. The thing is… gah. You guys. As much as I loved the writing, so much of it was repetitive. Literally, the same sentence written over and over again, just with different words. And okay – it totally works in some instances. I get that. But it was too much for my personal taste. It was meant to be lyrical, which it was, but slowwwww.
All that said, there’s a lot to love about this story. The characters were lovely, as usual with McLemore’s stories, though there were way too many family members for me to keep them straight. I absolutely adored Estrella and Fel, and I rooted for them, but I was expecting a more realistic plot twist. I dunno. That part fell a little short for me. A bit predictable. And a few other things left a sour taste in my mouth, though it was only minor details.
I also feel like I learned some things and my heart broke for the characters many times over, but again… I feel like I would be raving so much more if the pace had been even.
Anyway, what it boils down to, is I feel the same way about this as I did ‘Strange the Dreamer’. I think it’s a book many will love and cherish, and others will simply DNF because of the pace. Decide if you’re the type of reader who is OK with an abstract, low moving plot, and if you are, check this out.