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My (new and first!!) FAVORITE R+J RETELLING 🧜🏽‍♀️

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“Romeo and Juliet” – a romantic story you can basically put in any context, doesn’t matter the setting and get a good(?) story out of it. Used so much that it’s everywhere; books, movies, music, I don’t even know where else (on a cereal package, you say?). So, today I’m bringing you something old and something new, mixed with some magic. It’s definitely gonna be worth your time ALTHOUGH you have probably already read like 789 retellings, right?


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standalone book
published September 15th 2015
genre: ya, magical realism, romance
the weight of feathers  on goodreads ( •⌄• ू )✧

my rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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.


I’ll start the review with 5 aspects I really loved about the book and end it with telling you what was missing for me to make this an 5 star-rating.

1. MAGICAL REALISM as a Genre🌛

I haven’t read a lot of Magical Realism books yet but what I learned from reading this one is that I really should add some more books of this genre to my goodreads want-to-read shelf. The Weight of Feathers is set in a modern world, to be more precise in an average  town not different from what you think a usual town should look like. That’s why it’s really easy to forget the aspect of magic in this one. While both families perform at their own shows and only pretend to be mermaids and fairies you’ll realize soon that there has to be more to them than self-made wings and amazing make-up skills. Here and there you’ll find magical elements as part of the story and I thought it was really refreshing having to seperate those things from non-magical ones, having to decide what is real and what is not MAGIC.

Here’s an example: While the the show of the Palomas includes mermaids the Palomas girls themselves aren’t “real” mermaids as they wear costumes just as the wings the Corbeaus use but there’s still something really magical about their performances and while I was reading the book I would have loved to see their shows for myself.

And, can we talk about the atmosphere this book has??? Set in a little town with a forest where trees grow higher than any you can probably imagine and a mysterious lake. Doesn’t sound convincing? The author’s writing style will do the rest and give you that magical atmosphere I love to read about!!!!

“Well, there’s a silver lining, huh?”, he said.
She could feel him grasping at it, looking for a way to make this funny. This was the best he could do. He was reaching for the joke, and his hands found this because it hurt less than anything else. This was how he broke things into pieces small enough to hold. 

2. The author’s WRITING STYLE 😻

Since The Weight of Feathers is my first book written by Anna-Marie McLemore I was really looking forward to find out if her writing style really is as mesmerizing as everyone says. Now, at least I can guarantee that IT REALLY IS. Nobody was exaggerating about Anna-Marie McLemore’s lyrical writing and I would really like to add 15518 quotes to prove that but I’ll leave it by just dropping a few. You know where you can find more.

3. Popular YA TROPES INCLUDED IN A VERY GOOD WAY

So, we all know that there are some ya tropes out there which a lot of ya authors use in their books way too many times. People get tired of it and things get very cliché. The best example would be vampires (already hearing the moaning) but some authors manage to include those actually very cool ya tropes in an amazing way. That’s what happened in The Weight of Feathers! Forbidden Love? Enemies-to-Lovers? Rivaling families? Reading this books with all those tropes was – surprisingly – very enjoyable!! Anna-Marie McLemore is a true expert in how to deal with these, some may say overused, tropes without making it boring or cringy.

“Why her?” Because it was hard to make her laugh, and hard to scare her.

4. Lace X Cluck aka the ROMANCE I WAS LOOKING FOR 🧡

I don’t have much to say about the romance because you really have to go and read the book if you want more info but what I can tell you is that you’ll have a slow-burning (i.e. the good type of slow-burning) and extremely cute romance with this one.

5.  PRACTISE YOUR FRENCH AND SPANISH WITH THIS BOOK (this is not a drill)

It was very hard reading this book without finding at least one Spanish or French word on a page and if you’re like me and you’re French vocab basically does not exit… well it’s not a problem though I do think this book can be even more fun if one can understand a bit of Spanish and/or French. While I did understand the Spanish bits because I take Spanish classes I didn’t have a clue about what the Corbeaus were saying. Don’t worry. It’s not like you can’t read this book if you’re not good with languages because you can. I really enjoyed the idea of  the families speaking different languages (i.e. Spanish and French). It added up to the “rivaling families” trope a lot.

She was una sirena and she should know the water was full of beautiful things that were one moon phase from turning poisonous.

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What I didn’t like so much;

  • While I really flew through the last 2 thirds of the book it was really difficult for me to get into the story at first. The first 100 pages of the book were a real struggle for me and so confusing! This made slow-paced and I’m not gonna lie; the whole book’s pacing is slow (that’s not a problem though). Once I got through this hard bit at the beginning, I really liked my reading experience though because the slow-pacing does NOT go with insta love. Yeay!
  • While reading I felt like having to concentrate a lot in order to “get through” the author’s writing style. It really isn’t comparable to an easy-to-read contemporary but if you like that kind of style this may be your cup of time.
  • No spoilers but I can say that I’m not a big fan of how this book ended (I thought that everything went pretty fast suddenly …). No further comment on that.

What to do now? I will definitely read Anna-Marie McLemore’s other books as soon as my tbr stack is not that high anymore (which will take some time but I’m getting to it!). The Weight of Feathers really surprised me a lot and was a good introduction into the author’s works.


Have you read any of Anna-Marie McLemore’s books? If yes did you like them? Which can you recommend? I’d love to know!

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