The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore + Giveaway

The Weight of FeathersThe Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
Published by Thomas Dunne on September 15, 2015
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy, Magical Realism
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover, ARC
Source: Publisher

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Rerated: 3.5 Stars
4 Stars, Completed September 29, 2015

– read the bold text to avoid minor SPOILERS  –

This is the third book I’ve read in the past month that has utilized dual perspectives, incorporated multilingual dialogue, and featured the Romeo and Juliet trope. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the others, I have to say, this is my favorite one by far.

Through generations of competition, the Palomas and Corbeaus have dealt with a strong feud and rivalry. Both families are traveling performers in competing shows. The Palomas swim in mermaid exhibitions and the Corbeaus, former tight-rope walkers, perform in tall trees. Lace Paloma has grown up knowing that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic, and that just by touching them it could be death. She’s learned to stay away, until a chemical rain pours down on the town of Almendro, and the one that saves her life happens to be Cluck, a Corbeau. His touch immerses her into a life of falling feathers. Now that their lives are closely intertwined, there’s no turning back.

Volez de ses propres ailes.

Fly with your own wings.

Probably the most distinct aspect I noticed was the mix of Spanish and French throughout the storyI was really fond of the aphorisms alternating between the two languages that introduced the switch between Cluck and Lace’s perspectives. In adding these simple but evocative quotes in the beginning of each chapter, it made the transition more smooth and clear than other dual perspectives I’ve read. In fact, I’m usually not a fan of these type of point of views, but this was impeccably done and worked appropriately with the plot. And the writing itself was rather beautiful, with lots of vivid imagery and some naturalism inspiration.

“Makeup doesn’t cure ugly,” Lace said.

“There are no ugly women,” the woman said. “Only lazy ones.”

This probably wasn’t something important to other readers, but I really liked that each family evoked similar stereotypes to their ethnicities-I mean that in the best way possible. When I think of the French, I immediately think of chic, elegant women, after all Paris is one of the most famous fashion capitals in the world. In The Weight of Feathers, Nicole Corbeau and the other Corbeau women really resembled my prototype of sophisticated French women, which was something I found fascinating. And growing up, a few of my friends were Latino so I was invited to family gatherings, birthday parties, and fiestas. I always believed that the sense of family and loyalty were really strong in Spanish culture. The mermaid shows and family ties between the Palomas really reflected this closeness. Obviously, there are other ethnicities that have strong family loyalty and fashionable women. I found it fun that these two families fit my own prototypes of these two ethnicity groups.

Los enemigos del hombre son los de su propia casa.

A man’s enemies are those of his own house.

Even though both grew up with different upbringings and acquired a innate hatred to the other’s family, both Cluck and Lace clicked and understood each other instantly. Both are complete outcasts in their families. Cluck has a deformed hand and his feathers are tinged with streaks of red, an anomaly compared to his other cousins with jet black feathers. He was le batard of the two brothers. So I really loved his easy acceptance for imperfection. After the acid rain, Lace’s family kicked her out because of her scars and feather burn, but Cluck recognized Lace’s natural beauty. Also, I despise an overly cheesy guy or when a male character beats around the bush when it comes to displaying love. Cluck belongs in neither category. He’s flawed, but sensible and forward.

De malas costumbres nacen buenas leyes.

From bad customs are born good laws.

And, why yes, there is some satisfying redemption for the characters by the end. With this there was some great build up of character devleopment in both Cluck and Lace. I have to admit, that I was more invested with Cluck’s journey because he seemed more mysterious-with all of his blatant lies. Also, with his side of the story, we also see more serious issues like neglect and abuse. Lace wasn’t a dull character, but Cluck was definitely the more interesting character of the two.

El amor es ciego.

Love is blind.

I can’t promise that there won’t be death(s), but unlike, Romeo and Juliet, there is a happily ever after ending. Lace gives Cluck wings figuratively and physically. Something about that scene reminded me of redemption and power. Like the ability to “fly” and express or stand up for oneself. I really liked that hidden symbolism.

The only reason in which I feel like I can’t give this a complete 5 stars is that The Weight of Feathers doesn’t strongly reflect a novel with magical realism, which was something I was anticipating. Don’t get me wrong, the foundation of families’ feud and world building was there, but aside from the growth of feathers on the Corbeaus and the Palomas’ escalas there weren’t much mythology behind why the Corbeaus were “crows” and the Palomas “sirens.” Perhaps, adding another chapter or two with this information would have dragged the story, but for me I would have liked it. But that could be the fantasy/paranormal reader in me demanding this.

The Weight of Feathers develops a dangerous, forbidden love and explores intergenerational family complexities. The writing was full of strong imagery and worked perfectly to emulate the feeling of a night circus high (that thrilling sensation that you get to experience magical stuff happens). I think this one leaned more on the Romeo and Juliet side than The Night Circus, but it was such a thrilling ride nonetheless. 

Special thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin for allowing me to participate in this blog tour and sending me this review copy of The Weight of Feathers. In no way did this affect my reading experience or honest review.

WOF Image Quote 3

I love that my image quote for this blog stop sort of proves the sexy times and sweet love found in this book, haha.

Also St. Martin’s Griffin was kind enough to give me an opportunity to host a giveaway (thank you, again, St. Martin’s Griffin team!), so if you guys are interested please consider entering the giveaway.


  • U.S./Canada residents only (sorry!)
  • Ends in roughly two weeks on Tuesday, October 13, 2015
  • 1 winner gets to receive a finished copy of THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS
  • I will be emailing and giving the winner 48 hours to respond to my email before choosing another winner
  • Also St. Martin’s Griffin will be the party sending out the book, Xingsings will not be responsible for lost or damaged goods
  • And, please no cheating. I will be checking the winner’s entries!
  • Good luck!

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Don’t mind the weirdly squished fingers in this… The Weight of Feathers photo was a perfect chance to do the #currentread or #currentlyreading instagram tag the other day. I love the cover!

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26 thoughts on “The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore + Giveaway

  1. Kelly @ Dancing Through the Pages says:

    Summer, this sounds like so much fun! I love me some good magical realism and I swear I’ve been reading so many books with forbidden love recently. If I read this one soon, I can just add it onto that list hah. I think it’s cool that there seems to be a great blend of the two cultures. Tbh I should honestly read more Latino YA.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenna @ Reading with Jenna says:

    This book sounds so cool! I’ve been seeing this book everywhere but yours is the first review/summary I’ve read. And I’m so intrigued! Forbidden love is one of those tropes that I actually kind of like so I’ll be keeping an eye out for this in stores (if it’s even available…since Australia…). The characters sound fascinating and I think I’m going to really love Chuck! Also, the mix of cultures sounds so interesting! Gah, I NEED THIS NOW.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Cluck really stood out to me so I hope you enjoy his character when you fictionally meet him. And forbidden love is actually a trope I really dislike (it started with Shakespeare…), but I really enjoyed how this was done a lot! Haha, I’ve been enjoying a lot of books a lot lately. I’m just trying to fit in a lot of books before I really get into A Little Life. I’m so afraid I’m going to have a terrible book hangover and find everything bland after reading that one. XD

      Liked by 1 person

        • Summer @ Xingsings says:

          Reading your comment, made me reply to all the comments which Chuck (but it bothered me too much to not edit so I fixed them, haha), which is kind of sad because I read 300 pages worth of Cluck.
          And I’m not exactly complaining, but I got another ARC today so A Little Life will have to be put off… again. But you’ll know when I’ll start it (I’ll be demanding virtual hugs from everyone, I’m sure)!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      I know! The obstacles star crossed lovers have to overcome always breaks my heart. Haha, I totally understand about reading priorities… I really want to read Six of Crows… but yup, other titles need to be read first! And thank you, Evelyn! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nerdybirdy @ Daydreaming Books says:

    Great review Summer! 🙂 I’ve been seeing this book everywhere now and it’s getting so hard to resist. Adding it to my tbr for now, hopefully I can get my copy soon…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thank you, Raven! I didn’t realize the star crossed lovers was such a popular trope among readers until after publishing they review, but if you enjoy reading them this will be great for you! And haha, I totally understand what you mean by the toppling TBR. There’s so many books I want to read as well! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lois says:

    I’m impatiently waiting for my copy of this book to arrive. The mystery, forbidden love, dual narrative, cultural mix and magical realism sounds like a recipe to a great book. I have high hopes for this book and I’m excited to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thuong Le says:

    Nice review, Summer! This one was actually in my GR recommendations. It sounds like an interesting read with a touch of magical realism – haven’t read many of those, in fact only read two (how could I ever forget Magonia? lol). Anyways, looking forward to reading it! I really like the cover too, its very modern and cute 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Summer @ Xingsings says:

      Thanks, Thuong! And lol, even though I remembered reading your Magonia review I still ended up getting a copy. Ebook, but still. It was so cheap and it didn’t threaten my bookshelf space so… 😉 And awesome, I hope you enjoy The Weight of Feathers if you get to it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thuong Le says:

        I’ll be looking forward to reading your review when you read Magonia! 😉 thats the problem with having so much variety to read… you never know when you ‘will’ get to the books you plan on reading lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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