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Blanca & Roja

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  3,342 ratings  ·  946 reviews
The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dan
Hardcover, 375 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Feiwel Friends
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Ezri Sexual content - no, this book conforms to the expectations for YA. There is nothing graphic.

Violence - there are a few fight scenes - punching, kick…more
Sexual content - no, this book conforms to the expectations for YA. There is nothing graphic.

Violence - there are a few fight scenes - punching, kicking. Depictions of blood / cuts / wounds. Nothing I would call gore.

If you've read other novels by this author, the content will not be surprising/unexpected. (less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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chai ♡
McLemore centers Blanca Y Roja on the del Cisne sisters who couldn’t have been more different—Blanca, light-skinned and golden-haired, and Roja, darker-skinned and with a heart that gleamed so red it showed in her hair. Blanca and Roja have always lived in a perpetual state of disaster preparedness: sisters in their family were offerings for the swans to choose from, and for many generations, they delighted in taking one of them and leaving the other.

Blanca and Roja’s fear of this curse was its
Emily May
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A story about two sisters, and a prince who got turned into a bear, and all the ways magic can save you but also fuck you up.

This is such a beautiful, queer fairy tale.

On the surface, Blanca & Roja is a mash-up retelling of Snow-White and Rose-Red and Swan Lake, but the sheer amount of layers and thought that has gone into this novel makes it a whole number of other things, too. Peel back the familiar fairy tale aspects and underneath there is a moving tale of stereotypes, expectations and

ARC provided by Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

“If I wanted to, I could believe it was our colors that decided Blanca would be the gentle sister, pure and obliging, and I would be the cruel one, wicked and difficult. She would be the blessed daughter, the one the swans would spare. And I would be the one the swans would take. But my sister saw our story ending another way.”

Blanca y Roja is the best retelling I’ve ever read in my entire life. The way Anna-Marie McLemore re
Elle (ellexamines)
But I would not let the swans write our story for us.

So… let’s start with, I cried reading this? Anna-Marie McLemore is one of the most talented authors on any market right now. They are consistently fantastic at creating compelling characters, beautiful sentences, and Super Good Romances, all wrapped up in narratives of generational trauma, colonialism, & queerness.

➽W H Y T H I S W A S A M A Z I N G

This book is about a few things: internalized colorism, systematic transp
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
If you ever need a story that’s guaranteed to give you all the feels, break your heart, and look good doing it, Anna-Marie McLemore’s definitely the right woman for the job. If this tells you anything about how much faith I have in her writing, I don’t even like the fairytales this book pulls from, yet it’s still been one of my most anticipated releases of 2018.

‘There will always be two daughters. But we will always take one back.’

Predictably enough, I was not disappointed. Blanca &
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“The strong devour the weak, even when the weak are your own. It’s how any family gets stronger”

🌟 Let me just point again the fact that the cover of this book has not only 1 swan but 2 swans!! (bonus points for Elysia for discovering the second swan)!!

🌟 This is my third time reading a Magical realism book without knowing so. I think that is magical xD. I found out the hard way that this genre is just not for me. I
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of my new favourite books of all time. The writing in this is absolutely breathtaking. The characters are lovely and heartbreaking. The relationships are nuanced and dynamic. Seriously, it was amazing!
✨    jami   ✨
“I was a girl who would never exist in a fairy tale, not just because of the brown of my body but because of my heart, neither pure enough to be good nor cruel enough to be evil. I was a girl lost in the deep, narrow space between the two forms girls were allowed to take.”

Beyond shocked to learn the cover is not in fact a rose and is actually two swans entwined

Like all Anna-Marie McLemore books, this was so beautifully written and I thought this one had an ethereal quality about it I really
may ➹
I didn’t think it was possible but now I really hate swans

// buddy read with fic trash and asmr queen
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
TW: Physical assault, non-consensual kiss, gunshot, fatphobia, panic attack, misgendering.

Full review originally posted on my blog: Word Wonders

I HAVE FINALLY READ BLANCA & ROJA and if you couldn’t tell by the all caps it did not disappoint. By Anna-Marie Mclemore fashion, this book went above and beyond my expectations. Everytime I read their latest book, I just get more assured that they *indeed* are my favourite author. Hands down. No questions asked. Gimme her grocery list, to-do
Sep 15, 2018 marked it as to-read
Another intriguing read. Fantasy books are special this year.
C.G. Drews
This is the story of sisters who love each other so so much...the nearly begin to hate each other. It's such a whimsical mix of fairy tale and magical realism, and honestly McLemore's writing style makes my bones ache. It's beyond gorgeous. It's ethereal and whimsical, a sensory delight. I will read everything they write JUST for the writing. Also magical realism has a special place in my heart when it manages to be full of heartache, important messages, and beautiful storytelling.

And oh the hea
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Anna-Marie McLemore never disappoints.

Not only Blanca & Roja is a beautifully-written retelling of Snow White and Rose Red meets Swan Lake featuring latinx, trans and disabled protagonists. It's also a story about finding the truth about yourself amidst all the lies, and defying the binaries society taught you were necessary.

As usual, what stood out to me first about Blanca & Roja was the writing. I could visualize everything perfectly. The apple is never just an apple, it's a symbol and an appl
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt, audiobooks
first of all. never hav i ever wanted to murder a bunch of swans this much.
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realism
2.5 stars

Who knew a book could be so bewildering and yet at the same time so painfully boring?

The story (supposedly) follows two sisters who are cursed - one of them will turn into a swan after their sixteenth birthday - and two boys who for differing reasons have decided to leave their families and start new lives as bears in the woods or something (I don't know, the story had already lost me at this point). As magical realism, it was less about the fantastical elements and more about the rel
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
A gorgeous novel, brimming with the author's recognizable and gorgeous style. I have a distance when it comes to McLemore's work, in that it usually takes me 2/3 of the novel before I'm truly invested. I think this one came around a bit faster due to the beautiful description of Blanca & Roja's relationship as sisters. Their deep, abiding love for one another is one of those remarkable things in fiction that I know I'm going to remember. As an older sister myself, every one of Blanca's chapters ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Anna’s books are literally magic
Eleanor (bookishcourtier)
I loved this book and I am so happy that I loved this book. I wanted Anna-Marie McLemore to be a new favourite author, and they are, or will be once I have my hands on their other works. But this book is certainly a new favourite. It was literally a work of art; the words were so lovingly crafted, so delicately pieced together, so earnestly and carefully chosen. This is possibly my favourite book of the year and I urge you to pick it up and read it. It's not only beautiful and imaginative, it' ...more
Karima chermiti

We painted the woods that night. We gave it the colors we were and the colors we borrowed. We were opening our hands. We were giving up the stories we thought we already knew.
We were becoming.

I feel quite an idiot who’s trying to articulate in words a beauty that lives in them and yet it transcends them. This book made me emotional and I fear I’ll be writing things that doesn’t make a lot of sense so just bear with me guys. I think it’s better if I just put in words these random tho
Blanca and Roja del Cisne have been born into a cursed family where one daughter is always taken by swans -- literally turned into one. It’s happened to their grandmother's sister, their aunts, their cousins, and it will happen to them, too. But they aren’t two girls who are going to accept their fate gracefully. They're each determined to be the one the swans choose, so their sister can be saved.

Barclay Holt and Page Ashby are trying to escape their own family problems. The form of their es
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Lyrical, emotional and ultimately about the deepest kind of love.
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-requested
⭒Christie ☽✯➳✯☾
DNF at 60%
Too descriptive boring story
5 stars

There are so many things I loved about this book that I genuinely don’t know where to start. I’m in love with every single element of this story and this book has quickly skyrocketed up in my rankings of Anna-Marie McLemore’s work.

The writing in this one is just as beautiful as in all of their other works and, as always, it leaves me with a feeling of melancholy and a homesickness for a place I’ve never been. McLemore’s descriptions are always so vivid and their style is so lyrical that I
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Faith Simon
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars.
I loved this book so much, I can't even describe just how much. This book pulled every emotion deep inside me out through my eyes and lungs, every breath I took was so heavy reading this, my eyes were constantly trying to cry. This book made me so damn emotional. I'm proud of myself I didn't cry but I was REALLY CLOSE.
I'm quite sure I've said this before, but Anna-Marie McLemore is one of my most favourite authors ever. I will read absolutely anything she writes, her writing is phen
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always

I absolutely ADORED McLemore's other books: The Weight of Feathers was whimsical and swoon-worthy, and When the Moon Was Ours was dreamy and socially relevant. I can't wait to see what this author can do this time! <3
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Anna-Marie McLemore was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and taught by their family to hear la llorona in the Santa Ana winds. They are the author of THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, a finalist for the 2016 William C. Morris Debut Award; 2017 Stonewall Honor Book WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature; WILD BEAUTY, a Kirkus Be ...more

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Caroline Tung Richmond is an award-winning YA author and the program director of We Need Diverse Books. Run by authors, librarians,...
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“The story of the ugly duckling was never about the cygnet discovering he is lovely. It is not a story about realizing you have become beautiful.

It is about the sudden understanding that you are something other than what you thought you were, and that what you are is more beautiful than what you once thought you had to be.”
“I was a girl who would never exist in a fairy tale, not just because of the brown of my body but because of my heart, neither pure enough to be good nor cruel enough to be evil. I was a girl lost in the deep, narrow space between the two forms girls were allowed to take.” 23 likes
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