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Dark and Deepest Red

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves.

Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Feiwel & Friends
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  • Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore
    Dark and Deepest Red
    Release date: Jan 14, 2020
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    Giveaway dates: Jan 14 - Jan 21, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Anna Eklund It's a reworking of Hans Christian Andersen's The Red Shoes + actual historical events (a dancing "plague" in 1518).

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 4.01  · 
    Rating details
     ·  137 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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    Chaima ✨ شيماء
    Not my favorite McLemore book; I found it lacks the sort of alchemy that made their previous novels so winning for me. But it's still a lovely retelling of Anderson's "The Red Shoes" that centers around a Romani girl & a trans boy, and I can attest that the author does indeed “out-gay themself” with the ending.

    Full review to come.
    Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    This book has ruined all other books for me.
    Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    Thanks to Edelweiss and Feiwel & Friends for having this book up for download! (Also thanks to my friend who sent it to me first after I was complaining about being rejected!)

    CW: transphobia, racism, anti-Romani, and near executions

    I will say, I liked this better than the other book that I read by them. In that one, I absolutely adored their transman character because McLemore so accurately captured that experience. It was gorgeous.

    This book is quite different. It's told in alternating
    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    update: Dec 3, 2019
    This was what Twitter chose for my November "pick it for me" read, and I was really stoked to pick it up, but sadly just wasn't in the right reading mood for it at all! Anna-Marie has such an incredible style but I always find I have to be in just the right headspace for it, and I'm not right now. Rather than risk forcing myself and enjoying it less than I would have otherwise, I'm saving it for later.


    I want to read everything Anna-Marie McLemore ever writes, forever,
    Elise (TheBookishActress)
    I’m so delighted by everything about this blurb. Anna-Marie I love you
    Jasmine from How Useful It Is
    DNF... I’m just not feeling it. I tried but I don’t find any of the character’s views interesting. The love sprung up out of nowhere since there’s an 11 years jump. All of a sudden Lala wanted to kiss Alifair and Emil saying he likes Rosella long ago but when did that happen? I hate to DNF but I just don’t care to find out the ending.
    Jonna Kristina
    Apr 29, 2019 marked it as to-read
    ”a brutal fairy tale. the true medieval events that may have inspired it. two girls of color, 500 years apart. and the queerest ending I've ever written.”

    I CAN’T WAIT!!!
    ♠ TABI ♠
    May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: edelweiss
    "We are more than what we've survived."

    I've realized that I cannot review a Anna-Marie McLemore book. Why?? Because she writes with such effortless magic that's it's nigh impossible to define the power of it in a review. I have been swept away by everything she's written, all of her stories shamelessly queer and lovely fairytales that draw me in every time. No, they are not the greatest examples of writing nor something that I can shriek about how perfect it is on all levels BUT they really
    I've had a few reasons to not rate books over time. But sometimes the reason is simply because I honestly don't know what the book deserves. This here is one of those times.

    This is my first McLemore despite hearing nothing but wonderful magical things about their writing for.. years. And I can admit, this was magical and at times wonderful. But did I enjoy the experience? I'm not sure. There is so much to be gained by this story, the message within, the truths, the history.. some moments really
    Aug 01, 2019 added it
    i desperately need this book in my life
    May 04, 2019 marked it as anticipated-2020
    this cover is GORGEOUS and the premise sounds SOOO GOOD!!! i’m super excited, can it please be 2020 already
    ʙᴇʟʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!)
    Oct 24, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
    Romani Girl
    Trans Boy
    Hans Anderson's retelling!

    I mean , Anna-Marie McLemore can just start barging in and ask people for money and I'll be okay with it.

    I thank all the gods for an ARC opportunity! (Lol , thanks Edelweiss and MacMillan)

    Fadwa (Word Wonders)
    Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2020-releases
    this book was so beautiful and important and had so many important elements weaved into it, i can't possibly coherent about it right now.
    Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2019
    this is SO BEAUTIFUL
    Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Forever ago I saw the cover of this book with a note that it was a retelling of the Red Shoes and immediately saved a screenshot to remember its release and when I saw an arc available I jumped at the chance to get it and I’m so glad I did because goddamn if this book isn’t absolutely beautiful.

    “Dark and Deepest Red” follows multiple povs and transcends time as we see the beginning of la fièvre de la danse and the ripple effect that moment in time has had on the future, especially that of a
    ✨ emma ✨
    Jun 11, 2019 marked it as to-read
    all I know about the french dancing plague thing, I learned from shane from buzzfeed unsolved
    Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

    I love how McLemore is always like, "how can I make this more queer?" Dark and Deepest Red is no different. Featuring a Romani girl and a trans boy, McLemore tells a story about love, prejudice, and self-acceptance. Dark and Deepest Red is a story about the blood of fairy tales. The crimson shades of sacrifice. And the bright red of desires society tells us to hide in the dark. I
    rachel ☾
    Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Rebecca Speas
    Every Anna-Marie McLemore book is a gift, and DARK AND DEEPEST RED is truly something wondrous. Eerily suspenseful, achingly romantic, and fiercely defiant, it is a love story for the overlooked, a fairytale for the outcast, and a triumphant song for those whose stories go untold. It is a book to savor, to embrace, to wrap around your heart to keep out the cold. This book will dance your heart to pieces and then tenderly stitch it back together.
    Lala BooksandLala
    I've given every Anna-Marie McLemore 5 stars, so this is a bit of a surprise even to me! Trying to sort out my feelings is hard because the story telling I know and love was still there. Their vivid descriptions and dynamic characters—still there. The passion and personal connection you can just FEEL in their work—absolutely there. Obviously this and each one of their titles is deeply important to so many readers, what with the characters and representation Anna-Marie offers.

    So why was this one
    Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
    Why, of course I’m going to be reading this book!! A beautiful cover?? And a Hans Christian Andersen retelling?? This is e v e r y t h i n g.

    Thank you Macmillan and Feiwel & Friends for the ARC.
    Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: books-to-buy
    Overall I mostly enjoyed this book, but I think one perspective was weaker than the others and I tended to skim that one a bit. The romances in this book are 10/10, though.
    Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    It’s no secret that I love McLemore’s work. Anna-Marie is probably my favorite author writing in Teen right now, and whenever a new title is announced I do a little happy dance. As it turns out that happy dance was very much in the spirit of things as this latest offering is a retelling of the classic story of the red shoes. This book is absolutely gorgeous. It has all the lush lyrical writing I’ve come to expect, as well and an emotional core that hit me right in the heart. Even better is that ...more
    Sakina (aforestofbooks)
    Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: 2019
    (I'm still so obsessed with this cover. It's probably one of my all-time favourites and it really captures this book so well. I can't wait to take pictures of it soon!)

    Thank you so much to Raincoast for sending me an arc of Dark and Deepest Red! I will admit, I ended up deciding on this one because of the cover and the praises I had already seen around Twitter and Instagram.

    The book definitely lives up to the hype in a lot of ways. I actually didn't know much about the plot going in, except it
    Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    My expectations were high going to this and it exceeded all of them. I'm gonna run out of superlative adjectives to describe it because it was perfect.

    Emil and Rosella exist in present day in Briar Meadow, where a glimmer appears every fall and brings with it magical oddities. This year, it's a pair of red shoes to everyone in town, the very same red shoes that Rosella's family is famous for creating across the generations. The shoes bring strength and courage, each a little different for every
    Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2020
    it is a truth universally acknowledged that if I get my hands on a new Anna-Marie McLemore story, I will drop everything and read it

    FAVES QUOTES bc I was seriously stopping like every ten pages to copy something down:
    As young as he is, he knows how to fold away the things the world would punish him for.

    I would find a way to make sure we never had to destroy something of ourselves just to stop other people from taking it.

    “There is nothing I want more than I want you.”
    “Then stop thinking of what
    Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    TWs: Mild descriptions of gore/body horror, peripheral depictions of racism and homophobia/transphobia.

    Y'all are not READY for how hard this story goes in exploring the experience of being othered, of being feared and taught to fear yourself, and learning how to reconcile with history and trauma. Anna-Marie McLemore stuns yet again in this fairy-tale retelling that is at times dark and twisted, at times warm and hopeful, but consistently utterly awe-inspiring from start to finish.
    Tasya Dita
    I received an eARC through Edelweiss plus in exchange for an honest review

    Unfortunately, I guess I was expecting a different book. I thought this book will be about the WHY of the dance, contain more plot of how it happened and how our heroes ended it. Yet it was more about identity, family, and treatment received by romani and LGBTQ+ people, both in the past and present.

    I understand the importance of the discussion and actually love how it was integrated to the story, but I'm having a rough
    Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
    DNF @ 52%

    I couldn't get into it, but there was still enough there to give me hope. After getting halfway i just gave up and decided to move on to a different book. It just isn't for me.
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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 ...more