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Dark and Deepest Red

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  2,028 ratings  ·  636 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 unco
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Feiwel & Friends
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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).…moreIt's a reworking of Hans Christian Andersen's The Red Shoes + actual historical events (a dancing "plague" in 1518).(less)
Dainy One of the main characters is trans. There are lesbian characters, but saying more than that would give things away. This book is about queerness and …moreOne of the main characters is trans. There are lesbian characters, but saying more than that would give things away. This book is about queerness and otherness in general. (less)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,028 ratings  ·  636 reviews

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chai ♡
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’d know that any new release by McLemore pulls me along like a child who has hold of my sleeve. I’ve read all of their books, and was racked by them. Each time I turned the last page, I wanted to hold their stories for a while in the quiet undercurrents of myself, until their edges are worn smooth as creek stones. I thought reading Deep and Darkest Red would feel just as familiar, like slipping into your favorite pair of shoes. But this novel lacked th ...more
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
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has ruined all other books for me.
Caidyn (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 perspecti
Elle (ellexamines)
Jun 11, 2019 marked it as tbr
Shelves: x-tbr2020
I’m so delighted by everything about this blurb. Anna-Marie I love you
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, hon
h o l l i s
I've had a few reasons to not rate books over the years. 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 re
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.
may ➹
Oct 07, 2020 marked it as to-read
other people seemed to be disappointed by this but I refuse to be let down by one of my favorite authors.....
”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.”

this cover is GORGEOUS and the premise sounds SOOO GOOD!!! i’m super excited, can it please be 2020 already
unknown pokemon
Jan 19, 2020 marked it as dnf
Shelves: lgbtqia
DNF at 60%

i’m just bored and not focused and the audiobook is weird
ever late to the party but!! here I am (finally) reading my first anna-marie mclemore book!! hope everyone's proud 🥰 ...more
kav (xreadingsolacex)
not to be dramatic but i would pay anna-marie mclemore to step on me

"'We can't ask him to hide everything about himself,' his father said. 'He didn't do anything wrong.'

'When has that ever mattered?'

Dark and Deepest Red is Anna-Marie McLemore's fifth novel, and the third of their's that I have read. Somehow, I fall more in love with each McLemore novel I've read; I love each one more than the last, and that stayed true with their latest work.

Dark and Deepest Red is a re-telling of Ha
♠ TABI⁷ ♠
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
Aug 01, 2019 added it
i desperately need this book in my life
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
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.

That above is a previous update, right after I finished the book, and now, a month later, as I came here to finally write a (brief) review, I'm finding that it still holds true. Although this isn't one of my favorite Anna-Marie Mclemore's book the quiet words within its pages still had a big impact on me.

So if you know me, you know I'm a sucker for books with
ℓуηη, ℓσкιѕℓутнєя¢ℓαω
This was my first experience with this author and I can't say I'll probably be picking up anything else by her 👀 I wanted so badly to love this! The premise sounded so darkly whimsical and inriguing, I expected to be swept up and bewitched, but instead it was beyond underwhelming, disconnected and I was bored out of my bloody mind 😫

The chapters in this are super short, 6 pages max, but usually only around 4. You barely get your feet under you in one time period before you're whisked off to the m
Nov 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Full read

I wish I didn't originally DNF this book. "Dark and Deepest Red," was a very good book. It's a historical fiction based on the dancing plague of 1518, which is basically when people would randomly start dancing, and they couldn't stop(?) until they either died or fell from exhaustion. I'm not entirely sure though, because I'm just relying on google here.

The plot of this book was very unique. I don't think I've ever seen a book that shows/talks about the dancing plague. I can only imagi
ʙᴇʟᴀ.: ☾**:.☆*.:。.
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review (Thank you!)
☼ rachel ☼ (artistically reading)
You can see this review and many others on my Blog

"We are more than what we've survived"

In this retelling of the classic story "The Red Shoes", this story is told in alternating perspectives. One set in 1518 Strausburg, France.
A dancing fever takes over its residents compelling them to dance without stopping and some to death. As rumors of witchcraft and demon possession spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia Blau.

Our second perspective set five centuries later, when a pair of red shoes seals t
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)

3.5 stars. I’m always incredibly interested in stories where the author weaves in magic and history to create a backdrop and perspective of sorts on issues that feel raw, relevant and contemporary. Anna-Marie McLemore succeeds yet again in telling a beautiful story while also portraying some incredibly honest feelings and experiences through the lenses of her characters, and I thought it was super compelling.
Stella ☆Paper Wings☆
I'm pretty sure I've read and loved all of Anna-Marie McLemore's published books, and I would consider them one of my favorite authors, so I had very high expectations going into this book, especially as the follow-up to the explosive Blanca & Roja. I really did enjoy this book a lot, but it wasn't everything I had hoped, so it's probably going to sound like I liked it a lot less than I did.

The concept drew me in immediately, because I always enjoy retellings of obscure fairy tales, and I knew
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
I feel bad that this was my first Anna-Marie McLemore book because oh man, this is not what I expected.

This was such a choppy read. The decision to split the story into three perspectives, then split it again into third person present tense, third person past tense and first person past tense, and then split it AGAIN into these tiny three page chapters makes each little section feel very self-contained. I kept having to actively remind myself that the chapters were all connected because it was s
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.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
as much as it pains me to say this about an anna-marie mclemore book, this was just okayish - ironically I probably would’ve given it a higher rating if I had never read their earlier work because it’s not BAD per se, I just know they’re capable of more as a writer. it deals with a lot of important topics, but unfortunately the characters don’t feel as real as their previous ones did, the tone comes off as a bit heavy-handed at times, and the ending feels so wildly unrealistic that it’ ...more
4 stars

To this day, I have not read an Anna-Marie McLemore book that I haven't been surprised by.

This book is everything that it promises to be in the synopsis, but it's also so much more. It's about a dancing plague, yes, and it's about two girls born 500 years apart, and it's about the way they're both seen as outsiders in their respective communities.

But it's also about queer people and people of color finding and building safe communities for themselves. It's about the courage it requires
Vicky Again
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lot of the times I low-key hate alternating past/present chapters (I am impatient) but I actually loved them in this. Part of the reason was that the chapters were short and sweet, but perfectly crafted such that you still get enough plot to keep you going.

I genuinely could not decide if I liked reading about Lala and Alifair or Rosella and Emil more. Both of the timelines had me watching closely, and I love the parallels and subtle nudges McLemore used.

Definitely liked this more than Wild B
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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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“I would find a way to make sure we never had to destroy something of ourselves just to stop other people from taking it. - Rosella” 6 likes
“This is a city where the story they choose to believe about you depends on how well they think of you, and that story can shift as suddenly as the wink of those stars.” 3 likes
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