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Dark and Deepest Red

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  529 ratings  ·  226 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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Anna Eklund It's a reworking of Hans Christian Andersen's The Red Shoes + actual historical events (a dancing "plague" in 1518).

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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Chaima ✨ شيماء
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 ...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 (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
Elise (TheBookishActress)
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,
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
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.”

♠ 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
Clemlucian (🏳️‍🌈the villain's quest)
DNF at 60%

i’m just bored and not focused and the audiobook is weird
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!)
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
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)

☼ rachel ☼
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 to
✨ emma ✨
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
kav (xreadingsolacex)
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 Hans
Ashley Owens
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There is no way I can give this book anything less than 5 stars.

It’s very hard to articulate the power Anna-Marie McLemore’s stories & writing has over me, and to explain everything it has and means to me within a review. My expectations going into it were incredibly high; McLemore is among my top 3 favorite authors of all time. Also HOLY QUEER ENDING, BATMAN.

Every aspect of this was unique, starting with the story itself. In a time when YA fairy tale/myth/classic/etc/ retellings are all
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
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt
3.5 stars
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
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.
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
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
Jessica | Booked J
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Review can also be found here at Booked J.

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

If you've had the pleasure of reading Anna-Marie McLemore in the past, you know how magnetic and hypnotic the prose is in this novel. Everything about it paints an uniquely intriguing quality. I could get lost in Dark and Deepest Red; in this love story, in this world.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
"We are more than what we've survived."

This was a good book and interesting retelling, and I'm sure many fans of Anna-Marie McLemore will love it. I've only read Blanca & Roja by this author, last year, which I loved. This book caught my eye before it was released because History + retelling of The Red Shoes by Andersen. When I saw it was from the same author than Blanca & Roja, I was sold.

The best thing about this book for me was definitely the historical part. First, I love History,
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can also be found on *Milky Way of Books*

Ah my wonderful Anna-Marie! Who takes words and transforms them into pictures and scents, tastes and otherworldly delights! This is yet another masterpiece inspired the fairytale of The Red Shoes but it also is a tale of racism, phobia and deadly magic.

I won't spoiler the plot but I have to say that the story transpires time as the characters try to survive and live in difficult
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
i loved how wicked and mysterious the dancing plague was in this. I loved how the historical portion of the book was handled, but I was always a little more invested in the present day storyline (i luv u rosella & emil)

i don't think this is going to be a favorite for me, but im obsessed with the themes of this book -- i think certain parts just didn't work for me.

(view spoiler)
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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