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Dark and Deepest Red

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  141 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
    Enter for a chance to win a hardcover copy of DARK AND DEEPEST RED!

    With Anna-Marie McLemore's signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the

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    Availability: 15 copies available, 4043 people requesting

    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
     ·  141 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
    Aug 01, 2019 added it
    i desperately need this book in my life
    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
    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)

    ☼ 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
    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
    ✨ 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
    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
    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
    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)
    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
    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.
    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
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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