C.G. Drews's Reviews > Wild Beauty

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
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really liked it
bookshelves: magical-fantasy, read-2017, young-adult

This story is as lush and gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing as the cover. AHHHH!! Wait. Am I allowed to call a story aesthetically pleasing!? Because holy flowerbeds, peoples, this book is gorgeous. The premise immediately absolutely devoured me: with magical gardens and women who can make flowers grow and finding a strange lost boy hidden in the earth. Absolutely all of that is ME when it comes to books. Besotted by the premise. <3 Not let down at all. <3

Well, actually I admit there are a few small smidge things that didn't work for me but pfft.

I'm also a huge fan of this author!
The Weight of Feathers is one of my ALL TIME favourite novels of ever, and I liked When the Moon Was Ours but not as much. I felt it had no plot?? Wild Beauty was just gorgeous and it had:
a) complicated and interesting plot
b) so so many secrets
c) it was queer here there and everywhere
d) like I said: AESTHETICALLY MAGICAL GROWING GARDENS
e) the writing is so exquisite you literally just sit there and realise you cannot word in comparison to the beautiful words this book has worded. *

* um I rest my case I guess pls help me

Honestly the writing is the stand out.
It really hones in on the details. So it's not going to say "she grew a flower". It will say "she grew a midnight blue rose" or something like that and it just really hones in on making everything explode out of the pages. I felt like I fell into this magical fairy tale garden of mystery and sadness and utter beauty. I mean it is slightly "purple prose" but that's not always bad, ok?!? It's the style here and it's thick and luscious. This isn't the kind of book you skim and it's not like a smol sandwich. It is a hugely rich chocolate cake.

I like cake. So so much cake.

Actually speaking of food: the food descriptions in here are fantastic. Plus the boy they pull out of the garden sees all the women are sad so he COOKS THEM DINNER. Quality lad.

It's absolutely FULL of complex and interesting women!
So the Nomeolvides women all live in this garden that the can never leave (or they die; super fun times) and they grow flowers and tend it etc. etc. Most people think they are witches. 10/10 want to be a flower-growing-witch now. ANYWAY. So 3 generations of women live in the house, 5 grandmas, 5 mothers, and 5 daughters. The 5 cousins basically function as sisters and they're SO EPIC AND POWERFUL. They love pretty things and they love being feminine. (That is to say NOTHING AGAINST girls who don't like feminine things!! But we have tons and tons of them in literature so it's lovely to see feminine things rejoiced okay?!) They're also all queer and in love with the landowner's daughter: Bay Briar. Like LOL @ LOVE TRIANGLES. We have a love-pentagon.

Although I full admit it wasn't an irritating romance.
The girls all loved Bay but they weren't bitter or nasty about it. Most of them didn't want to ADMIT to loving her because there's a family curse that makes people they love disappear.

The book is mainly from the pov of Estrella and Fel. Fel being the boy they dig out of the garden who is smol and quiet and tragic and LOST (aka my favourite type of bookish boy) and Estrella falls in love with him. They are so beautiful, both of them. However I don't think we really got to know Estrella very well. Which is a shame. ANYWAY.

Okay so remember that I said a small amount of things bothered me?? Right, eat a plate of flowers and let's get to it.
• It is pretty much instalove hahaha...oh wow.
• Sometimes the book was SO beautifully written it forgot to make anyone more than a 2D character.
• Bay, in particularly, was everyone's unattainable manic pixie dream girl.
• I got so confused around 80% through that I had to reread some chapters.


But ultimately? This book is, in a word: GORGEOUS.
It is a celebration of magic and flowers and how beautiful things can often cover up deep suffering. The writing was so beautiful at times I just gahhhh. My mouth is open like a codfish. And I literally loved that the entire cast was POC and 90% of them were queer. Magical diverse fantasy is actually what we need in this world. I am SO in love with this book!!
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Reading Progress

January 6, 2017 – Shelved
January 6, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
November 20, 2017 – Started Reading
November 20, 2017 –
page 100
29.41% "This book is so aesthetically pleasing. I WANT 12 OF THEM."
November 20, 2017 –
page 160
47.06% "Fel is the most perfect and pure cinnamon flower son because when everyone was sad HE COOKED FOOD FOR THEM.

Quality book this is."
November 21, 2017 –
page 260
76.47% "That feeling when you REALLY WANT TO READ but your eyes are burning because apparently you are a grandma who needs to go to bed early??? what is this"
November 21, 2017 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy
November 21, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
November 21, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
November 21, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Annie (new) - added it

Annie I wasn't a huge fan of When the Moon Was Ours, but after reading this review, I feel like I need to pick this one up! It sounds sooo awesome


message 2: by Brooke (new) - added it

Brooke Magical diverse fantasy with flowers and food and a wlw love pentagon: I'm sold.


C.G. Drews @Annie: It definitely has way way more direction than When The Moon Was ours...I'm still trying to figure out what the point of that book was haha.

@Brooke: I know right!?? Everything about it screams PERFECT.


Alysa Morley I’m reading it now and I hope I love it too! I’m only about 20% through at the moment, but the writing is so good! 😍


C.G. Drews @Alysa: It is absolutely incredible!! This author is magical with words. 💖💖


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