K.'s Reviews > When the Moon Was Ours

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
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Trigger warnings: abusive parents, death of a parent (in the past), torture, blackmail, blood, misgendering of trans characters. I think that's probably all, but lemme know if I missed something.

3.5 stars.

I honestly would never have picked this book up if it hadn't been the December pick for the FYA book club. I know a lot of people RAVED about it last year when it came out, but it just never particularly grabbed me. And that feeling continued when I started reading this. It's magical realism, and it's VERY flowery magical realism. There's a crapton of metaphors, a ton of description, almost no dialogue, and a LOT of colours. We're told the colour of basically everything ever in the course of the story. Especially pumpkins. So.

Anyway, I *do* like magical realism, but I tend to like it a little more...realism-y than this was. This features a girl with roses that grow out of a hole in her wrist, pumpkins turning to glass, and people floating around in rivers for several years without knowing. And I honestly struggled a LOT with the first 30-50% of the book.

But then apparently I got used to the magical realism or became invested in the characters or some combination of the two, because suddenly I was flying through this.

I think it was Sam's story that had me hooked, precious little snowflake that he is. And I LOVED the fact that it features two POC narrators from very different backgrounds (Miel is Latina and Sam is Pakistani), one of whom is trans, who fall in love. Like...YES. And I loved it even more once I'd read the author's note at the end.

But there were still elements of this that didn't quite make sense to me. Like, everyone is freaking out about the pumpkins turning to glass, but no one bats an eyelid about the girl with flowers growing out of her arms? And the Bonner sisters were somewhat baffling antagonists in that they're basically mean just for the sake of there being an antagonist? So...yeah. There were definitely issues with it, and the flowery writing certainly didn't help the situation.

But the two protagonists learning who they really are and accepting that? That stuff was pretty fabulous.
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Reading Progress

December 16, 2017 – Shelved
December 17, 2017 – Started Reading
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: audience-young-adult
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: difficult-topics
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: diverse-author
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: fya-book-club
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: lgbtqia-narrator
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: magical-realism
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: own-it-kindle
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: omg-that-cover
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: own-voices
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: poc-narrator
December 17, 2017 – Shelved as: setting-usa
December 17, 2017 – Finished Reading

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