Review: Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Brief synopsis

The Nomeolvides women (grandmothers, mothers, and daughters) are able to grow flowers from their fingertips and make the men they love disappear. All of this changes when a boy appears from the ground, and a member of the Briar family arrives with no warning. The story is full of magic and women and mystery and is a book I want to live in. 

Characters

The characters are amazing. The grandmothers (Flor, Magnolia, Liria, Lila, and Mimosa), the aunts (Hortensia, Iris, Jacinta, and Azucena) and daughters (Estrella, Gloria, Dalia, Calla, and Azalea) are strong women who have kept the Nomeolvides family strong and I am just glad to see a matriarchal family in a book as it is something rare to see. The family may be a family, but McLemore has made each and every character individual which gives me future hope for female characters. I especially like how they all produce different flowers depending on their names and it just adds even more mystery to La Pradera. 

Bay. My little queer bean. This book oozes queer representation. Both lesbian, gay, bisexual and pansexual and I am ready for more books like this. To me, Bay is an androgynous (maybe trans?) female who looks badass in a dress and in a suit. I adore her so much and I need a friend like Bay in my life. Bay handles everything so well, especially when she nearly lost it all due to the mystery family member. I just want a book entirely of Bay. 

Fel. I have so many feelings about Fel that I don’t really know how to write about them coherently. Fel is deep and brave and strong and just everything I look for in a male character. But he isn’t one of the major characters (at least to me) and I thought it was quite special, as a queer female, to see the characters who represent me being the main characters. 

Representation

Oh god, what doesn’t this book represent? It screams Mexican/Spanish representation. And black representation (highlighting racial issues regarding white people treating black people like s**t but I’d like to know what people of colour think?). And class issues and the differences in how rich and poor people view clothes and food. And I want to scream from the trees about the LGBTQIIAP+ rep. Lesbian kisses. Young lesbians. Old lesbians. A gay brother. Old and young bisexuals and pansexuals. Androgynous females. This book has everything queer. (Well almost but it’s a good step in the right direction)!!!
There is just so much more I want to say but can’t write it coherently and in a good way, so this review is probably shocking so I apologise in advance. 

This book is out October 2017 and I recommend it to everyone. I received this book from netgalley in return for an honest review (which I’m sorry about the state of it).

Pre-YALC and YALC day 1

Okay, so yesterday (thursday) I arrived in London, and at first I didn’t think I would be able to do this; be in London on my own, as I had a panic attack before getting on the tube from Euston because there were people everywhere. But I eventually told myself I just had to go up an escalator, and after that, I knew I could do it. Also, why are escalators so high up? like major anxiety about falling forward/backwards. The underground wasn’t made for people with anxiety. Add to that the potential anxiety that comes from being underground (roof caving in, out-of-control trains etc etc.)

However, I made it to the hotel safely and honestly felt so glad I made it after all. Thursday involved a trip to Camden, and then to china town with Lauren, Amy, and Becky, and I really have missed these girls! (Plus Lauren’s boyfriend). The chinese food was good despite taking ages to find a buffet! In the end we went to Hong Kong Buffet!

YALC DAY ONE – FRIDAY 28TH JULY

Today was so so so busy – from getting to the arena early-ish, to running after ARCs, I am definitely going to have sore feet for a while after. But from the moment I left the hotel, I felt happy; happy to be amongst fellow book lovers like myself! And today, everyone was so so friendly, and started conversations easily. It was such a good experience, and I was so glad to get the 3 day ticket!

Our plans didn’t turn out how we had thought, as we planned for talks, but that didn’t happen. Plus we made a new friend – Lauren! (A different Lauren) She is so lovely and we wandered round the stalls this morning, pretty much talking like old friends. There was plenty of room to sit around, with beanbags in one area, which were surprisingly difficult to get out of…

These are some of my favourite pictures from today:

I am already dreading the train back home, as I am wondering where everything is going to fit…

These are some of the amazing authors I met today; Laura Lam, Karen M McManus, Samantha Shannon, Lauren James, and Alwyn Hamilton.

But here are the goodies I got today!

ARCs – Samplers – Badges/Swag – Bags – Postcards/Notecards/Bookmarks

I am really excited to find out what tomorrow brings!

To be continued…