Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
My rating: ☆☆☆/☆☆☆☆☆ (3.5 stars)
Favorite quote: “Everyone’s broken. The only difference is how.”
Book Summary (from Goodreads)
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.
The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.
When I started reading Wild Beauty, I was not into it. The beginning was confusing because all the characters were introduced in a few pages, and I couldn’t keep track of what was going on. Because the characters were introduced to quickly, it took a long time for me to actually care about them, but eventually I did. Everything happened very slowly in this novel. Details about the past and backgrounds were released sporadically. I’m not really a fan of this type of world-building because it takes so long for a clear picture of the world to form, and during that time I’m just confused.
One of the things I’ve heard people praise about this book is how beautiful the writing is. There were a lot of descriptives in the writing, but it didn’t really make the like the story any more. Describing the kinds of flowers doesn’t add anything to my imagination simply because I don’t know anything about flowers. I really loved how the character’s internal monologue was written. It was so beautiful and made my heart hurt at times.
I did like the magical realism in this novel. I believed the powers the Nomeolvides women have, and I really liked how the story ended. I also love how the land was almost a thinking and feeling entity. There wasn’t some huge finale. The ending/resolution was simple, but I still loved it. Overall this was a fun read, and by the end I couldn’t put it down!
“And when she was done with him, when she was through wrecking him, she slept.”