Book Review: Wild Beauty

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
Rating: 3 stars
Published: 10/3/17
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, YA
Read: 12/2/17

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.

I got this book in my October Owl Crate, and I was super excited to read it. I think that was part of it’s downfall for me. I loved this Owl Crate, as did everyone I saw on the social medias, and I heard so many good things about this book, so I had such high expectations of the book. And it really fell short.

That’s not to say I hated it. There were a lot of beautiful visuals, a mostly wonderful writing style, and so much bi/lesbian/gay representation. Like, there was only one or two main characters I can think of who were actually straight. And one of them wanted to be gay. So there’s that. Then there’s that gorgeous cover. ❤

Now onto what didn’t impress me. There were part of this story that made no sense. The whole first chapter I had to go back and reread after I’d started to understand the story, because I had no idea what had been happening. Every now and then characters would be in one place doing one thing, there would be some “deep” thinking, and suddenly we’re completely somewhere else, doing some other thing.

And all the “deep” truths were just so eye-roll worthy. Ok, so if there had just been one or two that would have been fine. But there were many, and I can think of one that was repeated at least twice. And all the physical flinching away from these truths. Seriously. They really weren’t even all that deep. There also really didn’t seem to be much of a plot. Sure, they solved the origin of the curse, but none of the actions taken really lead to that. And the way they solve the Briar guy’s (I can’t think of his name right now) interference is kinda… meh. I mean, way to blame the child for the father’s crime guys. Sure it was aweful, but from the way it was described, I doubt he even knew about it so it’s not his fault.

Have you read Wild Beauty? What did you think? What other books do you love for the cover, but not so much the story?

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