Book Title:
When the Moon Was Ours
Book Author:
Anna-Marie McLemore
Publishing Date:
October 4th, 2016
Thomas Dunne
Date Read:
September 28th, 2016
I received a copy from the publisher - Thank you!


Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People's Literature Anna-Marie McLemore’s debut novel The Weight of Feathers was greeted with rave reviews, a YALSA Morris Award nomination, and spots on multiple “Best YA Novels” lists. Now, McLemore delivers a second stunning and utterly romantic novel, again tinged with magic.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

Atmospheric, dynamic, and packed with gorgeous prose, When the Moon was Ours is another winner from this talented author.

My Review

When I first read The Weight of Feathers, I was captivated by the magic and beauty that was contained within its pages.  At that point, I hadn’t really read many novels with magical realism and such descriptive passages, and characters that practically jumped right out of the pages, so I fell in love.  When I heard that Anna-Marie McLemore was coming out with another book, I can’t even tell you how excited I was to get my hands on it (so a huge thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin for sending me a copy!).  Also, do you see that cover?  It’s one of the most stunning covers that I have seen to date.  Seriously, I think I’ve spent more time staring at that cover than any other book cover that I’ve come across.  It’s so fitting to the story…and trust me when I saw that the writing inside is even more beautiful.

When the Moon was Ours tells the complicated story of Miel, who is a strange young girl who appeared one night when the town’s old water tower fell, and it left her behind.  Dripping wet, no one wants to go near Miel, as she screams and screams, terrified for many different reasons.  Only Sam, a young boy who wants to help Miel calm down, actually goes near her, whispering that everything is okay.  When Sam’s mother’s friend decides to take Miel in, she has a home again, and she and Sam grow up to be friends, and fall in love with each other, despite the secret that Sam lives with, and the fact that Miel is thought of as “cursed” because of the roses that keep growing out of her wrist.

“They’d touched each other every day since they were small.  She put her palm to his forehead when she thought he had a fever.  He’d set tiny gold star stickers on her skin on summer days, and at night had peeled them off, leaving pale constellations on her sun-darkened body.”

When the infamous Bonner sisters (who succeed in stealing every boy they desire and making them fall in love) begin threatening Miel for her roses, saying that they will reveal Sam’s secret if she does not snip the roses off of her wrist and give hand them over to the four sisters.  Not knowing what else to do to solve the problem, she tries to do what she can to help keep the secret of the boy she is in love with.

Even the chapter titles in this book are beautiful, and the romance that blooms within the pages is the kind you can feel deep in your soul.  The love that Miel and Sam have in this novel is the kind of romance that you dream about, but few people are lucky to find.  Combined with the flowery prose, this book is the equivalent of an unlimited supply of your favorite chocolate bars, a bouquet of your favorite flowers, and a heartwarming love that will make you believe again, and that will give you hope.

I adored Sam’s character…he was a strong individual who struggled with his identity, but deep down knew what he wanted and kept it in mind.  Miel was such a sweet girl with so much love to give, and she proved that she would do anything to protect those she loved.

If you are a fan of descriptive writing that will transport you to another time and place, this is a book that you won’t want to miss.  It’s clever, it’s sweet, and it will captivate your heart.  You will never be able to look at roses again without feeling light and hope.

Let me assure you, if you have read The Weight of Feathers, you will love this one.  Anna-Marie McLemore has once again created a novel full of beauty and one of the most beautiful romances that I have read.

And if you haven’t read The Weight of Feathers, pick that book up, too…you can’t possibly go wrong that one or When the Moon was Ours.  They are both complex and heartfelt novels that will leave you wanting more and falling in love.

5 stars
This entry was posted in Fantasy, Magical Realism, Reviews, Romance, Young Adult and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore – Blog Tour!

  1. Ali says:

    So glad you loved this book! I, for one, am obsessed with this cover.
    Ali recently posted…Book Review: Three Dark Crowns + OwlCrate UnboxingMy Profile

  2. Deanna says:

    Fantasy isn’t normally my thing, but the writing sounds really beautiful in this one. Such a unique story, too. Great review!

  3. I have yet to read a book written by this author. The fact that you say her descriptive writing is so wonderful has my interest piqued! I really enjoy books that have elements of magical realism, so this one is now on my radar. It sounds like such a beautiful story! <3
    Olivia @ The Candid Cover recently posted…Book Giveaway Hop: October 2016 New ReleasesMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      It definitely is a beautiful story! I really hope you get the chance to pick this one up and read it – it’s perfect for a fall day with a warm cup of tea.

  4. Rachana says:

    Oh I’m so in love with the book cover too!! It seems like this book is lovely inside and out.
    Rachana recently posted…a really late recap of the last 4 monthsMy Profile

  5. Such a great review! I really want to pick this book up now! It sounds extremely interesting. Also I love your rating graphic!! Super cute.

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! It was such an amazing book! Have you read The Weight of Feathers yet?

      Also, thanks for the compliment on the graphic! I had a fellow blogger friend make it for me – she’s so talented!

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