Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 819
A magical and surreal novel
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
When the Moon Was Ours is a beautiful, surreal novel that effortlessly weaves magical elements within the monotonies of everyday life, love and heartbreak. Anna-Marie McLemore has created a fascinating world that I was totally absorbed in and could not put down.

The novel follows best friends Miel and Sam, inseparable since the day Miel fell out of the water tower when she was five. The two are considered strange by their fellow neighbours as roses grow out of Miel’s wrists while nobody knows anything about the life Sam had before he and his mother came to town. He spends his days painting moons and hanging them in the trees for the town’s children, and Miel assists her guardian Aracely in performing spells and curing the townsfolk of their lovesickness. As odd as Miel and Sam are, they are nothing compared to the Bonner girls, four red-haired sisters rumoured to be witches. The Bonner sisters have almost all of the men in the town half in love with them, but their lure is fading and they want Miel’s roses, convinced the flowers wield a power to force love on another. They will do anything to regain their peculiar influence over others, including blackmailing Miel with stories of her past that she wants to forget and threatening to reveal the life-changing secret Sam has tried so hard to protect.

I didn’t know what to expect when I first starting reading this novel. I had a difficult time placing the genre of the story as the book contains both fantasy and magical elements set in present-time reality. I have to admit it took a while to assimilate to this as McLemore never explains the magical elements; it is just a part of the world around the characters and something they accept and live with. Once I wrapped my head around that, the novel completely pulled me in and I wasn’t aware of anything aside from the words on the page. The prose was exquisite and I continually reread certain paragraphs because the sentences and wording were just so beautiful. Her writing is so lyrical and poetic; I have already borrowed another of her novels from my local library, that’s how much I loved her writing.

Miel and Sam were wonderful protagonists and their relationship really drove the plot forward. I caught myself flicking forward a few chapters so I could see if they were together, and had to force myself to stop as I didn’t want to accidentally read any spoilers. Their backstories were both so intriguing: Miel is haunted by her past and what happened to her before she fell out of the water tower, and Sam is terrified that the town will discover that he is actually transgendered. I have never read a fantasy novel with a transgendered character before and I am so excited this was my first. McLemore deals with the topical issues surrounding gender dysphoria that we so often hear about in the media and she does this in a considerate and sensitive manner. Sam has trouble deciding how he wants to define himself and the novel continually makes reference to the fact that it is not anyone’s business besides his. Coming out as LGBT, whether in a small town or large city, is daunting for anyone and When the Moon Was Ours does a fantastic job of explaining LGBT issues and re-educating small-minded ignorant people. The message that I took away from this book is that you should accept and love who you are inside, no matter what the outside may look like.

I had a love-hate relationship with the Bonner sisters. There were times I wanted to hug them and other times I wanted to yell at them. I really enjoyed Peyton’s character, but her inability to stand up against her sister angered me, especially as Peyton understood that what she and her sisters were doing was wrong. I felt pity for both Chloe and Lian, as the entire town gossips about them behind their backs. As for Ivy, I disliked her from beginning to end. I don’t care about her motives, her attempts to blackmail Miel and Sam had me seething.

My heart was ripped into a million pieces then put back together, over and over again as I read this book. What made me love it even more was reading the Author’s Note at the end of the novel, which was so incredibly touching. When the Moon Was Ours is a book everyone needs to read.
Good Points
Check out my blog and other reviews here: www.thebookcorps.wordpress.com
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Fancy Nancy: Camp Fancy
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Based on the Disney Junior TV show and inspired by...
Rules for Vanishing
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes...
What Makes Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving...
Harry Potter Origami
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ever wanted to fold your own Chocolate Frogs? Or play...
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heart-wrenchingly honest, fans of Brandy Colbert and Nicola Yoon will...
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution...
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2001, audiences first met and fell in love with...
On the Come Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...
The Brightsiders
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Could you fall in love with a robot? ...
IMG_4918.jpg
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The black X of the Aramach Rebels marks the...
City of Beasts
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
"If you see a beast, and you have the...
The Grace Year
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden....
The Fractured Empire
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Ceithren Empire is finally at peace, but for...

Latest Member Reviews

What Makes Us
 
5.0
"WHAT MAKES US is an intriguing story that follows a teenaged boy, his mother (in the past), and his friend..."
Serpent & Dove
 
5.0
"Lou is on the run from her family and she lives a thieving life with her friend Coco. Both of..."
By Any Means Necessary
 
3.7
"BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY is an engaging contemporary YA that presents some issues very well. The writing is in a..."
On the Come Up
 
5.0
"ON THE COME UP is a fantastic new YA contemporary that handles big issues like racism and sexism. The characters..."
Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
"FIREBORNE is a new YA fantasy that follows two teens, Lee and Anna (Antigone) in alternating points-of-view. Lee and Anna..."
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
"As Middle Grade graphic novel adaptations go, this urban fantasy is above par. The artwork has a bit..."
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
"INTO THE CROOKED PLACE is an engaging YA fantasy that follows five characters on a quest of aligned goals- even..."
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
"TO KILL A KINGDOM is a wonderful YA fantasy about a siren and a pirate. Told in alternating points of..."
The Rift
 
3.3
"THE RIFT is a unique YA fantasy that takes place on Black Water Island, a place prized for the herd..."
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
3.3
"THE BEAUTIFUL takes place in New Orleans, primarily following a young woman, Celine. Celine fled France after a terrible event..."
 
5.0
"Eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson goes to Madrid, Spain with his family in order for his mother to reconnect with the country..."
Glow of the Fireflies
 
3.3
"GLOW OF THE FIREFLIES is a YA fantasy that follows a teenaged girl, Briony, who has no memories from before..."
Creep
 
3.3
"CREEP is an interesting YA thriller/horror that follows an incoming high school freshman, Olivia (Liv). Olivia lives in a small..."
 
4.0
"EVE OF MAN by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher is the latest in YA dystopias. In the story, a phenomenon of..."
 
4.7
"Sam Jones and Zoe Miller are seniors in high school, but they've never had a reason to communicate during their..."
 
4.7
"Michigan Manning just wants to play hockey. Unfortunately, the high school she attends in the upper peninsula of Michigan has..."
When You Ask Me Where I'm Going
 
5.0
"WHEN YOU ASK ME WHERE I'M GOING is an absolutely gorgeous collection that reaches to touch the soul. In poems,..."
A Match Made in Mehendi
 
4.0
"A MATCH MADE IN MEHENDI is a light-hearted contemporary romance. Simi aspires to be an artist, but right now, she's..."
The Survival List
 
4.0
"A worthy read. The Story: Sloane is dealing with her sister's suicide when she finds a list her..."
I'll Give You the Sun
 
5.0
"I’ll Give You the Sun is a masterpiece of the Young Adult genre, perfectly incorporating the feel of what it..."