The Palomas and the Corbeaus have long been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows-the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find. Lace Paloma may be new to her family's show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she's been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it's a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace's life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.
The Weight of FeathersFeatured
Oh. Whoops. Never mind. Wrong story, wrong work of literature. But let's admit it. THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS and Romeo and Juliet share quite a lot of similarities. Two rivaling families who hate each other, check. A daughter, check. A son, check. They fall in love with each other, check. And if anyone from the family finds out about it, they might die. Check, definitely check.
YA Magical Realism isn't quite what I've been expecting when I first picked up the book. I was actually expecting YA Contemporary Romance, but at the first mention of magic, I was thrown off and had to reread certain parts of the book. But other than that little bump in the road, I had a pleasant time reading THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS. It's filled with a much more subtle magic that isn't so direct as YA Fantasy, drama (of course; forbidden love demands drama, pain, and angst), and romance (one can't have forbidden love without the actual love).
The plot sends Lace towards the other household. The enemy household. Branded (unintentionally) by Cluck, she is thrown out of her household and deemed cursed by her own family. Cluck, an outcast in his own family, is surprised by the attraction he feels for this girl, and together, they unleash a whole ton of trouble upon their own heads. The question of whether or not they will get caught is an overarching part of the tale and one of the biggest suspenseful points.
There's something sad and bitter about Cluck that simply draws me to him. No. It's not love or a crush or something similar to that. He's an outcast, as I have said before. He is not part of the family, and he has been bullied by the golden boy in the family. Reading about him finding his own happiness (about him finding Lace) is the greatest part in the book. And though Lace is a bit tentative, their romance remains one of the biggest pushes of the plot.
The ending is the most dramatic part of the book. And it gives a somewhat bittersweet end to the rivalry and the story. That's all I'm going to say.
Overall, THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS is a curious story that brings an alternative ending towards the Romeo and Juliet shenanigan. Rival families, two lovers, and a conclusion that doesn't end in death. I recommend this for anyone who loves forbidden romance, magic, and a story a bit out of the ordinary.
Rating: Three out of Five
I haven't read much magical realism, but I think I'm going to have to change that. THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS captured my heart and my imagination and left me breathless.
From the very first page, I was drawn into the mystical and sinister world of the Palomas and Corbeaus. These two families of performers have been feuding for as long as anyone can remember, exacerbated by a tragic flood that both blame the other for. Into this hostile environment are born Lace and Cluck. When Cluck saves Lace during a terrifying accident, their lives collide in ways no one in either family could predict.
I adored their slow burning romance so much. With such hatred in their veins, you wouldn't think they could ever mix. But they learn to see the beauty in each other, something their own families never really appreciated. As they piece together the broken parts of their families' pasts, they have to choose between fighting for their relationship or continuing with the fears and superstitions of the past.
The Final Verdict:
Beautifully written, richly imagined, and just plain magical, THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS is a must-read story.
In the middle are Cluck and Lace. An unfortunate accident throws them together, though neither knows the background of the other, and they are forced to confront generations of hatred and misinformation. As their love for one another grows, they seek out the truth behind the flood and an end to the violence.
The magical families and their history was the most fascinating part about The Weight of Feathers. Each family creates an air of mystery during their performances, but still take great pains to hide those things that are truly magical about them. While the Paloma's dance in the water, the Corbeau's dance in the trees, each building fears and superstitions regarding the realm of the other. Throughout the novel, we piece together parts of history to create a narrative them speaks of terrible tragedy and disasterous decisions.
While the families themselves created an enthralling universe, unfortunately, the main characters did not. Cluck and Lace had no real sense of chemistry and nothing in common. Despite Cluck claiming passion and excitement at Lace's mere touch, it did not come across on the page. I was interested in the mystery of them, in the mystery of their families and in what the future would bring for them, I just couldn't root for them as a romantic couple.
The plot is a slow and steady burn towards the truth which culminates in the families having to face the reality of their circumstances, however, nothing really seems to change for anyone other than Cluck and Lace. I really did LIKE this book but, while the writing was lovely and the magical elements were wonderful, there was simply too much riding on a lackluster romance for me to love it.