When the Moon Was Ours: A Novel

When the Moon Was Ours: A Novel

by Anna-Marie McLemore


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250160102
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 02/13/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 60,666
Product dimensions: 5.54(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.78(d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, raised in the same town as the world’s largest wisteria vine, and taught by her family to hear la llorona in the Santa Ana winds. She is the author of The Weight of Feathers, When the Moon Was Ours, and Wild Beauty.

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When the Moon Was Ours 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm really not sure what to say about this book. Once I got past 140~ pages, I was enthralled, but before that, it was a trudge to read and I was beginning to suspect this flowery language wasn't for me. Then the tides shifted and this book was easier to understand and gripped me. The problem I had with the beginning was I didn't understand the motive that kicked off the conflict, which made it hard to sympathize with Miel, one of two main characters and the catalyst for the plot. I did enjoy Samir from the start and I loved his story. When I first started reading, what I really wanted was a book with just his point of view and focusing on Samir and Miel growing up, but by the end, we had gotten enough glimpses into their past that I was satisfied. Oh, and the romance was fantastic. It was so sweet and tender and they clearly care for one another. That was also another reason why the end picked up for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book opened my eyes to so many things. From the struggle of being honest with yourself to the struggle of sharing the truth of your honesty with others. There were many times that I wondered when the characters truths would be told and how the consequences of the lies would be characterized and I was not disappointed. The strength and raw emotion in this book is captivating and personal. I will definitely be recommending this book to every reader I know.
AReadingRedSox More than 1 year ago
There are some people who are just meant to be storytellers, and Anna-Marie McLemore is one of those people. WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS was absolutely stunning. There is beauty and purpose and strength in every word that McLemore puts on the page, and I loved every single moment of this one. See more reviews at my blog! http://areadingredsox.blogspot.com
NovelKnight More than 1 year ago
Magical realism is one of those genres that I want more of but am also leery of because I tend to either really like it or I don't. When the Moon was Ours falls somewhere in between. Where this book excelled for me was the characters. I'm trying to read more diversely and this book was absolutely beautiful. McLemore has not only included a cast of culturally diverse characters but of different sexualities as well and though I'm not a good judge of the representation, I thought she did a good job in my own opinion.  But the book fell a bit flat for me. I like magical realism but usually need a bit more of an explanation for the kind of "magic" included in this book. There were too many different things for me to just go along with it. And though it seems like a lot of people loved the writing style, I just... didn't. Wasn't for me. Nor did I find the plot terribly interesting.  The characters were wonderfully created and developed, but this just wasn't the book for me in terms of the writing and story, unfortunately.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The trouble with reviewing a book of this quality is the fact that your own writing will be so inadequate you’re left using bland superlatives in an attempt to communicate the sublime experience you just had. It’s “incredible” “amazing” “beautiful” and really all anyone can take from that is “So you liked it a LOT.” Yes, I liked this story a LOT. This is magical realism at its most powerful. Everyone should read this book!
bookslayerReads More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that you anticipate for a really long time because you've heard nothing but wonderful things about it. And it's also one of those highly anticipated books that live up to your expectations, thankfully. Well... it lived up to mine, anyway! Miel is our main character, and as you can see from the synopsis, she can magically grow roses from her wrist. Beautiful, fragrant roses. But not everyone sees the roses as something beautiful. Sam, though... our other main character, and Miel's best friend, has no problem with the roses growing from Miel's wrist. They have a close bond with each other, unlike anything they've ever had with anyone else, and I absolutely adored this relationship between them. They were the perfect match for one another. I felt I could relate more to Sam's personality than Miel's, but I still loved Miel just the same. "Giving someone else a little of who they were hurt more than giving up none or all of it." Although we have these perfect (to me) characters, we also have the Bonner sisters, who are perfect in everyone else's eyes... but are in no way perfect on the inside. They are mean, cold hearted, and just down right cruel. I didn't like them as people, but I did enjoy them as characters, if that makes sense. I like stories that have all different types of characters and personalities... that's what makes it fun! And that's exactly what I got with When the Moon Was Ours. All of the characters worked so well together to create a great, interesting story. When the Moon Was Ours is magical realism at its finest. A perfect example of non-fantasy having magical elements, and I really loved that about this book. It gave the story life, as if it was living and breathing like you and I. And I was pulled right into this world McLemore had created. "Someday, Sam and Miel would be nothing but a fairytale." The one thing that bothered me about this standalone novel, was the writing in the beginning. It was almost as if the author was attempting to be nonchalantly poetic, but it ended up being more confusing than anything. It took me a minute to wrap my head around the writing, but once I did, I was hooked. And that's all there is to it! Labeled as LGBTQ+, I knew I wanted to read this book, even though I was totally unaware of the reason behind the label. Well, come to find out... all the readers whose reviews I read on this novel did a very (and I mean, VERY) good job at not spilling the beans! (Thank you, non-spoilery reviews!) The twist was fantastic and totally unexpected! The LGBTQ+ representation was done very well, and I applaud McLemore on this aspect of the story. Kudos, kudos, and more kudos! A bit odd and different (in a good way!), When the Moon Was Ours is a really, really good story that a reader can learn a lot from. If you haven't read it yet, you really need to. It's one of those stories that just NEEDS to be read. As much as I wanted to give the book five stars, it just didn't reach that point for me, due to my issues with the writing in the beginning. But it absolutely is worth the four stars I gave it... and it could be worth more to you! Why don't you read it and find out?!
Yzabel More than 1 year ago
[NOTE: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.] Enchanting and full of diversity, although the flowery prose didn’t convince me. The book opens on Miel and Sam, a skittish girl with roses growing out of her wrist, and a boy who doesn’t exactly know if he wants to be a boy or go back to being a girl. In itself, this was an interesting premise, as both characters were searching for their inner truth, all lthe while being surrounded by lies (or what they perceived at such): Miel’s memory—not exactly the most reliable; what Aracely, Miel’s adoptive guardian, knows and what she doesn’t say; Sam having to hide his body in everyday life; and the Bonner sisters, with their red hair and their mysterious ways, four girls acting as one, enchantresses ensnaring boys and wielding their own kind of power that always gets them what they want in the end. There’s more magical realism than actual magic here, although Aracely’s ability to cure heartbreak, as well as her being a self-professed curandera, definitely hint at ‘witchcraft’. It’s more about the way things are shown and described, in the moons Sam paints and hangs outside people’s windows, in the roses growing out of Miel’s skin, in the rumoured stained glass coffin meant to make girls more beautiful, in how modern life and themes (immigrants in a small town, transgender teenagers, fear of rejection, or the practice of bacha posh, which I didn’t know about before reading this book…) intertwine with poetry and metaphor, with images of rebirth and growing up and accepting (or realising) who you’re meant to be. Not to mention racial diversity, instead of the usual ‘all main protagonists are whiter than white.’ To be honest, though, as much as the prose was beautiful at first, in the end it seemed like it was trying too much, and the story suffered from too many convoluted paragraphs and redundant descriptions & flashbacks. As it was, even though I liked this book in general, I found myself skimming in places that felt like déjà vu. Granted, it’s much more a character- than a plot-driven novel, but I’m convinced all the prose could’ve been toned down, and it would have remained beautiful without sometimes running in circles and drowning the plot now and then.
mdemanatee More than 1 year ago
This book was gorgeous. Read it all, including the dedication and author's note. Every word matters.
Myndia More than 1 year ago
Over and over I’ve attempted to summarize this book, but words fail me. Truthfully, some of it I simply didn’t get. What are the flowers growing out of Miel’s wrists all about? Is this based on some existing myth or superstition that I’m not familiar with? Was it simply an unconventional means of making her “other” in the story so that she and Sam could be outcasts together?And those Bonner girls? It felt a bit like a fairytale whose moral I didn’t really grasp. Don’t get me wrong. It was interesting, and in no way detracted from the story, it just made me feel like I was missing something. But. Miel and Sam were amazing. The best part of the book for me was Sam wrestling with who he was now vs. who he saw himself being long-term and coming to terms with that. And Miel loving him no matter what form he felt most comfortable with. It is a rare thing, transgender or not, to find someone who loves you unconditionally, who takes you as you are, and loves and supports you without question. At the risk of repeating myself, I’m really drawn to stories with LGBTQA themes right now because I simply haven’t had a lot of exposure to those stories, and I want to walk awhile in their shoes, to maybe gain a little more insight into what it’s really like living their lives. The fact that the author’s husband is a transgender man lends more authenticity to that part of the story, and I really appreciate that. Perhaps the magical realism isn’t quite for me or maybe I really did just miss something. Regardless, it’s a beautifully written story of love, acceptance, and transformation, and I’d definitely recommend it. If, like me, the magical realism isn’t for you, I urge you to power through. There is so much more to be gained from this story, it will be worth it. Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"When the Moon was Ours" is a hauntingly beautiful and lyrical masterpiece. McLemore is an incredible storyteller. The words do more than convey the story, but carry another world and emotions with every sentence. The book begins with a local folktale about Moon and Honey, a surprising but frightened young girl and the boy who saves her from her fear, giving her the moon. We learn that they are Sam and Miel, children who fit with each other, even if not society at large. Miel was drowned by her mother out of love to prevent her presumed destructive future (hints of the La Llorona folklore). Miel grows roses out of her arms. She comes from a magical family where this is a curse. In the process, Miel breaks free from her mother, and her brother and mother follow her into the water and also drown. Miel is suspended in the water tower, until it is released and she comes back to life, alone and confused. Sam is the one who rushes to protect her. Sam is carrying his own secret- he is a bacha posh, who later realizes he is transgendered. Miel understands without explanations or fear. The way this is presented is incredible and beautiful, allowing the reader to have the same understandings. Sam and Miel have a beautiful relationship as best friends and lovers, which is threatened by the Bonner sisters with hair the color of flames who carry their own secrets and seem to be witches of a type. The Bonner sisters want Miel's roses at any cost and threaten Sam to get them from her. As bullies, the Bonner sisters are terrifying- their punishment to Miel is to lock her in a glass coffin and leave her there, hungry and barely able to breathe. However, they carry their own secrets and burdens, which are in a figurative sense the glass coffin. This can only be broken by the courageous announcement and acceptance of the truth of the way things are. The story is poetic, imaginative, and captivating. I imagine this book to easily become a classic and is, to me, an important read in how we treat people (some hints of racism and fear of the "other") and the fears/secrets we keep which weigh us down. It is also a poignant romance. I was incredibly moved by the story and writing- this is a book I shall never forget. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I loved Anna-Marie's first book and was so eager to read the next one. Honestly, I didn't even read the synopsis first, I downloaded it on her name alone. Miel and Sam are fantastic characters. They're both struggling with a part of themselves they don't quite want to show the world. It's simultaneously heartbreaking and hopeful to see them navigate the small town they live in. And those Bonner girls had me wondering if I should to jump in to shove them or hug them. As always, Anna-Marie's prose is some of the prettiest I've ever read. Her imagery is amazing and I want to live in these worlds she creates. I could read her characters forever. **Huge thanks to Thomas Dunne and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**