Best friends Miel and Sam are strange and inseparable. Roses grow out of Meil’s wrists and Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees. When the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches, want the roses that grow from Meil’s skin, the story becomes especially suspenseful. Meil needs to protect herself but she also would do anything to keep Sam safe and his secrets from being revealed. Using ethereal language and magical realism, When the Moon Was Ours is a beautifully written romance with multicultural elements and LGBT themes. It is also an inspiring, honest story about best friends who fall in love and have to decide how they want to define themselves in this world.
~ Eight Cousins— From Holiday Picks 2016
Winner of the 2016 Tiptree Award!
Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People's Literature
Stonewall Book Award Honor
“McLemore’s second novel is such a lush surprising fable, you half expect birds to fly out of the pages… McLemore uses the supernatural to remind us that the body’s need to speak its truth is primal and profound, and that the connection between two people is no more anyone’s business than why the dish ran away with the spoon.”
--Jeff Giles, New York Times Book Review
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.
About the Author
Anna-Marie McLemore was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains 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, Wild Beauty, and Blanca & Roja.
A Kirkus Best Book of 2016
A Booklist Editor's Choice
"With luminous prose infused with Latino folklore and magical realism, this mixes fairy-tale ingredients with the elegance of a love story, with all of it rooted in a deeply real sense of humanity. Lovely, necessary, and true." —Booklist (starred)
"McLemore mesmerizes once again with a lush narrative set at the thresholds of identity, family, and devotion... Readers will be ensnared in this ethereal narrative long before they even realize the net has been cast." —Kirkus (starred)
"Readers who stick with this novel will be rewarded with a love story that is as endearingly old-fashioned as it is modern and as fantastical as it is real." —School Library Journal (starred)
"It is a story of secrets, and of speaking them, and the power of saying–and living–your truth, without fear." —Lambda Literary
"McElmore blends magical elements with a culturally vibrant cast to create a haunting modern fairy tale...Lush, reverential language remains a hallmark of McElmore’s work... Readers interested in gender identity and the pull of family and history will find this to be an engrossing exploration of these and other powerful themes." —Publishers Weekly
"McLemore’s lush writing gives way to a necessary tale of love and truth that spans across gender, sexuality, and even ethnicity—all with just a hint of magic." —Nivea Serrao for Entertainment Weekly
"You've never read a book quite like this one...The story is lush, sexy, and ethereal, making you feel like you've been enraptured by some old fairy tale that, strangely, feels completely modern at the same time." —Bustle
"One of the most delightfully unusual YA fantasy novels of the past year. There’s dark magic, deep friendship, and queer romance bound together by a lovely, well-written narrative." —Tor.com
"McLemore dances deftly across genres, uniquely weaving glistening strands of culture, myth, dream, mystery, love, and gender identity to create a tale that resonated to my core. It’s that rare kind of book that you want to read slowly, deliciously, savoring every exquisite sentence. I adored this book." —Laura Resau, Américas Award Winning Author of Red Glass and The Queen of Water
"Lushly written and surprisingly suspenseful, this magical tale is not just a love story, but a story of the secrets we keep and the lies we tell, and the courage it takes to reveal our authentic selves to each other and to the world." —Laura Ruby, Printz Award Winning-Author of Bone Gap
Ethereal and beguiling... The enchanting setup and the forbidden romance that blooms between these two outcasts will quickly draw readers in, along with the steady unspooling of the families’ history and mutual suspicions in this promising first novel. —Publishers Weekly on The Weight of Feathers
Told with skillful poetic nuances, this Romeo-and-Juliet story of forbidden love will entice fans of Maggie Stiefvater’s “Raven Cycle” who wished for a little more romance." —School Library Journal on The Weight of Feathers
A very imaginative modern-day romance akin to Romeo and Juliet and is infused with the whimsy of magical realism. —RT Book Reviews on The Weight of Feathers
Readers beguiled by the languorous language...will find themselves falling under its spell...A contemporary, magical take on an ever compelling theme. —Kirkus Reviews on The Weight of Feathers
""Scales and feathers touch and burn in McLemore’s stunning debut. The beauty of the language wraps around you, not letting go until long after the final page.”
—Jaleigh Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of The Mark of the Dragonfly and Secrets of Solace onThe Weight of Feathers