Goodreads Summary– Love grows such strange things.
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.
The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.
World Building- The setting of this book is so beautiful. The way the McLemore describes La Pradera made me feel like I was transported there, and it was definitely a place that I wanted to be.
Characters- At first I did not think that I would be able to keep track of all the characters, but this was not the case. Each of the girls were unique and I adored all of them. I really enjoyed that we followed Estrella’s perspective. Fel has become an all time favourite character- he is so sweet and charming! Wild Beauty is definitely most character-driven versus plot driven, which is something that I prefer!
Writing- Anna-Marie McLemore is an absolutely brilliant writer. The prose was flowery, but not in forced or overdone way. To put it simply, the writing was beautiful.
Magical Realism- This was magical realism done right! There are very few magical realism novels that I truly love, but Wild Beauty is one of them. I know that magical realism originated in Latin America, so it refreshing to read something from this genre written by an author who is a Latina! I wanted to share this review from Mica on Goodreads as she is a Latina, and has a better understanding of this genre than I have!
Relationships– While I enjoyed the romantic relationships, it was really the familial relationships that shined in this novel. I have mentioned before that I really love books that center on families, and they are harder to find in YA!
I truly have no dislikes! I have seen that a few people have had problems with the pacing, especially during the first 100 pages, but personally I had no problems with the pace and never found it slow.
“Even in its first faint traces, love could alter a landscape. It wrote unimagined stories and made the most beautiful, forbidding places.”
“Love grew such strange things.”
“Everyone’s broken. The only difference is how.”
I would not be surprised if this book ends up on my top 10 books of the year- it was that good! Have you read Wild Beauty? I would love to know what you thought!
Thank you to Raincoast books for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review. This is no way affected my opinion.