When the Moon Was Ours
Written by Anna-Marie McLemore
Published by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.
Page Count: 288 pages.
Tea Pairing: This Caramel Cream tea from Adagio perfectly matches Miel’s favorite cookie called alfajores, a Latin-American dulce de leche concoction. Want a recipe? Check it out here!
No one in town really knows a lot about Miel and Sam. Miel has the ability to grow roses from her wrists and some say she was born from a water tower. Sam paints moons and hangs them from trees to illuminate the neighborhood. No one knows where he and his mother originated from or why they left.
Despite all of this, they aren’t the most mysterious ones in town. The Bonner sisters hold a strange sort of magic – they’re able to enchant and lure any man they want. Except for Sam. When Miel is threatened and blackmailed, will she protect herself or the boy she loves?
Anna Marie McLemore’s book, When the Moon Was Ours, is such a beautiful and important text. Written poetically and with a lot of heart, this story gives us something I have shamefully never seen before in a novel, young adult or otherwise:
A character who is trans.
I don’t want to give too much away. I think there’s so much magic to this book that needs to be discovered by the reader. But there are teens that feel alone in their sexuality and I think it’s our closest form of magic that we have books like this available to help heal wounded readers.
(This book isn’t getting enough love, you guys. I will scream it from rooftops if I must.)
There are other lovely things in this book:
- When the Moon Was Ours points out that those things that make us different, those strange metaphorical roses growing from our wrists, are the same things that make us beautiful.
- It lets us know that even those people we revere as perfect are not so flawless. And it informs us that even they are struggling.
- This book offers us a magical world that seems oddly real and familiar at the same time.
- It features a cast of characters who are POC, something we don’t see nearly enough.
I found the end to be a little forced, hence the 4.5 star rating, but other than that? I was madly in love with this book. It was so clever and so profound and I’ll be returning to this book again, I guarantee.
What’s everyone reading? Leave it here! I’m going to be doing a throwback to Fangirl this week (complete with recipe!) and then I’ll be diving into a couple of ARCs that I’ve received.
(Including ARCs about vampires, teens with Asperger’s, and a meditation book for middle graders. And maybe John Green’s new book if I have the nerve.)