Hello Humans! Who is ready for another Readalong? I know I am *fake children cheering sound*. Right, as you’ll recall from my readalong of The Graces the next book chosen by my TBR Tea-cup was Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore. I read Wild Beauty early on in 2018 and really enjoyed it, but the fairytale quality of this book promises to be even more my jam!
The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.
The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.
But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.
There are no chapter numbers in this book, just the names of the POV, so I’ll have to split things by page numbers – one thing I’m learning with these readalongs is that there really is no convention as to how books are split up.
Page 1 – Page 62
I already love this. I rarely see this kind of fairytale style pulled off in a) a more modern setting and b) in first person. I was expecting this to just be from the POVs of Blanca and Roja but so far there are four perspectives which is a pleasant surprise and is adding a nice outside perspective to things. I will say that I’m finding it a little hard to distinguish between the two sisters voices in their chapters – but that might just be because I was reading this on the bus first thing in the morning. I’m very excited to see where this goes!
Page 63 – End
I devoured the rest of this book in its entirety in the bath because it is utterly phenomenal. I got so into this that by the end the bathwater was cold and I didn’t care because nothing was stopping me getting to the end. This has some of the most beautiful language in it that I think I’ve ever encountered – and manages to do so without feeling like it’s trying too hard? Anna-Marie captures that perfect fairytale voice and even though there are cars and modern technology this story somehow also feels utterly timeless. I fell so hard for both romances, I loved the resolution of the plot, I loved that she called out that people probably ought to communicate more in her own book – that’s just amazing. Frankly, it’s almost pointless writing this readalong post because I am close to speechless with how much I loved this book.
Five stars. Don’t even need to think about it, possibly the easiest five-star rating I’ve given in a while. I liked Wild Beauty but this book feels like it comes from a whole other, much deeper place. It tears you apart and it does it’s best to put you back together by the end of the last page. The writing is stunning, the characters are fantastic, the various points of view are majestic, the setting is just the right level of mysterious. I cannot praise this book highly enough because there aren’t the right adjectives yet.
I absolutely cannot wait to read what McLemore has coming next because if it’s anything like this it will be utterly fantastic.
I’m participating in the Off the Grid Readathon next (read my TBR here) but I thought I’d pick my next TBR Tea-Cup read now because it’s nice to have a routine (and because by the time you read this the readathon will be happening). Next up is Kristina Pérez’s Sweet Black Waves. Keep an eye out for my next readathon coming soon!
What say you? Have you read or do you plan to read Blanca & Roja? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!