The Weight of Feather, by Anna-Marie McLemore
Release Date: 9/15/15
"For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.
Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she's been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees. "
The Weight of Feathers is a very different and unusual take on Romeo and Juliet! Instead of taking place in the 1300's, this story takes place in modern time, following two star-crossed lovers, who each travel and perform in their feuding families businesses.
While Lace performs with her cousins, as colorful mermaids, Cluck invents and builds costumes for his family's performers.
Their families have been feuding for twenty or so years; each blaming the other for various occurrences, and spreading rumors. No one truly knows what started this rivalry so many years ago, but each families members know better that to interact with the other.
After Lace is stuck in not only a nylon net, that is tangled in the lake from their performance, but also an acid rain storm that is causing her skin to burn, she is saved by Cluck. While she is still conscious, Lace sees one of his black feather, with a hint of red fall on top of her, and she knows, right then, who he is.
Since she was young, she's been told what these feathers mean, and what black magic hides behind them. She also knows that whatever they land on, or touch, is cursed with that very same black magic...
After waking up in a hospital bed, and finally making her way home, Lace knows that she needs to apologize to Cluck, thank him, and then figure out a way for him to get rid of the feather marking he left behind on her. If anyone in her family sees this feather traced onto her skin, she knows they will force her to leave.
Overall, I truly enjoyed the book, I mean...I did read the entire thing in a day!
I do have to say, that I was a bit worried The Weight of Feathers would be too similar to Romeo and Juliet, and follow the same basic outline. But after only a few chapters, I quickly began to realize that this wouldn't be an issue.
These two families aren't just any traveling performers; while the Corbeaus grow black feathers out their hair, the Palomas each have a marking on their skin. I simply assumed that these families would walk tight ropes, and perform circus acts, but BOY was I wrong! Also the connection between the two families, and what truly caused this entire feud, was not only totally unexpected, but also amazing!
I honestly can't say there was ever a dull moment in this book. Every page and every chapter included new information about the two rivaling families, and new scenes from Cluck and Lace. What I also really enjoyed was that Cluck and Lace never turned one another, they stayed true to who they are, and what they believed and felt. They didn't let some old stories, and their family members get in their way.
I enjoyed The Weight of Feather, very much! I do wish, however, that Cluck would have knocked one over Dax a LONG time ago, instead of just taking his beatings. But I was also very proud of him when he actually did!
If The Weight of Feathers isn't on your TBR list, it should be! This story is the perfect modern spin on Romeo and Juliet!