Since Zoe Brooks first approached me about being a part of the Magic Realism Blog Hop, I wanted to write something eloquent and poignant. But c’mon, this is me and I really just want to fangirl about some of my favorite magical realism novels. These novels span adult and YA, sweet & huggable and heartbreakingly sad. But they have all left their mark on me and my writing. They are beautifully written and stunningly original. If you haven’t read them, I urge you to go read them now. Seriously. Finish the blog hop, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom and then go buy them. You can thank me later.
The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Most people who read Sarah Addison Allen say Garden Spells is their favorite. And I can’t blame them. It is brilliant. But for me, it’s The Girl Who Chased The Moon. Whether it’s the YA feel with the blossoming love story between orphaned Emily and Win, who have to find a way around their parents’ romantic failings, or the swoony rekindled romance between Julia and Sawyer, which breaks my heart yet still makes me believe in second chances, this book has become my go-to read. Add to the romance some unique magical elements–like wallpaper that changes to match moods, mysterious lights that haunt the town, a giant who’s looking for a sign in the dryer from someone he’s lost, a family who can’t/won’t go out at night, a boy who is always drawn to the scent of baking cakes, and the girl who bakes in hopes of feeling whole again–and you have a sweet, enjoyable read that will keep you coming back time and again.
A Trip To The Stars by Nicholas Christopher
I’m not sure if everyone would classify A Trip to the Stars as magical realism, but I most definitely do. It is beautiful and dark and sweet and strange. It tells the stories of orphaned Enzo (AKA Loren) and his adoptive aunt Mala (AKA Alma) who get separated and spend the next 15 years trying to find themselves and their way back to each other. while Enzo finds himself with his biological family–the one place that can offer him everything he wwnts from answers to a place to call home–Mala’s life spirals so far from anything that resembles who she used to be. They each go on journeys bringing them closer together and ever farther apart as they search for who they are supposed to be. There are spiders whose venom temporarily allows the bitten see in the dark and not need sleep. There’s genetic (fruit) science and mind mapping and Indian magic and yes, even a vampire. But what makes this book so magical is how Enzo and Mala encounter the same people at different times, go to some of hte same places within days of each other and experience the same sense of loss and desperate need to be whole again, and if just one thing had happened differently they might have found each other so much earlier. But if that had happened, they might not have ever found themselves.
Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan
Love’s a bitch. Or at least that’s what Of Bees and Mist tells us. But luckily Meridia and Daniel don’t know that. Not yet anyway. They meets at a market and fall instantly–and insanely–in love. But that’s where he fairytale ends. The examples set by their parents should’ve sent them running in the other direction. But 16 years Meridia and Daniel are young and hopeful in the way only newly in love kids can be, much to the disappointment of their detached (Meridia) and controlling (Daniel) families. Even without the different color mists that carry Meridia’s father away from home–and her mother– each evening and deposit him on their doorstep every morning and Daniel’s mother who harasses her family with an army of bees to keep them in line, these two would’ve had trouble keeping their love alive. But with it, it’s nearly impossible. The beauty of this story, though, is how they persevere despite those odds. Their story is at times hopeful and tragic, innocent and painful. And it’s one that keeps you wondering if they can make it work up until the last page.
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
I’m not gonna lie, I bought this book for the cover. I found it because it is YA magical realism, but I seriously wanted to display this on my bookshelf. Luckily it is as gorgeously written as the cover promises. This is the story of two sisters–Ruby and Chloe–separated by tragedy and the sisterly bond that ties them so tightly together that nothing short of death could separate them. And maybe not even then. Without Ruby, younger sister Chloe would be a normal girl. But Ruby is different. The world–or at least their little town–really does revolve around her. Whatever she says, people believe. Whatever she wants, she gets. Whether it’s by writing her demands on balloons and releasing them into the air to wait for what she wants to come back to her, or cloaking the entire town in a veil of magic to protect the one person she loves more than herself. Half the time you’re not sure if the magic is real or if Chloe is just so taken in by her sister that she’s seeing what she wants to see. But either way, you won’t be able to put it down.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Aside from being a NaNoWriMo novel, which in itself is kick ass, The Night Circus is a literary work of art. The setting of the magical circus that travels around the world and just appears at dusk in each new city is nothing short of stunning. Add to that a magical contract binding Celia and Marco together in battle of magic ability to prove whose teacher is better–Celia’s self-centered, uncaring father or Marco’s hard-hearted benefactor. The circus is the setting of their battle, but it’s also how Celia and Marco fall in love. They use the circus tents to not only showcase their talent, but also to create something special for each other, including an ice garden or life-like trees and flowers made of ice, a wishing tree where one wish is sparked from another, and a tent where people can jump from cloud to cloud. it’s no wonder the supporting characters fall in love with the circus. If it was real, I’d be part of the rêveurs too.
Be sure to check out the other bloggers taking part in the blog hop!
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