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Wild Beauty  By  cover art

Wild Beauty

By: Anna-Marie McLemore
Narrated by: Almarie Guerra
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Publisher's Summary

Love grows such strange things. 

Anna-Marie McLemore's debut novel, The Weight of Feathers, garnered fabulous reviews and was a finalist for the prestigious YALSA Morris Award, and her second novel, When the Moon Was Ours, was longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Now, in Wild Beauty, McLemore introduces a spellbinding setting and two characters who are drawn together by fate - and pulled apart by reality. 

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.

©2017 Anna-Marie McLemore (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"No one does magical realism quite like McLemore, and this third novel, laced with slow-burning suspense, folklore, romance, and spun together with exquisite, luxuriant prose, proves it.... Sheer magic: fierce, bright, and blazing with possibility." (Booklist

Featured Article: The Best Bisexual Listens by Queer Authors


Listeners on the hunt for stories that center the bisexual experience know what a challenge it can be. Here, we’ve tried to lighten the lift with a list of the best bisexual listens across genres and age categories. And because we know that authenticity is important to listeners, all of the selections on this list were written by queer and bisexual authors. We hope to see more wonderful and nuanced stories depicting bisexual characters going forward.

What listeners say about Wild Beauty

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I will never get these 9 hours back

Cheesy story read cheesily. I was drawn in by the premise (which is sound), but the story fails to develop it. As the plot aimlessly meanders, one is left reading a middle school drama combined with equal parts Gardener’s Digest and a very surfacey reading of Marx, Foucault, and friends. The phrases “rich man” and “brown skin” appear so frequently it feels you’re reading a rambling young adult manifesto. Likewise, the obvious reversal of gender roles comes off as predictable rather than refreshing. There’s some good queer and class-conscious fairy tales out there — this is not one of them.

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I just don't care

I just never found the book the least bit interesting. Beautiful writing with a meandering plot that just never really went anywhere.

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Took my breath away

This book started slowly, but by the end took my breath away. I spent the last hour or so crying, it was so beautiful and emotional. Like Blanca & Roja, this is a story about a family with a curse - this time one where the women can pull flowers from bare earth and who lose the ones they love. It's a story about love and family and loss and heartbreak. It's also a story about undocumented immigrants and uncaring rich men and what it means to be bisexual. It was poetic and lovely and spoke to my heart

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Beautiful and lush

This was such a lovely read and so visual! I could see the garden in my head it was described so vividly! The story is so timely and well told and I loved the LGBTQ representation as well as the immigrant story. This will sit with me for a long while.

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  • Dheeraj kumar
  • 02-02-19

Better as a Physical

The audiobook truly did leave something to be desired. This book is one that needs to be consumed with your eyes rather than your ears, I think, at least for me. I struggled with the flowery language that everyone raves about.