A poetic, lush, and sincere exploration of gender, identity and neurodiversity that only this author can create. Evocative imagery and dazzling magical realism dance with honest, sometimes painful self-exploration. I love every book Anna-Marie writes; they are a treasure!— From Ashleigh
In this young adult novel by award-winning author Anna-Marie McLemore, two non-binary teens are pulled into a magical world under a lake - but can they keep their worlds above water intact?
Everyone who lives near the lake knows the stories about the world underneath it, an ethereal landscape rumored to be half-air, half-water. But Bastián Silvano and Lore Garcia are the only ones who’ve been there. Bastián grew up both above the lake and in the otherworldly space beneath it. Lore’s only seen the world under the lake once, but that one encounter changed their life and their fate.
Then the lines between air and water begin to blur. The world under the lake drifts above the surface. If Bastián and Lore don’t want it bringing their secrets to the surface with it, they have to stop it, and to do that, they have to work together. There’s just one problem: Bastián and Lore haven’t spoken in seven years, and working together means trusting each other with the very things they’re trying to hide.
About the Author
Anna-Marie McLemore was born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and taught by their family to hear la llorona in the Santa Ana winds. They are the author of The Weight of Feathers, a 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist; 2017 Stonewall Honor Book When the Moon Was Ours, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature; Wild Beauty, a Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist best book of 2017; Blanca & Roja, a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice; Dark and Deepest Red, a Winter 2020 Indie Next List title; and The Mirror Season, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature.
"McLemore crafts vivid magic that balances scenes of overwhelming, unregulated emotions given life by the lake with soothing, sincere moments of love, self-affirmation, and gentle humor...A beauty both bright and deep." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"An astonishingly beautiful love letter to neurodivergent and nonbinary teens cast amid a magical lake setting that will pull you in right along with the characters." —Booklist, starred review
"In this sumptuous tale of magical realism told via alternating perspectives, McLemore holds up realities of being neurodivergent while otherwise marginalized alongside strong friendships and vital family relationships that ground the protagonists." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Delivers mesmerizing magical realism, brilliant portrayals of gender transitioning and genderfluidity, and sensitive representations of living with ADHD and dyslexia...This magnificent YA novel urges acceptance and support, reminding readers that different isn't wrong, it's beautiful." —Shelf Awareness, starred review
"McLemore successfully binds the novel’s fantasy elements to the inner lives of their characters... Readers...will find relief and recognition in this impassioned book, and teens in general should feel welcomed by its warmly open storytelling." —Horn Book Magazine
"Lovely and deep, colourful and creeping, perfect magic." —E.K. Johnston, #1 New York Times-Bestselling Author
"An absolute knockout. McLemore has created a jar full of glitter that I wish I could read again for the first time...One of the most important pieces of queer fiction I've ever had the pleasure to read."
—TJ Klune, New York Times-bestselling author of The House on the Cerulean Sea
Praise for The Mirror Season:
"A masterpiece intertwining painful teen realities involving injustices based on race, ethnicity, class, and gender with trauma and healing within loving, supportive families." —School Library Journal (starred)
"An empowering story of two survivors healing together... Their vulnerable, spellbinding story, colored with magic realism and achingly beautiful prose, is about healing after trauma, reclaiming your body and choices, and the empathetic understanding between survivors." —Booklist, starred review
"McLemore whips up a magical realist tale as spellbinding as the pan dulce creations described within this novel’s pages... With haunting prose and sharp insight, McLemore expertly combines the piquant with the sweet." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The poetic and vulnerable prose illuminates the need for more open conversation about sexuality, consent, and abuse without the limits of the gender binary...Piercing magic." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"An unforgettable story of trauma and healing, told in achingly beautiful prose with great tenderness and care." —Karen M. McManus, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying
"A powerful, harrowing, and important story about trauma, identity, taking back power and the redemptive nature of healing. These characters will stay with me forever. An absolute must read." —Aisha Saeed, New York Times-bestselling author of Amal Unbound and Yes No Maybe So
Dark and Deepest Red:
"McLemore weaves another magic spell ... This novel will leave an indelible mark on readers' hearts."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"McLemore fashions another gorgeous novel...McLemore’s well-choreographed story will dance on in readers’ minds." —Booklist, starred review
“One of the most beautiful books I’ve read in years. McLemore is a master." —Susan Dennard, New York Times–bestselling author of the Witchlands series
"The sort of book that ruins all other books for you. Lush, hypnotic, and an absolute feast for the senses . . . McLemore has once again proved themself to be one of the finest writers working today.” —Mackenzi Lee, New York Times–bestselling author of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue