The mirror season

Anna-Marie McLemore

Book - 2021

After Ciela and Lock are sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family's possibly-magical pastelería and his secret forest of otherworldly trees.

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YOUNG ADULT FICTION/McLemore, Anna-Marie
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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Novels
Published
New York : Feiwel and Friends 2021.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
311 pages ; 22 cm
Audience
Ages 13-18.
Grades 10-12.
ISBN
9781250624123
1250624126
Main Author
Anna-Marie McLemore (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* After they're both sexually assaulted at a party, Ciela helps an unconscious boy get to the hospital, and after that, she wants to leave the night behind her. Formerly known as the pastry witch of San Juan Capistrano, Ciela inherited her bisabuela's gift for knowing what kind of pan dulce customers need, but after the assault, that power disappears. Neighborhood trees vanish in the night. Certain objects begin turning into recklessly magical mirrored glass. And the boy, named Lock, enrolls at her school, only to be tormented by the same people responsible for their assaults. After noticing the shard of mirrored glass in Lock's eye, Ciela decides she won't let it harm him, and as she helps, her gift for pan dulce gradually returns. Inspired by "The Snow Queen," McLemore weaves an empowering story of two survivors healing together, exploring what consent looks like in every relationship, including with friends and family, after an assault. 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. As Ciela debates whether or not to tell Lock the truth about his assault, the pair navigate boundaries together. McLemore doesn't shy away from the complexity and impact of trauma, but this is ultimately a transformative story about healing and finding the way back to your own magic. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Folding in elements of Andersen's "The Snow Queen," McLemore (Dark and Deepest Red) whips up a magical realist tale as spellbinding as the pan dulce creations described within this novel's pages. Known as the pastry witch of San Juan Capistrano, queer Mexican American teen Graciela "Ciela" Cristales works at her family's pastelería and has inherited her late bisabuela's ability to "know what bread or sweet would leaven the heart of anyone she met." After Ciela and a visiting "boy in plaid flannel" are both sexually assaulted at the same party, however, her gift disappears—and a strange season begins in which trees vanish overnight and objects suddenly turn into magical mirrored glass. But when the boy from that night, Lock Thomas, unexpectedly enrolls at Ciela's high school several months later, with no memory of his assault, Ciela must decide whether to reveal what she knows or keep the truth to herself. With haunting prose and sharp insight, McLemore expertly combines the piquant with the sweet ("I dream of pale fingers pulling me apart like sugar dough"), exposing the fragility and complexity of Ciela and Lock's hearts post-assault with due consideration and care. Ages 13–up. Agent: Taylor Martindale Kean, Full Circle Literary. (Mar.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 8 Up—In this novel inspired by their own experience, McLemore employs the device of magical realism as smoothly and artistically as protagonist Ciela creates pan dulce in her aunt's panadería. This first-person narrative opens like a fairy tale, recounting how her great-grandmother passed the gift of matching specific Mexican sweet bread to each client's needs. This ushers readers into the spring night of Ciela's junior year when she deposits an unknown white boy at the ER. Both of them were sexually assaulted, something that she cannot think about, much less talk about, so she mentally ascribes her own narrative to avoid splintering. Afterward, she begins to notice the metamorphosis of beautiful things in her life, like flowers and leaves, into glass shards, the largest of which is wedged in her heart. This is also when she realizes that her gift is missing. The story unfolds like a puzzle being slowly pieced together through rich, symbolic descriptions strengthened by equally symbolic Spanish translanguaging. Readers feel the agony of injustices committed on queer brown people, and powerless white people, and will be compelled to read deeply until the book's end, and then flip back to absorb more details. VERDICT A masterpiece intertwining painful teen realities involving injustices based on race, ethnicity, class, and gender with trauma and healing within loving, supportive families.—Ruth Quiroa, National Louis Univ., Lisle, IL Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After Ciela and Lock are sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family's possibly-magical pastelerâia and his secret forest of otherworldly trees.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When two teens discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelería, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"An unforgettable story of trauma and healing, told in achingly beautiful prose with great tenderness and care." —#1 New York Times-bestselling author Karen M. McManusWhen two teens discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelería, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown, in Anna-Marie McLemore's The Mirror Season.Graciela Cristales’ whole world changes after she and a boy she barely knows are assaulted at the same party. She loses her gift for making enchanted pan dulce. Neighborhood trees vanish overnight, while mirrored glass appears, bringing reckless magic with it. And Ciela is haunted by what happened to her, and what happened to the boy whose name she never learned.But when the boy, Lock, shows up at Ciela’s school, he has no memory of that night, and no clue that a single piece of mirrored glass is taking his life apart. Ciela decides to help him, which means hiding the truth about that night. Because Ciela knows who assaulted her, and him. And she knows that her survival, and his, depend on no one finding out what really happened.