by Anna-Marie McLemore
First sentence: “Everyone has their own way of telling our story.”
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Content: There are some references to sex and some swearing (including a few f-bombs). It’s in the teen section (grades 9+) of the library.
For their whole lives, the del Cisne sisters — Blanca and Roja — have known that one of them would live and one of them would be turned to a swan.
All their lives, Blanca and Roja — named so because Blanca was blond and fair, and Roja had red hair and darker skin — tried to thwart the swans. They weren’t going to be divided, one of them was not going to be left behind. Then, the swans came. And behind them, two boys: Page and Barclay.
One part fairy tale retelling (Snow White and Rose Red) and one part love story, Blanca & Roja is incredibly lyrical. I love the way McLemore writes, with spare chapters and magical language. I loved the way she used the fairy tales, and the way she was exploring the consequences of racism and white preference. It was a fascinating story, incredibly well-told, and thoroughly enjoyable!