cover image The Mirror Season

The Mirror Season

Anna-Marie McLemore. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-62412-3

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. [em]Agent: Taylor Martindale Kean, Full Circle Literary. (Mar.) [/em]