February 21, 2018

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All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry | SLJ Review

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redstarMABRY, Samantha. All the Wind in the World. 272p. Algonquin. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781616206666.

Gr 9 Up –Mabry crafts a strong romantic arc set at The Real Marvelous, a maguey ranch rumored to be cursed in the magically realistic Southwest Texas desert. Sarah Jacqueline Crow and James Holt end up at the strange farm following a violent dust storm, and Sarah’s involvement in the accidental death of a maguey foreman elsewhere. Considered outlaws, the two perilously hide their identities and their passionate relationship, and with “hard hearts,” labor long hours to earn and steal their way to a hopeful future. James has the quick ability to win card games and the affections of unsuspecting women, which Sarah begrudgingly encourages as their ticket out of poverty. But will these “cousins” go too far at The Real Marvelous—James with the rich landowner’s sickly daughter and Sarah with the spoiled younger sister? This first-person narrative draws readers into Sarah’s memories and her passionate nature, which are her strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, the gritty lure of the harsh desert with its secrets and broken dreams is described in rich prose. This sophomore novel presents a fierce new world with high stakes, where complicated romantic relationships among various characters linger beyond the end of the book. VERDICT An excellent choice for all YA shelves.–Ruth Quiroa, National Louis University, Lisle, IL

This review was published in the School Library Journal August 2017 issue.

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