R E V I E W – B O O K
Trigger Warning: Rape, Assault, Violence
“Every moment of our life, it goes with us. It lives forever. And a lot of those moments you don’t have much say over. So the ones you do, you’ve got to do everything with them. So that what lives forever is something you want to live with.”
– The Mirror Season
What I observed while reading Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season is, it has this gripping quality to make the readers sit for the whole time until it is finished. A book that not only raises awareness about sensitive topics, like rape, assault, sexual violence, self-harm — but also delivers hope and opportunity to heal these obstacles.
The Mirror Season is completely an overwhelming book. By mentioning the triggering topics, this novel kind of forces the reader to see how the minority gets to bear all the burden, and the privileged people in this society often get away after doing heinous crimes.
The two major roles, Ciela and Lock, project two different images at the same time. They are what we call a mirror image. At one hand, Ciela tends to remember the assault that has happened with her. On the other hand, a boy named Lock completely forgets about the incident. Their character development throughout the whole novel is utterly fresh and beautiful. The assault made them helpless and vulnerable. Even then, Ciela decides to take care of Lock, as a good friend. The bond they grow for each other feels realistic and relatable. However, the queer side characters should’ve gotten more attention as I think for any young adult literature, these issues should be expressed more and more.
There is so much rawness in the events happening inside the novel. McLemore’s portrayal of social stigmas, like boys do not get assaulted, or girls should keep their voice down, and how these can affect the victims — are undoubtedly straightforward in the novel. Particularly at this point, at first, I had my doubts regarding the representation of the sensitive issues that have been mentioned in this story. But the author seems to have a really good record of handling delicate subjects, and that’s what I was looking for in this one as well.
The Mirror Season is also melancholic in multiple ways; some scenes are utterly upsetting. As being a queer witch, the way Ciela lost her supernatural power after the assault, is really heartbreaking. Doesn’t it give us the hint that your power is all in your head? If your head is clear and you have a sound mind, you can conquer anything. That’s what Ciela proved. The more she resisted the boundaries, the more she was getting her powers back.
Without giving any further spoilers, I’d like to add one last statement on my behalf — there will be too many broken pieces in the novel that the readers might find relatable. There is pain, resistance, forgiveness, sexuality, love, and friendship — all the things we face or endure in our lifetime. As the book suggests, it is not going to be an easy read because of the thematic portrayal. For some, it could be triggering or disturbing too but then again the simplicity of this book is worth giving a shot — a magical cure to all your pain!
Fiana is a human-ish writer by day and a Scorpio coven witch by nightfall. Reach out to her @_ffikipedia_ to share any thoughts.