Anna-Marie McLemore is an auto-buy author. Like seriously everything they write, I end up falling in love with. And Lakelore is McLemore’s latest release and you can tell they poured themselves entirely into this book. If you have loved McLemore’s previous books, this is a must read. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Everyone who lives near the lake knows the stories about the world underneath it, an ethereal landscape rumored to be half-air, half-water. But Bastián Silvano and Lore Garcia are the only ones who’ve been there. Bastián grew up both above the lake and in the otherworldly space beneath it. Lore’s only seen the world under the lake once, but that one encounter changed their life and their fate.
Then the lines between air and water begin to blur. The world under the lake drifts above the surface. If Bastián and Lore don’t want it bringing their secrets to the surface with it, they have to stop it, and to do that, they have to work together. There’s just one problem: Bastián and Lore haven’t spoken in seven years, and working together means trusting each other with the very things they’re trying to hide.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: transphobia, ableism
The strongest element in Lakelore has to be the characters. While there are certainly fantastical elements – hello lake – the characters, and their journeys, are the main focus. Bastián and Lore spring off the pages. They’re both navigating their ADHD and dyslexia (respectively) while also still processing pieces of trauma from ableism. Each of them are convinced that the magical and alarming changes to the lake are their faults. In Lakelore, McLemore tells a story about accepting ourselves, all the things that people – and ourselves – think of as ‘bad’, as well as the good.
The decision to make Lakelore dual POV is perfect. We are able to see not only the fears and secrets each of them are holding, but also the way they see each other. Their chance meeting again proves the pull of fate and second chances. Lakelore feels different in writing styles to McLemore’s previous books, but in a fascinating way. The magical elements seem the most minor – in comparison to the character development – but I love it! I love how the lake seems to be bleeding into their lives. And I can’t help but love both Bastián and Lore.
Lakelore is lyrical and tender. It’s insightful and emotional. It’s about the feeling of being seen, of finding a piece of belonging and knowing we aren’t alone. That even if we don’t feel alone, we can still find a sense of solace with someone else. How we can’t just focus on burying our past and must also let it breathe alongside everything else. Find Lakelore on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.