Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Magic, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.
Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others.
Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.
It looks like I am the tiny little dot of negative-ness amongst the sea of loving reviews. So yes, I am a black sheep. And yes, you should still consider this book because trust me, most of you will adore The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. There’s nothing much to hold distaste towards, the characters, idea and writing are all brilliant.
The main reason to why I did not like The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender was simply just because of me. There’s no particular and convincing reason apart from the fact that I just could not get into this book. I guess I was just not interested in reading about a generation’s saga. Fine. So it mentions it in the synopsis but it was just too much for me. Moreover, the title is slightly misleading. It suggests that this is a story about Ava Lavender, but we end up reading about her entire ancestory, which at times I found boring, and at other times, just not really connecting with me. But that’s just me. Let me get to why you still should give this book a go.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender has the most beautiful writing. I am totally envious of this author, and in love with it simultaneously. Like the synopsis notes, the writing is lyrical and poetic, devastating and tragic. It feels very real, what the author is writing about. We basically have three main characters, Emilienne, Viviane and Ava. Emilienne is Ava’s maternal grandmother. Emilienne fell in love three times which all ended drastically. When she does get married off to a man, she gives birth to Viviane. Viviane’s love life is also a pretty unsucessful one, as her heart is broken by her childhood friend that she was absolutely in love with. We then go down the line to Ava, who is the narrator of the story, who was born with wings on her back and has a brother who cannot talk. The story is grim and rather miserable, so if you love tragic reads, this one is definitely for you.
All in all, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows was not for me. I wanted to love it for it’s writing and well-rounded characters however I felt detached from the book for a reason I still have no explanation before. Absolutely an it’s-me-not-you situation.
~Thank you Walker Books Australia for sending me this copy!~
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