It's absolute craziness, but I am still managing to find the time to read!
So here's the mystical and totally poetic blurby-blurb!
'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.'
You know when you stumble onto an amazing book that is just so artistic and you're reading and you can't believe you are reading what would be an amazing framed art piece. Ugh. So amazingly artful <3
Let's get into it!! :)
- WARNING! SPOILERS! For those who have not read this book, and do not want it spoiled, please do not venture on beyond this point of no return, to the abyss beyond the void, to where all lose a sense of innocence and gain an experience for themselves forever. Just so you know, there are spoilers in this review. WARNING! -
I absolutely love just spending time in a bookstore, especially Dymocks (It's got such a special place in my heart), and I managed to stumble upon this book through my hours of flicking through each book, looking at the covers and taking inventory on my Goodreads app. Eventually, once I had enough money and it came up next on my list for To-Buy books, I instantly went to Dymocks and bought it.
I regret absolutely NOTHING. Sometimes the best books you'll come across are the ones that you stumble upon.
The cover is just as artistic as the book itself. It's a very appealing graphically cover, which symbolises a nice way what the rest of the story is going to be like. I'm a big fan of minimalistic, symbolic, book covers with a contrasting colour scheme. It makes me so happy! I bought the hardcover version of it, with the dustcover, and I highly recommend it. Hardcovers are excellent when you CAN afford it and the cover is gorgeous. Good job, Leslye Walton, you did well. You did well!
Blurbs are a toughie, but Leslye manages to summarise in a very mysterious way her entire book's plot in a superb way. I was instantly taken with the idea of a girl, born with wings of a bird, going through life and developing friendships and love and being heartbroken and getting all these experiences. It does what it's job is, and that's to entice while also informing what the book is about.
I'm sorry, Little Dumplings. I am sorry. It's been a while since I've read the book, and I don't quite remember exactly what happened :( It happened again, I'm sorry! It's hard to read books and then to review it so quickly after I have finished it. I try, but my list of what I need to review has gotten so big that it kind of took a back burner.
A lot of the plot though deals with the girls in the family and their love stories, and how it's a human and painful experience to love and to have a heart in a world where people don't hesitate to hurt it, but also that there are people out there to accept it and make it tenfold.
I love reading women. I love reading from female character's perspectives, to read their thoughts and opinions and what channels their actions. I love it, but it's also really tough sometimes. You'll get a book where you get really naive, stereotypical teenage girl who is really hard to relate to because all of her thoughts or written thoughts are about guys. You learn to really appreciate when a female character is written like a normal human being, instead of one of those manic pixie girl tropes, or the naive girl trope.
What was really interesting in this book was the concept of love and also female characters. The female character's had an amazing range of perspectives and opinions on love and life (You have the girl who falls in love with the first guy and wants the fairytale ending, then you also have the girl/woman who believes that everyone will hurt you and to put your heart on hold and to show it in a very unloving way, then everything in between.) and while it doesn't work for one of them, it doesn't end up working out the way that the other one expects or wants it to. It is so interesting to see and to read!
It's tough when I understand where each female character comes from, and seeing what each other's intents lead them to and how they get there because of it. It's beautifully written from very complex places, and it taught me a lot about love and how just because it's painful to love, to be heartbroken, to let yourself to be so vulnerable with another person who could change and crush you any moment, it doesn't stop us from loving. It reminded me of the quote from The Perks of Being A Wallflower, which says - 'We Accept The Love We Think We Deserve' - and I absolutely adored it. It taught me surprisingly a lot about love, and the tragedy in it too.
I unfortunately don't remember each and every individual character, but I know that I did have a connection to a lot of the women in the story.
AND NATHANIEL. SORROWS. YOU HORRID BASTARD. IF YOU WERE A REAL PERSON, I'D TOTALLY SHANK YOU. SHANK YOU REALLY DEEP. UGH. YOU PISS ME OFF.
Worst kind of male - or human being - ever!
I really believed the characters, they weren't these two-dimensional tropes simply for stereotypical purposes. They all had their own intents, wants, needs, desires, temptations, and fears. They had reasons for what they did, even if it came off as something entirely different to another character, and that's amazing writing :)
- The characters! Gah, the female characters!
- The cover - heck, I've stared at it for so long. It's so pretty <3
- Love. It's so nice to have a book about ALL forms of love - Obsessed, family, deeply sacrificing, failed and heartbroken love.
- The plot is something that's actually really intriguing. There are a lot of stories about angels, or girls with wings, but this is the first one that I felt was well-written and surprisingly interesting.
Things I Didn't Like:
- NATHANIEL. SORROWS. YA LOSER. UGGGGH YOU MAKE MY BLOOD BOIL.
- That it was so short!
- At one point, every single character annoyed me by something. Especially the naivety. Can't stand that!
- The ending. I am really bad with endings, and I still did not like this ending of this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and really walked away from it thinking about what love is to me and how I see love. That's the mark of a great book; Can a book make you think about things written in it much after you've read it, and contemplate about it? Can it make you feel and think things that you wouldn't have thought of before from that perspective?
I'm rating The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender an 8 out of 10 :)
It was a very lovely thought provoking book about love, the tragedy, and the reason behind why any of us humans love at all.
“I found it ironic that I should be blessed with wings and yet feel so constrained, so trapped. It was because of my condition, I believe, that I noticed life's ironies a bit more often than the average person. I collected them: how love arrived when you least expected it, how someone who said he didn't want to hurt you eventually would.”
― Leslye Walton, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
“Just because love don't look the way you think it should, don't mean you don't have it.”
― Leslye Walton, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender