Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: YA Magical Realism
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: March 27, 2014
Hardcover: 301 pages
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
How did I get this book: Library
Why did I read this book: Pretty much because the cover is so beautiful but the idea of the main character being born with wings and the reader getting to also learn about the MCs ancestry really drew me in!
“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.”
“She laughed for her wasted, difficult life that never had to be wasted or difficult in the first place.”
“Why would you be given wings if you weren't meant to fly?”
“She spent her days trying to forget the sound of his voice, and her nights trying to remember.”
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.
The most fascinating thing about this book was that we were able to follow Ava's ancestry from her great grandmother in France her grandmother, mother and then finally her. It was an extremely unique way to portray a story and as someone who has a huge love of ancestry research this was so cool to see!
The writing was absolutely beautiful and whimsical like a fairy tale. The writing style is a bit difficult to acclimate to and can absolutely seen as odd for some readers. I really think this is the type of writing where you even love it or you hate it and I loved it!! The character development is impeccable! Lesyle Walton is a near flawless writer!
What I didn't like:
It is impossible to explain what about this book is just so weird. .. it just is! You have to read it to understand! The weirdness was something that I fought myself of weather I liked it or not and it went back and forth several times over the course of the book. I eventually decided some of it I liked and some of it I didn't
The symbolism. . . maybe it is because I am just not of a literary mind! I knew that there was symbolism going on with her wings and birds and love and family and possibly confectionery but it just flew right over my head and I felt like it was some times slapping me in the face but again this is probably all my fault!