AUTHOR: Leslye Walton
PUBLICATION: Published March 25th 2014 by Candlewick Press
GENRE: YA > Fantasy | Magical Realism | Romance
PAGES: 320pages (Kindle Edition)
RATING: 5 ★★★★★
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“The following is the story of my young life as I remember it. It is the truth as I know it. Of the stories and the myths that surrounded my family and my life — some of them thoughtfully scattered by you perhaps — let it be said that, in the end, I found all of them to be strangely, even beautifully, true.”
Sometimes you’ll read a story and it will make your chest ache so much because it’s so beautiful and tragic and you know what? you’re going to be happy about it. For me, that story is The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. I think I felt every emotion I could feel by reading this. I appreciated and understood Love more. How it can make someone so bitter that you can taste it just by her eyes or how it can make someone float in happiness and do foolish things. How powerful Love is. How it can be the one who can make someone the happiest person or the most miserable person living on earth.
“Love makes us such fools.”
This story is narrated by our main character, Ava. From the prologue where she starts to introduce us to what she is, I got the impression that she’s older and she’s just reminiscing her family’s tragic and beautiful love stories. And she starts from her maternal grandmother, Emilienne, and from there I’ve read one of the most wonderful and lonely stories I’ve ever read. I was instantly hooked. That Prologue is so powerful you just know that it’s preparing you for the following chapters. I did not put it down. In fact, I was so engrossed by how Ava narrates the story that I almost finished it in one sitting.
I met lovely and real characters. It’s so real that I think some of them is living inside of me now. It’s weird actually, all that is happening is weird. The ghosts, the girl turning into a dove, a priest with sinful motives, a lot of magical stuff. But instead of confusing me, it made me keep on turning the pages.
Each of the characters are original. I love how we know their backstories and how connected I am with them. And can I say how brilliantly written this book is? So sophisticated and dazzling. To think that it’s the author’s debut novel. Amazing!
If you’re looking for a story with a lot of dialogue, this isn’t for you. If you’re looking for a light read, this isn’t for you. I dare you to enter the Roux household. To join Ava as she narrates her family’s history of unlucky love stories. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is an eye opener and a thought provoking novel. I assure you, it will stay with you forever.