REVIEW: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton a.k.a love can make us such fools

tumblr_n5m1l6PYla1tnpsmxo1_400TITLE: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
AUTHOR: Leslye Walton
PUBLICATION: Published March 25th 2014 by Candlewick Press
GENRE: YA > Fantasy | Magical Realism | Romance
PAGES: 320pages (Kindle Edition)
RATING: 5 ★★★★★
You can buy the Book here:
AMAZON | B&N  THE BOOK DEPOSITORY

 

 

 

REVIEW:

“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.

 

 

REVIEW: Trouble by Non Pratt a.k.a yes, that’s sperms in the cover


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AMAZON | B&N

TITLE: Trouble

AUTHOR: Non Pratt

PUBLICATION: Published February 20th 2014 by Walker

GENRE: YA > Realistic Fiction | Contemporary | Romance

PAGES: 284pages (Kindle version)

SOURCE: eBook (Kindle)

RATING: 3 ★★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

In this dazzling debut novel, a pregnant teen learns the meaning of friendship—from the boy who pretends to be her baby’s father.

When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”

Told in alternating perspectives between Hannah and Aaron, Trouble is the story of two teenagers helping each other to move forward in the wake of tragedy and devastating choices. As you read about their year of loss, regret, and hope, you’ll remember your first, real best friend—and how they were like a first love.

REVIEW:

I’ll be very honest now and say that the main reason I bought this one is because the cover really caught my attention. I feel like having the sperms in there made the book stands out and it makes the book more intriguing

But the cover isn’t the only one that stands out, the story itself is powerful, thought provoking and brutally honest. I’ve never read a book about teenage pregnancy that is so real and fun.. yes, you heard me, fun.. Well, I’ve never been pregnant, but when the time comes that I have a bump on my tummy (not just because I ate a lot) but because I’m pregnant, I want to have some of Hannah’s attitude. But, I don’t want to be in her situation. Not ever. So first, I want to pat the author in the back for being so brave by putting the truth out there when it comes to teen pregnancy and the ups and downs of being a teenager.

So.. Hannah got pregnant. Who’s the Daddy??? Ssshhhh! It’ll shock you.Just find out when you read the book. And look, there’s Aaron. Silent and loner Aaron who thinks that by getting close to Hannah and her friends, he can forget the things that happened in his old school. Now, when Aaron found out that Hannah is pregnant, he decided to tell everyone that it’s his. And why is that? Because he’s stupid! Lol just kidding. But anyway, this is where my conflicting feelings starts. (This is told in two POV’s by the way, Aaron and Hannah)

I love Aaron. A lot. He’s real. I have friends that are Aaron so it’s easy to be inside his head. I don’t know what to say anymore about him but I can confidently say that any reader will find it hard to hate this guy. You’ll be frustrated, yes, but c’mon! He’s a teenager with issues. Now, Hannah on the other hand is different. I want to symphatise, I really do. But IT’S SO FREAKIN’ HARD. She’s funny, witty and full of angst but she’s also.. dumb. That’s why while reading, I can’t help but think that she deserves everything that is happening to her. (And trust me, it’s all horrible things) She’s not acing at school, she doesn’t think through the things that she does and she can’t think about anything but sex. That’s why she got pregnant in the first place. Oh did i mention that she’s just 15???

Plot. The plot is what I love. There’s no sugar coating. No pretentions. Here it is. The harsh truth. Here’s what happens when you’re 15, got pregnant, and you don’t have any idea how to reveal to the world who the the baby daddy is. I loved Aaron and Hannah’s friendship, their character’s development and how they tackled their own problems with the help of each other.

I had some problems with Trouble though, like..

– what happens now that the baby is out in the world?
– what is the score of Hannah and Aaron’s relationship? Do they even have one??
– having sex at 15 with a much older guy? is that even legal?
– WHY IS AARON SO STUPID?
– who names their baby girl TYLER? who does that??

Anyway, other than all of that.. I enjoyed reading Trouble. I was frustrated, it got me laughing and it made me think. I don’t think it’s for everybody though, but it’s worth giving a try!

Monthly Rundown #001: JUNE2014

Rundown

Welcome everyone to Her Book Thoughts’ Monthly recap. In which I look back and summarized what happened on the blog this past Month.

MONTH: JUNE 2014

 BOOKS READ: 17

DNF-ed: 3

Re-read: 0

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HIGHLIGHT OF THE MONTH: I guess I can say that my highlight would be me moving! You can check my post HERE.

 

YOU GUYSSS! i want to hear from you! What’s the highlight of your month? Any book recommendation for me? 🙂

BLOG TOUR: Wild by Alex Mallory a.k.a move over peter pan, tarzan is here

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 WILD TOUR

AMAZON | B&N | iTUNES | TBD | KOBO

TITLE: Wild

AUTHOR: Alex Mallory

PUBLICATION: Expected Publication: July 8th 2014 by HarperTeen

GENRE: YA > Retelling | Contemporary | Romance

PAGES: 448pages (Paperback)

SOURCE: e-Arc provided by tour host

RATING: 4 ★★★★

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

Cade, a teen raised alone in the wilderness, is thrust into civilization in this modern retelling of Tarzan.

No one knows the forest better than Cade, who has spent his entire life there, foraging, hunting, and surviving. Raised to believe no one else is left in the world, he is shocked when he encounters Dara, a modern girl on a camping trip in his woods. And when an accident forces him back into society with her, he begins to question his entire life. Together, Cade and Dara attempt to handle their newfound celebrity as the media closes in. But the truth of Cade’s past might be too much for either of them.

Alex Mallory’s action-packed and romantic tale is told from both Cade’s and Dara’s point of view and is perfect for fans of contemporary and dystopian YA as well as classic survival stories such as HatchetLord of the Flies, and Tarzan.

THOUGHTS:

“Do you even know what a phone is?”

“Yes. It plays music in your bag, and you cuss until it stops. Then you hold it in front of your face and talk to yourself.” 

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I never really encountered any YA retelling of Tarzan before. You can see a lot of Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast etc. But Tarzan? Unlikely. So imagine my squealing when I discovered this book. Especially when I got to be a part of the tour. I should probably point out that Alex Mallory is a foreign author to me. Never really read anything from her. And now I’m glad I did.

Cade is living in the forest since his parents died. He believes that he is alone and there’s only few survivors left. All his beliefs changed when he and Dara crossed paths. Cade was immediately fascinated by Dara. She followed her through out Dara’s camping with her boyfriend. He even got jealous, though of course, he didn’t know that jealousy is what he’s feeling at that moment. I usually hate Insta-love, but in this case, it’s totally different. Also, to be completely fair, I don’t really think it’s considered as Insta-love. They’re just… curious at each other. Well, if you see a guy like Cade, wouldn’t you be curious at all? And I understand that in Cade’s eyes, Dara looks strange also. 

But enough with that, the real fun here is seeing a caveman being tamed. Witnessing Cade, a guy who is so uncivilized, trying to fit in in our world. I found myself hanging in every chapter. I laughed at some moments, got touched by Dara’s determination and while reading Wild, I can’t really help but wonder how can a guy like Cade be turned into a civilized citizen. Is it really possible? Why yes, of course it is. If you have a girl like Dara instructing you, then it really is possible.

The pacing is a bit slow for me. And for a reader like me who is impatient and isn’t satisfied with dull chapters, finishing this book says a lot. I tend to DNF a book when there’s nothing happening and when I feel like there’s a lot of unnecessary chapters but Wild is really an exception. It’s because Alex Mallory writes a book that is so readable that you can’t help but be lost inside of it. 

The characters are very well developed, even the background characters who plays a big part in the story are brilliantly written. Dara and Cade are strong characters. They’re authentic. And though the romance is very tame and sweet..  it’s real.

Now that ending, Maaaaan! It’s not a cliffhanger, but it isn’t completely concrete either. Surprisingly, I honestly felt wonderful and satisfied with the ending. It was handled insanely well. Yes, insanely. The fact that I’m not angry right now because of that ending is insane you know. 

With an alluring backdrop, sweet romance and very much alive characters… Wild is a fresh read where you can’t help but get lost into.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Website | Twitter

Alex Mallory is a pen name for YA author Saundra Mitchell. She’s a big fan of reading, history, camping and competitive M&M sorting.

She once crossed a dilapidated train trestle in the middle of the night, 200 feet above the Wabash River, in a futile attempt to prove her love to someone who had no idea she existed.

1) She lived to tell about it. 2) It didn’t work. 3) She doesn’t recommend it.

THE GIVEAWAY:

A Wild Prize Pack Featuring: a signed, finished copy of WILD, a copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ TARZAN OF THE APES, a DVD (region 1) of Greystoke: Legend of Tarzan of the Apes, bookmarks, and a stuffed plush flu microbe. (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR HOST:
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ARC REVIEW: The Fever by Megan Abbott a.k.a where everyone talks about their viginities.

 18656036TITLE: The Fever
AUTHOR: Megan Abbott
PUBLICATION: Published June 17th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company
GENRE: YA/A > Horror | Mystery | Thriller
PAGES: 320pages (Hardcover)
RATING: 2 ★★
 
AMAZON | B&N | TBD

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.
The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.
As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.
A chilling story about guilt, family secrets and the lethal power of desire,The Fever affirms Megan Abbot’s reputation as “one of the most exciting and original voices of her generation” (Laura Lippman).

 

 

 

REVIEW:

 

According to the genre,  it’s Mystery, Thriller and what is that? Horror?

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That’s funny, really. Because I wasn’t mystified, or thrilled.. and seriously, Horror?! Not by a long shot. It’s so weird guys.. so weird. I’m surprised I finished it. Kudos to Abbott’s sophisticated writing. Too bad the multiple POV’s has to ruin it. Or the story itself.

So here’s the gist. One by one, every girl in Deenie’s town has been having seizures and hallucinations. No one seems to know the cause behind it. What’s causing this contagious illness? Why girls only? But most importantly, WHY ISN’T DEENIE AFFECTED BY THIS CONTAGIOUS ILLNESS? Why isn’t she in the hospital like her friends?

Excited and thrilled yet? Well trust me, you’re not gonna stay that way. As I read through out the story, I admit that I was deeply intrigued. You can see it on my status updates. But geez, the multiple POV’s, unnecessary chapters and the bland and boring MC makes me want to hurt myself. You can notice that the author really gets out of her way just to confuse and make the readers think.  And when I finally got some answers, I LOST IT.

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I can’t believe I’ve been through 80% dull chapters for that shallow and stupid reason. THAT IS THE REASON?! Just to give you a heads up, it wasn’t really explained the WHY. Not even the HOW. To say that I was pissed is an understatement. Also, when I started reading The Fever I had this feeling.. like, oh my word this is going to be insanely good or wait is this paranormal or gosh! this book might haunt me forever. Maybe you’ll get those feels too so, I’m telling you,  STOP RIGHT THERE. Don’t get your hopes up.

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And I don’t want you to be crushed so I’ll do you a favor. It’s not paranormal. It’s not gonna haunt you, unless you hurt yourself out of frustration then you will surely remember it. Anyway I AM A BIG FAN of the writing, I really am. Actually, it was the only thing that kept me going. I was tempted (a lot of times!) to put this book down.. nothing is happening, the author keeps confusing me (and not in a good way), also all I got is it doesn’t look like her’ or i feel different’, blah blah blah.. So the CONCLUSION: I just wasted my time on a bunch of teenagers having problems about their virginities.

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Have you read any works of the author? Do you recommend it? Because I just checked out her other books and the ratings are pretty high. But after reading this one, I’m having second thoughts on picking up anything from her. Looking forward to your answers!