The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender


Rating: 4 Lovely Stars
Published: March 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Favorite Quotes:

“She’d never understood how other parents just lost it. Now she did; children betrayed their parents by becoming their own people.”

Ava Lavender is strange. She comes from a strange family where everyone is just slightly peculiar. Ava was born with wings. This is the story of a family. It celebrates strangeness, hope, and love. Ava tells the story of her family and how they fell in love, or didn’t. She writes looking back on her life and is able to put us right there in every situation like we’re living it ourselves.

This book is simply stunning.

“It was became 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.”

“I just don’t think you should let other people d-define you,” Rowe said quickly. “I think you could be anything you wanted.”

The beginning was a little hard for me to get through but once things picked up for Viviane and Ava, I was hooked. I loved getting to know Emilienne and her siblings but I just wasn’t sure where the story was going from there so it felt a little slow to me.

I loved that the story of Ava wasn’t just her story but her mother’s and her grandmother’s, too. I consider myself very connected to my family and my maternal heritage. I love that this author connected Ava back to her family. It showed how similar and different, the women in her family truly are.  I just wish that there was more about Henry. Because as her twin, there really wasn’t much said about him.

I loved that this book wasn’t contemporary but it felt like it could have occurred at any time period. It was dated but it was completely relatable. It’s a gem of a novel that you really just have to read to fully understand.

This was the debut novel for Leslye Walton. I look forward to reading her next books.


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