22 août 2016

REVIEW : The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton


The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - Leslye Walton
Publisher : Candlewick Press
Release Date : March 27th 2014
Genres : YA, Magical Realism
Pages : 320
Rating :★☆

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.
This book made me travel. It made me travel through time and cultures. I feel like I've lived many lives just by reading this book. I thought it'd only be about Ava Lavander but the story actually follows many generations which means more emotions to feel, more characters to be attached to.
I've never read a book like this before. And I have no idea how to review it. It's an average sized book but I feel like I've read a thousand. This book is about choices and consequences. It's about love and obsession.

The characters felt so real. Walton didn't try to beautify them in any way, she just showed them to us as they really are. Some of them broken, full of regrets, strange but beautiful in they own way. They are flawed and sometimes frustrating but they are realistic and interesting. We follow them from their birth to their adulthood and that makes us feel invested in their lives. We see them grow up and learn the harsh way life is not all bunnies and lollipops.

The magical realism aspect of the story is well crafted and make us think about what exactly humanity is. Are you human because you look like one or is there more than that ? Can Men not be human ? My philosophy teacher made us wonder about this when I was in High School and this a very interesting question (in my opinion anyway). Ava has wings but her humanity is there, concealed by feathers.

I can't review this book without mentionning the writing. I've heard a lot about Leslye Walton's writing but she still exceeded my expectations. Her words are light and lyrical. She sets her own pace and I flew through the pages, transported by her magic.

It's gripping and sad but Walton somehow turns it all into something beautiful.

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