|The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows |
of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
pub 3/27/14 by Candlewick Press
YA - Magical Realism
We start off learning about Ava's grandmother Emilienne and her mother Viviane’s tragic love stories. How they started off passionately and ended with their hearts being broken for a multitude of reasons. And then we get to present-day with Ava who for all intents and purposes is a regular girl except she was born with the wings of a bird. It immediately sets her apart on the outside, but on the inside she could easily be one of us. Yearning to belong, to be "normal" and to find love. It's through Ava's eyes that we see what happens when she gives into that yearning. She decides to start venturing out into the world and see what it has to offer. It brings her new friendships, a boy who accepts her for exactly who she is and the attentions of a man named Nathaniel Sorrows who believes her to be some kind of angel. We're shown so many complex layers of love, accepting and the deception of others. It's just up to Ava, and the other women in her life, as to whether or not they're willing to let those heartbreaks define them or if they can move on and find joy in spite of the tragedy.
(Super minor) reservationsIt's hard to explain because the book was beautifully-written and the ending paragraph was perfect but I still wanted a little more. More time with Ava and more about the relationship between her and her mother.
Do I recommend?Yes! Even though the mood is definitely dark throughout, there is light and hope to be found in it and I hope you'll check it out!