Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Pub. Date: March 25, 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Rec. Age Level: 14+
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"I found it ironic that I should be blessed with wings and yet feel so constrained, so trapped. It was because 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." - from The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Ava Lavender emerges into the world wrapped in magical wings that extend from her back. Born into a family who's history is fraught with fantastical characters and events, tragic love and loss, Ava's mother keeps the girl close, determined to spare her from the unavoidable heartache and grief of the world. But history has a way of repeating itself and nothing, not even a mother's love, has the power to deter fate.
I admit that I was skeptical when I picked this up. I thought it was going to be about angels... or some other paranormal creature. But that isn't what Leslye Walton has written at all. Instead, it's lush, vibrant, unforgettable magical realism reminiscent of Like Water for Chocolate.
When I try to talk about THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER I struggle string words together into sentences. I've been trying to figure out how to describe this book for weeks, but I just... can't. Instead, I just have all these overwhelming feelings. Awe. Sadness. Hope. Love. So, so much love. Maybe, all I really needs to say is: There are no words to describe how much I love this book, no measurement to describe how much this book made me feel.
I know that what I've written tells you very little about this book, but, for me, isn't a book that I can pitch to you. Instead, I can only tell you that you should read it. That I want you to read it. That it's one of those books that lives in your heart, stays in your head, that sparks something in you. How can you pitch something like that?