Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: A beautiful, sad, and lyrical debut novel about the strange Lavender family, I loved this beautiful book--it was absolutely amazing! Easily a new favorite book of the whole year!
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Meet the strange, talented, beautiful Lavender family: Vivane, who has an extraordinary sense of smell, Henry, who won't talk but can make maps easily, and the star of the novel, Ava, born, literally, with wings. In their small town, they are considered odd, to say the least. Ava, now sixteen, is grappling with trying to balance being a normal girl and with being considered a local legend, or even, an angel. With the arrival of the holy man Nathaniel Sorrows, Ava realizes she must have the strength to deal with the agony of growing up, even if it nearly kills her..
What I enjoyed:
-The lyrical, gorgeous prose that peppered the novel, like a fairy tale or a poem, utterly enchanting
-The multiple generation narrative that starts back in the day and sets the foundation for the whole family, and why they are considered so strange
-The hilarious, vibrant Lavender family, each with their own insecurities and quirks, particularly Vivane
-Ava, in particular, the sweet, uncertain girl that just wants to be normal, despite having been born with a pair of bird's wings--and her character development was rich and well-thought out
-The stifling small-town setting that the Lavenders live in, all too relatable to me
-The rich cast of characters that pepper that small town
-Nathaniel, a frightening, all-too real villain--he was definitely scary
-The ending--it was perfect!
What could've been better:
-There was nothing I didn't love about this gorgeous, tender debut novel!
I loved, loved, loved The Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender! Amazing! Next on deck: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson!