Review // The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

4:00 PM

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Pages: 301
Published: March 27, 2014
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Magical Realism
Cover Rating: ✰ (Yes. YES. This is one of my favorite book covers of all time. I love the way the title is incorporated in the feather. I love everything.)

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. 

**note: The book image links to its Goodreads page.


I've been wanting to read this (and hadn't) since it got published. I mean who wouldn't want to read a book with that cover and title. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender has such a whimsical cover and blurb too. Everything about it screams "LOVE ME." 

I had great expectations. 

Unfortunately, this book didn't meet them. 

It really reminded of a book I had to read for my World Literature class called One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Marquez which I did. not. like. I probably should have realized it would be similar since TSBSAL (which I'm going to call it because the title is waaay too long despite it being beautiful) is also based on magical realism but I didn't. 

And I don't like magical realism. Or at least, I didn't like it in these books. 

The plot was strange and disjointed which I could enjoy to some extend but I felt like some of the events that happened were extremely unnecessary. I'm a pretty logical person book-wise. Most of the time, I want there to be a legitimate reason behind something that happens. There were almost NO reasons. 

It was a book of random events with a loose plot threading it together. 

Sexual descriptions (of certain encounters or body parts) and sexualization of situations abounded. And they were completely unnecessary to the story. I didn't like it because we talk about not sexualizing different things and this books does that all the time. FOR NO REASON. It took a lot away from the story. 

The characters honestly were probably my favorite thing about this book. They were quirky and they had faults, which is endearing because no one is perfect. The author also did a good job making these half-fantastical, half-real characters that seemed to float between the worlds of magic and the real world, never really in one or the other. 

Buuut, there were unhealthy relationships. Especially between guys and girls. There was mistaking physical attraction for love. Staying in a relationship because of perceived love or duty. 

I feel like maybe the author was trying to show true love in the end, but in the process it explored all the other kinds of love that are really bad in more depth. 

I know this review might seem a bit ranty. It is. A tiny bit. 

No, but seriously, even though this book didn't really settle with me there were some good points. Like I said earlier, most of the characters were written quite well. 

I liked the whimsy. The maybe-even-the-impossible-is-possible feeling. And lastly, I really did like the way the main character finally found herself.

But.... it wasn't enough.

My Rating:

Disclaimer: I was not reimbursed for this review in any way. All opinions or thoughts expressed are my own. 

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  1. I hate when you get really excited for a book, and then it ends up being terrible.

    1. Ugh, yes, it's so annoying. Have you read this book? Did you like it?


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