This was actually the first of the Morris Award Finalists that I read, but I somehow managed to waited to review it. You can find the other reviews here. I love both the title and the cover. The title just rolls around my head like a line of poetry. And the yellow/blue contrast on the cover is simple and beautiful. The feather hints at what is inside.
I read this book in about two days over my Christmas vacation. We ran away to the city for the holiday and between an afternoon at the smoke shop in the private lounge and then Christmas day between completely over the top meals, I managed to read this gem of a novel.
The novel tells the story of three generations, Ava being the third. Ava is different from the other kids, as is her brother, and they are kept away from the rest of the village for much of their lives. As they begin to venture out further, disaster after disaster hits. No one will listen to Henry because they can’t understand his warnings.
This was a book that I really just sank into. The words are as magical as the story and the characters. This is a sad book. I’ll warn you now, and not consider it a spoiler, there is no happy ending. It is a beautiful book, however, that pulled me in through the language and turns of phrase that made me smile for the sheer craft of it. Though we do not meet Ava until about half way through the novel, I love the generational aspect. It adds depth to the decisions that are made, showing the long lasting consequences of the older generations.
After reading the last words, I was tempted to start reading it all over again. I know I’ll read this one again in the future, many times. Normally, I would share a few of the passages that I highlighted, but something went wrong, and my Kindle notes did not properly save. Instead, head here to see the quotes that others have listed on Goodreads. Really, I could have highlighted the entire book.
Check out the trailer below, and then go find the book!
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Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Age level: YA
Times I put the book down: Quite a few, but never for long. I read a majority of it during a nappy day, closing my eyes now and then before returning to the book.
Who I would give this book to: I think my friend V might enjoy it, and I know that S would love it. As for teens, I would hand it to the kids that are not afraid of a little challenge. Who don’t need a clear-cut narrative.
Where I read this book: Smoke shop in downtown Chicago, hotel in Chicago
Setting: Crosses time and place as a three generations live
Favorite Character: Gabe, for his quiet steadfastness. Every girl needs a Gabe in their life.
Favorite Moment: When we learned what Henry’s “rambling” prophecy really meant, as we wished, like the other characters, that we could have understood it in time to prevent it.
Rating: 4 stars
Book Source: Library/Purchased on Kindle