The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton


I picked this book knowing it was a young adult read. I finished it thinking it was too beautiful and tragic to be restricted by the label of young adult. It’s a testament to the genre. Young Adult authors treat their audience with more respect and maturity than I have seen from any other media outlet. That’s why books are the best. This book is a family saga, exploring love and loss for three generations of woman told from the youngest: Ava Lavender.

Ava is a caring and considerate narrator. She does her best to tell stories from before her birth. There are facts but there are also thoughts and feelings. Ava imagines how her mother and grandmother felt in those moments as if we were there with them. It is as if we are sat next to Ava, listening to her talk and muse and wonder if the Roux family even had a chance at happiness. I should take a moment to mention that Ava Lavender is born with wings and her twin brother is practically mute.

“Love makes us such fools” is a phrase that is repeated a lot in the book, as it is its central theme. But you can’t have love without heartbreak. This book did break my heart. It had me in tears at the end; the sort of tears that make you question the author’s decisions and scream ‘why?!’ To have love, means you can lose it. Leslye Walton’s plot made me cry, her words did too. The writing is elegant and poetic, like a love song. It’s a new favourite of mine and something I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

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