Friday, February 14, 2014

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a book review of a book I loved?


The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

4.5 stars

I’m not really sure how to describe TSaBSoAL. It’s a unique book that has several plots and main focuses, but I’ll do my best. The book opens up with a prologue about Ava Lavender and she recounts her story from the very beginning, when her grandmother and her family came to America from France. The Roux family is met with constant tragedy. While these tragedies were quirky, they were also heartbreaking and left a toll on Emilienne and she falls in love three different times all of them ending horribly. She gives birth to Viviane on Pinnacle Lane with her husband who she professed to never love. Viviane falls in love with her childhood friend and is only met with heartbreak. She ends up pregnant with Ava and Henry. Her children are peculiar. Ava was born with wings and Henry was born silent (or so they thought). There are ghosts, more tragedies, friendships, new loves, family bonds, and crazy psychos obsessed with angels. This book was absolutely stunning and it was a great way to end my reading in 2013. While it’s been a while since I finished this book, I can one hundred percent say that this story will stick with you. Certain bits and pieces linger in my mind. The simple stuff mostly was what made this story beautiful and what seemed to be pointless had more meaning than I thought. This book is not something I usually read but Karen’s review of it had my interest piqued and I was so happy when I was approved for this on Netgalley.

The main female characters are Emilienne, Viviane, and Ava. Ava is the main focal point of the story since this is her telling stories within a story, but I didn’t think she was the backbone that held this story. Instead of one character holding this story together the women of the Roux/ Lavender did. Emilienne was a character who came off as cold sometimes but she had every right to be with all the heartache she experienced. Viviane was my least favorite because she was too lovesick and she didn’t see the man that was right in front of her face. I really dislike characters like that because it was just selfish of her to be that way. I liked Ava because she was so different, but her naivety killed me at one point. I mean why she was so trusting is understandable because she’s been sheltered her whole life, but I mean seriously? Who thinks let me go into my neighbor’s house, which I haven’t seen in a long time, with a creepy nephew there and just let him lure me in? I know it’s raining outside, but your house was closer.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: Emilienne- 8 Viviane- 7 Ava- 8

The main male characters are, I’m not really sure, but I’ll just list some. I guess you could say Gabe was one of the stronger male characters. He lived with the Lavenders and was in love with Viviane. I really loved his story because it broke my heart and I really liked his character. Henry would be another because he warned the family constantly of Ava being in danger with subtle hints with stories about bloody wings. I adored Henry’s character. He was odd, but absolutely adorable.

Swoon Worthy Scale: No swoon just adorable fondness :)

The Villain- Sorrow. What a sick and twisted villain. I loved it!

Villain Scale: 9

There were so many characters. I want to list them all, but I don’t want to give away the beauty of the characters and what they bring to the story. The simplest of characters such as a neighbor could bring beauty and wonder into this story.

Character Scale: 10

Read this book! It’s a beautiful tale. It’s slow, but everything has meaning. It is character developed and it’s the main focal point, but it is done so well. The ending was beautiful and perfect in every way. Some discoveries are within one’s self and Ava’s discovery of strength was beautiful. There is something of everything sprinkled about TSaBSoAL.

Cover Thoughts: How can you not love that cover? Just look at the colors and how beautiful it is. I’ll probably buy a copy because I love the cover and design and plus this book was so good.

Thank you Netgalley and Candlewick for a copy of this amazing book in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your book boyfriend is keeping you company!:D 


  1. Ooh, I think you have sold me on this one. LOVE a good antagonist so that's a huge plus, along with the unique plotline :) The characters sound fantastic.

    1. Yay! I hope you adore it, Alise. :) It's a very unique book and I hope you like the antagonist... or not because it's quite hard to like him, but as an antagonist he is likable.

  2. Ooo, I'm not reading this review yet since I'm hoping to get to this soon, but those 4.5 stars are very promising! I'm glad to see you enjoyed it, SM. I peeked at the "sick and twisted" villain line too, which makes me super excited. :D

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. Thank you, Wendy! I hope you love it! It's so good and quite brilliant. I think you'll like it since you seem to like books with character based stories.