Mini Review – The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava LavenderThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is like a night of watching fireworks. It’s brilliant, it will dazzle your eyes and lift your spirits, but at the end of it, you have to go back to reality. Fireworks are brief moments of beauty.

I did like a number of things about the book. It is the story of many lives intertwining, so that our protagonist is not the only influence in the world. It has a quirky format of memories, normal narrative and excerpts of letters. If it weren’t for the supernatural things that keep happening, it would fool you into thinking you were reading a real biography. The personalities of the characters are distinct, so that you don’t turn five pages and start wondering who Gabe is and how he’s any different from Jack. And best of all, I like the patterns of history repeating through generations.

The writing is Toni Morrison-esque. Beautiful similes, similar themes of psychological devastation and an emphasis on nature imagery. The atmosphere is very like The Night Circus – surreal, dreamy and again, pretty.

I’m just not happy with the storyline or rather, the last bit of it. I think Ava recovered rather quickly and conveniently from that disaster, and I didn’t feel any of the pain or despair someone would feel after experiencing that. There is also a vague feeling of pointlessness, especially since everything gets neatly wrapped up with a big bow on top. That might be a problem with the genre though.

So, I would definitely recommend this book, it’s a great read and gives you something to mull over. I just didn’t see anything worth four stars or more.


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