I had this friend who was really pretty (people said so on her Facebook photos all the time). She was so pretty the guy working at Cinnabon didn't chaI had this friend who was really pretty (people said so on her Facebook photos all the time). She was so pretty the guy working at Cinnabon didn't charge her for an extra cup of frosting that she mistakenly thought was free (but charged me for it when I stepped up to pay). She was so pretty she could pay for five dollars' worth of food at Taco Bell with a $100 bill, even though the sign says you can't and everyone knows you can't do that at a fast food place, for crying out loud.
Sometimes being pretty has its advantages. But not for anyone in this book.
Roza is so beautiful that nearly every guy she meets wants a piece of her. She's so sick and tired of them not "seeing" her that she's just about given up on men. Until she meets brothers Sean and Finn, that is.
Petey is not beautiful, or even pretty ... everyone in town has something bad to say about her looks. She looks like a giant bee, although I'm not exactly sure what that means. Finn thinks she's beautiful, though.
I really liked the way the author handled beauty in this book, which is why I'm basing my review around that theme. Roza's beauty, for example, gets her nowhere she wants to be, and gives her some wisdom beyond her years. She understands being beautiful isn't who she is, but few others understand that. I guess it's a glimpse at the dark side of beauty, kind of like those people who say how hard it is to exist while beautiful, except not so fucking annoying. As for Petey, it's not often you get a YA character who's less than pretty anywhere outside her own head, and that's refreshing to me.
Also, Roza (view spoiler)[gives herself a facial scar to get out of captivity. Fucking bad ass, dude. I love characters with scars, and those who are willing to get scarred. (hide spoiler)]
What else to say? I liked it, but I didn't love it. The climax was a bit fantastical for me, and felt out of place with the rest of the story. I liked the main female characters—they were different from each other, and different from the usual YA offerings. Finn was a good male lead with an interesting condition. Characters had back stories which were interesting and tied into the main story.
There were hints of magical realism and hints of mythology, and yet this book doesn't quite belong in either of those genres. It's not exactly a captivity book, not exactly coming of age. I don't know where it belongs. It was a fast but leisurely read, if that makes sense. I enjoyed it.
By the way, I'm still bitter about having to pay $0.50 for that damned extra Cinnabon frosting.
Well. For starters, this book wasn't really about Ava Lavender at all, even though she's the one narrating. She tells us about her entire family treeWell. For starters, this book wasn't really about Ava Lavender at all, even though she's the one narrating. She tells us about her entire family tree to make us understand why she was born with wings, I guess, even though I'm still not really sure why. Anyway, it should have been called The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of the Women of the Roux/Lavender Family (as told by Ava Lavender). But that might be too much of a mouthful.
Actually, I liked the book a lot more than my snarky tone lets on. As everyone else has said, the writing was lovely. There's no question about that. There were parts I really enjoyed, yet there were also parts where my interest flagged. Some parts were surprisingly, erm, graphic? highly evocative of unpleasant things? for a YA novel ((view spoiler)[sex, rape, an abusive marriage, hints of incest, dead people lingering around (hide spoiler)]). In another reality this could have been an adult magical realism novel, and in my opinion that might have been a good thing.
The weakest parts, for me, were actually the ones about Ava herself, and the strongest ones were about her family. At one point I was afraid (view spoiler)[the romance would be between a 29-year-old man and 15-year-old Lavender (hide spoiler)], but thankfully that didn't happen. I also wasn't satisfied with the demise of the villain, ((view spoiler)[if the ghosts had the power to basically snuff him out of existence, why couldn't they stop him from hurting Ava? (hide spoiler)]) even though it made for some nice imagery.
A lot of people really enjoyed this book, but something prevents me from loving it. At least I got to read a well-written book. Oh, and I also got a sudden desire to visit a bakery.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I would say I enjoyed this book for the most part. What I didn't like: The descriptions were quite wordy (but beautiful), and the ending was rushed anI would say I enjoyed this book for the most part. What I didn't like: The descriptions were quite wordy (but beautiful), and the ending was rushed and unsatisfying. But I did like that I could feel Ariel's sadness. I liked the romance. I didn't mind Ariel's passiveness, especially when she begins to realize things about herself later in the book, and grows stronger.
This wasn't exactly a quick read, despite the short length. Also, the story doesn't really seem to go anywhere for a long time. I had this book on my maybe this, but I'm glad I took the time to read it. It made me wonder why I haven't read more of Block's book over the years....more