4.5 Like a thunderbolt, pain and agony and heartache and misery will strike everyone. Nobody, regardless of socioeconomic status, is immune- my takeawa4.5 Like a thunderbolt, pain and agony and heartache and misery will strike everyone. Nobody, regardless of socioeconomic status, is immune- my takeaway message from this truly beautiful yet sorrowful book (the title doesn't lie).
An aside: This book would make for a fantastic movie, in the same vein, er somewhat, as Fried Green Tomatoes; for the magical realism and gastronomy (maybe the same could be said for Fried Green tomatoes?) Chocolat, Simply Irresistible (a cheesy gem), and Like Water for Chocolate; and the next three might be a stretch but popped in my head nonetheless The Way Way Back, Little Miss Sunshine, and the delicious Practical Magic. Basically what I'm getting at is that The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender would translate well on the silver screen as it follows select members of the blighted Lavender/Roux family tree and the tragically lost individuals who meander into their lives, along with the various hurts experienced, the heart pangs and obsessive loves, first loves, unrequited loves, settling-for-someone-anyone-will-do "loves", familial loves, "females taking care of each other after myriad forms of heartache, unbreakable bond-type" loves, friendship loves. Hell, Gastronomy would even be a character in and of itself. Now wrap all the aforementioned in magical realism and that would be one helluva tear-jerker of a movie. A movie that I would watch in a heartbeat. A movie that would morph into an instant favorite, like the aforementioned lovelies.
An aside part deux: The Lavender women are so the type of individuals I tend to gravitate towards, the type of people you'd want in your corner. They'd have your back without question, loyal to fault. They're kind and spiritual and, best of all, fierce warriors! Wow, after typing my thoughts, I'm feeling like I need to bump up my rating from 4 stars to 4.5. ...more
3.5 Picture the characters populating Reign (TV show) being plucked out of the dark ages and tossed into the turn of the 19th century. Replace Nostrada3.5 Picture the characters populating Reign (TV show) being plucked out of the dark ages and tossed into the turn of the 19th century. Replace Nostradamus with prognosticating Merlin-y mages, add just a dash of magic, no more, no less, and the final result is The ring and the Crown.
Warning: in case you go into this tome all balls to the wall expecting Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo level of spell casting, the magic is barely-there. Nonetheless fun, but still.
The plot: There's plenty of frolicking and flirtery, court antics, ball preparations, almost loves, unrequited loves, duty-before-love loves. In other words, this book is the epitome of pure escapism. Can't wait for book 2! ...more
Cruel Beauty takes the "tale as old as time" a step further or two by incorporating Greek mythology, surreal magic, and demonic creatures scuttling abCruel Beauty takes the "tale as old as time" a step further or two by incorporating Greek mythology, surreal magic, and demonic creatures scuttling about. There's a castle to investigate, items to ferret out, secrets to uncover, a village to save, and one incandescent girl charged with tackling it all. Oh, and a slight problem for her remains- she's falling for the devilish beast, Ignifex, who she's been tasked to assassinate. And, yeah, from the way he was described (I swoon), I wouldn't've been able to stay away from Ignifex, not at all. I'm weak like that.
From start to finish I was captivated and stayed up till the wee hours of the morning to finish this baby. This book possesses a certain je ne sais quoi that bewitched me from the get-go. ...more