4.5 Like a thunderbolt, pain and agony and heartache and misery will strike everyone. Nobody, regardless of socioeconomic status, is immune- my takeawa...more4.5 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. (less)
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 Nostrada...more3.5 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! (less)
Cruel Beauty takes the "tale as old as time" a step further or two by incorporating Greek mythology, surreal magic, and demonic creatures scuttling ab...moreCruel 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. (less)
WOW! Just wow and amazing and thought-provoking and I simply adore More Than This and its profound message! The story and endearing characters will st...moreWOW! Just wow and amazing and thought-provoking and I simply adore More Than This and its profound message! The story and endearing characters will stay with me for quite some time. What else is left to say other than I can't recommend this book enough. Seriously, I can't. (less)
While wildly imaginative, the geometry and how to draw the various geometric defenses and the incessant talk of Rithmatists and more geometry has thor...moreWhile wildly imaginative, the geometry and how to draw the various geometric defenses and the incessant talk of Rithmatists and more geometry has thoroughly drowned the story. I did enjoy the main characters and the inventive alternate history world, but putting the plot aside, the non-terrifying 2D chalk figures they're combating are just not compelling me to read further. I mean, just craft a huge-ass eraser and scrub-a-dub them away. No need for the extensive and grueling schooling. And you're welcome, Rithmatists far and wide.
Nevertheless, I do enjoy this imaginative author, so I'll definitely give anything he pens a go. (less)
4.5 I had a blast reading Boy Nobody. The fast-paced writing and intrigue and action had me flipping the pages in a quicksilver fashion.
Ever watch La...more4.5 I had a blast reading Boy Nobody. The fast-paced writing and intrigue and action had me flipping the pages in a quicksilver fashion.
Ever watch La Femme Nikita ( the original TV series)? Well, Boy Nobody is the male version, YA style. And the ending? What a perfect setup for the next book in the series. A book I'll surely be devouring. (less)
"You say you want a revolution. Well, you know we all want to change the world..." La la la. Okay, Winter, you can't come soon enough.
The Lunar Chron...more"You say you want a revolution. Well, you know we all want to change the world..." La la la. Okay, Winter, you can't come soon enough.
The Lunar Chronicles had me at Cinder, and with the addition of each volume, my love's only deepened. So...for anyone out there looking for a series chock-full of fairy-tale re-imaginings, science-fantasy deliciousness, all wrapped in merriment, then look no further. (less)
Do allow me to be the sole voice of dissent. Regrettably, I was catapulted light-years away from the Land of Enchantment where readers found themselve...more Do allow me to be the sole voice of dissent. Regrettably, I was catapulted light-years away from the Land of Enchantment where readers found themselves gleefully immersed in during their time spent with In the Shadow of Blackbirds. My far-far-away status obviously attributed to the fact that I, for the life of me, couldn't for one moment, not even a sliver of a moment, a sliver of a sliver of a moment, get into this book. I tried, oh how I tried. But my will to pick this tome back up after perusing a few pages here and there was nil at best. So this is where I can honestly say that it comes down to "it's me, not you, book." Which is such a shame, for I love a good ghost story. Also, perhaps it's because the ghost story plot didn't kick into gear until roughly 100 pages in. Or perhaps the love story angle, or lack thereof, of a girl channeling Moaning Myrtle and whining about her love for Steeeeeeephen did absolutely nothing for me. Or maybe the glacial pace that was the story could be the culprit, have something to do with my sense of detachment. My mood at the time? Who knows?
Admittedly, I skimmed most of this book, which actually worked out in the end. The MC every 100 pages would kindly write a checklist of her investigation into mysterious ghost and how s/he ended up pushing up daisies, what had or hadn't been Sherlocked at that point and whatnot. Checklist much appreciated, thanks MC. I'll end on a positive note. Adored the photographs in all their historical yet creepy ways. They definitely added to the overall tale. And were a very creative touch to boot. Loved the time period and the idea of spiritual photography, something I wholly believe in. And lastly, it's more than obvious the author did painstaking research before she put pen to paper, so the attention to detail was definitely not overlooked by yours truly. (less)