Navessa's Reviews > The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
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did not like it

TRIGGER WARNING: THOSE SENSITIVE TO DEPICTIONS OF RAPE MAY WANT TO SKIP THIS BOOK... what I wish someone else had put at the top of their review so I could have fucking saved myself from running headfirst into that scene.

The moral of this book: everything of beauty in this world will eventually be destroyed by those who covet it.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 25, 2014 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-35 of 35 (35 new)

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message 1: by Kym (new)

Kym Is the rape gratuitous? Is the scene unnecessarily graphic? Is there a lead in, or is it a total surprise to the character? Did the rape have an impact on character or plot development, or added as a shocker?

message 2: by N. (new) - rated it 3 stars

N. I know what you mean. I stole your warning and put it in my review (giving you credit of course). I remember being very disturbed by it. Strange I didn't mention it in my review. Sorry that caught you unawares :(

☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness Thanks for the warning. I had no idea. I actually dnf it because I just wasn't in the mood, but now, I won't read it.

message 4: by Terence (new)

Terence Good to see you writing reviews again Navessa.

message 5: by Angela (new) - added it

Angela Thanks Navessa!! I appreciate the warning.

Kym, for me, it doesn't matter if it's gratuitous or unnecessarily graphic. Not knowing and running into a scene like that can break me down. I can't handle that without preparing myself. It hits too close to home and I need to remind myself of truths before I read it. Then I almost always run into the issue of it not being handled well - so I often avoid books that have any rape in them. Maybe it's my loss in some cases, but that's a chance I'm more willing to take.

message 6: by Kym (new)

Kym I agree, Angela, but if there's enough of a warning, I can skip that scene, and continue on, as long as it isn't repeated as internal dialogue or memory. I don't mind reference to a rape, as long as I can skip over it. I too appreciate the warning, as it brings out disturbing memories and/feelings in many of us. However, gratuitous or unnecessary graphic violence that is used as shock value leads me to be wary of an author in general.

message 7: by Angela (new) - added it

Angela **nods** yeah, I definitely get that! I've done the same in some books and it's worked really well for me

Navessa @ Kym: It's neither gratuitous nor overly graphic, but it's paired with some brutal violence. There's also a lead in. And the rape seemed to be the whole point of the book. Like I said in the review, the moral of this story is that all beauty is destroyed by those who covet it. The whole book builds toward this scene :(

@ Nicole: Thank you, and I'm glad you stole the warning. Hopefully between us we can keep others from stumbling into it like I did.

@ Tinja: You're welcome.

@ Terence: I'm not really. The only time I'll do so is in cases like this, where something REALLY needs to be said about a book.

@ Angela: NP ^_^

message 9: by Kym (new)

Kym Well, thanks for the warning. I know this sort of thing doesn't bother everyone, but it definitely makes me uncomfortable in a big way.

message 10: by Olympe (new)

Olympe Oh.....I don't have the energy read your review this early. I read that trigger warning and I can just tell i am going to rage.

Navessa @ Kym: You're very welcome.

@ Olympe: HA! The reviews is basically nothing but a trigger warning, so you shouldn't rage too hard ^_^

message 12: by Isa (new)

Isa Lavinia Thanks for the warning! I still think it should be obligatory to place trigger warnings on books - this stuff is no joke and can really mess with survivors.

Sophie I'm sorry :( That sucks when that happens.

A couple months ago I started reading a book that took a very unexpected turn in terms of rape and such (and it was pretty explicit and involved a family member :/) and none of the reviews or the summary warned me about that and it caused me to be super upset. I was reading it before bed too which made it worse because it made it hard for me to fall asleep. I wish these things came with more of a heads up.

Erica Ah, I wish I had read your review. Seriously wtf?? The writing was tragic but beautiful in a bittersweet manner. Then the storyline shit over my dreams. Wow. Just....

Alice Thank you for the warning ! I've read your review halfway through the book (go figure why i read reviews at that point lol..)and it helped that i was prepared. I really disliked the book anyways, and also, how is any of this a "beautiful" sorrow ?
I finished it yesterday and wow I'm mad. More than having to read a rape scene, I think the title, the cover, the summary, the reviews, and even the writing style are all terribly misleading. I thought I was going to read a warm strange but pretty story and that's what I needed, not this :/

message 16: by Natacha (new) - added it


Navessa Yup :(

Laina But does having to run "headfirst into that scene" warrant giving the book a 1 star review? I'd like to know more about why you didn't like it. That scene was rough, but I thought that the book as a whole was great. I'd like to know more about what you didn't like.

Laina Oops...repetitive. Sorry.

Navessa The last paragraph of my review sums up my reasons beyond my anger at not being warned about that scene.

Laina Navessa wrote: "The last paragraph of my review sums up my reasons beyond my anger at not being warned about that scene."

This paragraph? "The moral of this book: everything of beauty in this world will eventually be destroyed by those who covet it."

I guess I read that paragraph as a summary of the theme rather than an explanation of what other things you didn't like, but that makes sense. It's hard to like a book if you don't dig one of it's central ideas.

message 22: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Fernandez Personally, I think you're missing the message I got from the book, which is that life isn't always the easiest. You follow all these tragic stories of a family who's life seems hopelessly tragic at every turn. But, by the end of the novel, you begin to realize that we are able to move on from the people who hurt us, and to not let that hold us down when we could be flying so much higher.
But, then again, everyone has their own opinion, and you're entitled to yours. But this is just what I got from it.

message 23: by Rose (new) - rated it 1 star

Rose I wish I'd seen your review before reading it. That scene has stayed with me for all the months afterwards =(

Abigail I wish these warnings could be readily available to those who want to be prepared. I wish I had known, and while I understand the message that it contributes to in the novel as a whole, I don't think that wanting a trigger warning means you miss the meaning of the book. I am still haunted by this book, and while it was a beautiful and wonderful book in my opinion, I was completely shocked and outraged at the thought that a survivor could go into this blind.

Azura Nightsong Truth. Me too. My mood was destroyed after finishing it. I almost vomited in the middle of Spanish class during that scene, and I hate sad endings. Please, someone warn is

Azura Nightsong I wish I had seen this warning.........

Navessa Ack. I'm sorry so many other people were blindsided by it too :(

Azura Nightsong There should be a student review thing in libraries, or something like video game ratings on books:
"contains scenes of suicide, violence, rape, the death of happiness and dreams"

message 29: by Haley (new)

Haley How graphic is the rape? Just mentioned of detailed?? Also THANK you for the trigger warning! I was looking at reviews just for this reason before I picked it up.

Navessa So sorry for the late response. It's super graphic, IMO.

message 31: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina I usually try to avoid looking through reviews before I dive into a book (for obvious reasons, like possible spoilers) but I really wish I had in this case. Maybe I would have spotted yours sooner): I don't know why trigger warnings aren't more accessible in the book community for those who want them. Thank you anyway for doing what you could to warn potential readers!!

Kelsey Seriously though.. where are all the trigger warnings from these bigger booktubers reviewing and talking about how amazing this book is??? It came out of no where and I was not prepared.

Christinalovesreading I am in agreement with this assessment. I almost recommended it to myYA readers, but it's an unnecessary scene. We know Patrick Sorrows is poisoning his aunt, freaks out at church, and is obsessed with Ava's angelic form... but why can't he just try and woo her? Or even destroy her/ her wings without the rape? In my opinion its you disturbing and close to home too took many women... and unnecessary to the plot. Losing her wings would be so devastating to her and would have completed the story line just as much.

message 34: by Amanda (new)

Amanda THANK YOU for posting this!

Angelica Davis Nathaniel* also, he destroys his pillow and masturbates into it. That was my first clue into him wanting to do more than talk to Ava and get close to her.

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