[Review] The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

strange and beautiful sorrows of ava lavendarThe Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
Series: None
Publication: March 27th, 2014 by Candlewick Press
Number of Pages: 301
Genre: Magical Realism, Fantasy, YA, Romance, Historical
Source: Public library
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.
Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.
In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.
That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.
First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.


Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters I Just Didn’t Click With

Top Ten Tuesday Attempt #1 pic versionTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.

This Week’s Topic: Ten Characters You Just Didn’t Click With

I think it’s really sad how easy it was for me to come up with a list of these.

And if I’m looking through this list, I can see a trend with these. Sort of? Well I’m just a hard person to please when it comes to characters that I absolutely love.

You guys are probably going to kill me with because of some of the names on this list. PLEASE DON’T KILL ME I’M A GOOD PERSON I SWEAR.

Edit: This list is more like a list of protagonists I found insufferably annoying. So I guess for me, the topic would be more appropriately be, “Ten Characters You Not Only Didn’t Click With, But Don’t Ever Want To Click With Because You’d Rather They Not Exist.” Okay that’s a little mean. Sorry to the book characters. (more…)

Top Ten Tuesdays: Autobuy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday Attempt #1 pic versionTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.

This Week’s Topic: Top Ten Of Your Auto-buy Authors (no matter the genre or what it’s about…you’ll buy it from these authors!). If you want to get specific you can break it into genre especially since I know we did this topic in 2013.

If I’m being 100% honest, I’ve never really been the type to autobuy any books. I’m the type that only wants to own the books that I like or was really excited to read. I also don’t have the money to buy $17 hardback books as soon as they release. I’m more willing to buy slightly used discounted books from Goodwill or Half-Price Books. So this post, for me, is entirely theoretical because I’m just not that type of person! I love supporting authors but as someone with limited shelf space and is picky when it comes to what books I enjoy, I’d rather have a shelf of books I enjoy, y’know?

Anyways, if I theoretically was able to buy all the books of any author I wanted, I don’t know if I’d have that many auto-buy authors. I’m probably not going to hit 10 just because I haven’t actually read enough of various authors to have many solidified auto-buy authors. So instead of having 10 auto-buy authors, I’ll list some autobuy authors and fill the other spots with authors that I hope to explore more of!


Top Ten Tuesdays: The Authors I’ve Read the Most Books From

Top Ten Tuesday Attempt #1 pic versionTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.

This Week’s Topic: Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

Okay for this week’s topic I don’t even know what authors I’d read the most from. So I enlisted Goodreads which has a nifty little option that lists out all the authors you read the most from.

Naturally, the top few were manga artists because I’d finished a few shoujo mangas that would have 20+ volumes each. I’m also expecting there to be a lot of middle grade and children’s authors on here because when I first started Goodreads, I decided to add every book I recognized that I knew I read at some point. Including books from my Elementary school days. I’m just glad that I didn’t add all of the Magic Tree House books or the Bailey School Kid books because I know that those would instantly be the authors I read the most from. So today’s Top Ten Tuesday isn’t going to be the standard list and explain, but rather a series of pictures that I screenshot and added text to. Let’s do this.

top authors read 1 copy

top authors read 2

I cannot do art with a mouse. My stick figure looks horrendous.

So those are my top read authors! I’m actually really surprised that Andrew Smith wasn’t on there. I always feel like I read a lot of his books. Huh. I guess not. Anyways, what were your top read authors?

Top Ten Tuesday: A List of Fairytale Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday Attempt #1 pic version

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.

This Week’s Topic: Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read/Want To Read (or you could do fairytales I want to be retold or fairytales I love)

This week’s topic is a huge free-for-all. There’s a lot of flexibility with this topic. So I guess my list is gonna be a mishmash of all of the things mentioned in the topic. I’ve read a lot of retellings in the past but recently, I haven’t been in the mood for them.

Fairytales are cool though! Fairytales are classic places to take inspiration from. And while I’ve had both good and bad experiences with fairytale retellings, I’m always willing to read more.


  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (Review)
    This was a Beauty and the Beast retelling that I loved. I really liked the world building and the character development. Super unique and worth a read!
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon
    I read this back in middle school. It’s a 12 Dancing Princesses retelling that’s pretty dang sweet. I didn’t like that the library accused me of not returning the book when I clearly did though. Pretty sure this falls into the YA category. This one focuses on the oldest sister, Azalea.
  • Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
    This mashes up a bunch of fairytales into one girl’s journey to save her friend. It follows Hazel’s personal growth as she realizes that people and friend groups change but it doesn’t mean that what she knew about them was wrong. A little cheesy but pretty good.
  • My Fair Godmother Series by Janette Rallison
    This series is one of my favorites. I didn’t know there was a third book but there is! It’s hilarious and definitely one of those sweet reads that doesn’t require much thinking. A little overly dramatic at times and cringe-worthy at others but I definitely enjoyed these books.
  • The Sister’s Grimm Series by Michael Buckley
    One of my favorite series when I was in middle school. He recently republished them after he fixed continuity errors and grammar. Might be a little young but if you like MG novels, it’s a series you should check out. The two sisters, Sabrina and Daphne, return to their grandmother’s town where they learn the secrets of their inheritance.


  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
    This has had exceptional reviews by nearly everybody. It’s an adult retelling of Beauty and the Beast and I heard that it’s very dark. I’m a little scared of hype but my gut feeling is telling me that I’ll enjoy this one.
  • Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
    This is written by the same author that wrote Cruel Beauty, mentioned above. It came out earlier this year and the cover has a similar style but I still haven’t read it ;;
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
    This has been on too many Top Ten Tuesdays for me to even justify the fact that I haven’t read it. But I haven’t. I think this particular volume is based on Cinderella.
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    I’ve read Throne of Glass but not this one. Beauty and the Beast retelling that has had mixed reviews. Not sure what I should expect but the majority of them were positive.
  • Splintered by A.G. Howard
    An Alice in Wonderland retelling that’s been hyped by some and completely ignored by others. I personally find the covers very ugly but then again, nobody is asking me xD
  • The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
    I wasn’t actually planning on reading this one but so many people have said fantastic things about it! I think it’s loosely based on The Little Mermaid. Then I saw that it was the featured full read on Pulseit so I started it. I’m really liking it so far and the fact that I could read it now probably is supposed to tell me that I should read it asap.


  • One word. MULAN.
    I think Soundless is inspired by Chinese folklore but it’s not Mulan. I haven’t seen any YA retellings of Mulan anywhere but if anybody has any suggestions, please tell me! I think a Mulan retelling would be so cool.

And some Mushu (although he’s not in the original myth haha)

I love Mushu.

And that’s my list! I probably could’ve listed so many more than the amount that I did but I already listed more than ten. But seriously! Who’s with me on the Mulan retelling? I think it’d be hella cool!

Page Dancer Weekly | Chapter I: Summer Break + My First Book Signing

chap 1 pd weekly

To be honest, I’m not a fabulously huge fan of the graphic I made for this, so I’m still gonna be playing around with it. It’s probably gonna be changing every time I do this feature xD

Anyways, welcome to my first ever Page Dancer Weekly! I introduced it yesterday, with a post cheesily titled “Page Dancer Weekly: Prologue (New Feature!)”. In other words, it’s my own bimonthly wrap-up post that gives me an excuse to babble about everything that’s currently going on in my life. Expect these posts to be monstrously long because I’m pretty much jamming like five different posts into one. (more…)

Page Dancer Weekly: Prologue (New Feature!)

Page Dancer Weekly PrologueI’ve been wanting to do this for a very long time but I never really acted on it until now.

So this is the birth of a new “feature”. To be honest, it’s just going to be a fancy name for a bimonthly update thing I want to start. It’s not weekly but I think “Page Dancer Weekly” sounds way better than “Page Dancer Bimonthly”. It’s partially inspired by Cait’s Weekly Fury (at Paper Fury) because I’ve always enjoyed her updates. I’m not going to be nearly as entertaining and energetic as her but I do think that this will allow me to make my blog more personal to me.

Pretty much how this thing is gonna work is that I’ll post it twice a month (or every two weeks) on a Saturday. Once at the beginning/end of a month and once halfway through. Every post will be titled “[Page Dancer Weekly] Chapter #: (Title Name)”. It’s because I’m 100% a cheese and got this idea from a friend and ended up loving it. Why not make my diary/blog wrap-up thing like a book? So that’s how that idea formed.

In this feature/post thing, I’ll be able to talk more about myself rather than just books. I know that I personally just don’t feel comfortable writing posts where I exclusively talk about my day and how it went mainly because my first reaction isn’t to blog about it. By making this a blog wrap-up as well, I think it’ll make me more comfortable with sharing with my readers. I also think I’m going to try to talk about personal interests and obsessions such as music and random things that I’ve begun to do. Yes, I’ll be talking about K-Pop. And yes, you’ll probably be completely confused by my excessive fangirling.

This will also include things like books I’ve obtained and things that I’ve finished. I’ll also link up posts from the past two weeks and talk about what I might post the next two weeks.

Oh and I’ll also begin to put updates for challenges and such here!

I’d also include a section where I highlight bookish news and posts from around the community but I’m also really bad at saving links and remembering them so for now, I’m not adding that on. As I get more comfortable with writing these updates, I might begin to add on different aspects and sections to it.

Overall, this was just a little post to introduce this new feature of mine and explain what exactly I’d be doing with it. I hope you guys enjoy it! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten of My Fellow BFFs Fave Book-Loving Characters

Top Ten Tuesday Attempt #1 pic versionTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.

This Week’s Topic: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds (love reading, are writers, work at a bookstore, etc.)

If there’s one thing that’s better than reading books with badass characters, it’s probably reading books with nerdy book-loving protagonists. Actually nerdy characters are enough for me. But if they’re nerds and love books, that’s even better. I have a feeling some of the characters used will be pretty similar for a lot of the lists. If there’s something different, I’ll be adding it to my TBR.

I definitely won’t be hitting ten on this list but that’s okay!

(I tried a new format for these TTT and I’m not a huge fan of it. Experimentation will be continuing the next few weeks lol)

If I have a review, it will be linked.

~ Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell ~


Carry On

Unfortunately, I was not the biggest fan of this book. Actually, I’m not a huge Rainbow Rowell fan in general. However, I do think that Cath is one of the most relatable fangirls out there. I really did want to read her Simon Snow fanfiction. So I’m really excited because Rowell is writing Carry On and releasing it as a published book! It might be the only other Rowell novel I’ll ever read.

~ Paige from The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord ~

The Start of Me and YouI haven’t reviewed this book (shame on me, I know) but I really enjoyed it! I wasn’t a huge super fan like a lot of other people but I would give it around 4 stars. Paige was such a nerd and I totally related to her hesitation to join the Quiz Bowl team. In my friend group, a lot of them are on Academic Team and are really good at Quick Recall. I’m definitely not. She also loved reading and had the nickname “Grammar Girl”. How could I not love her character? I also ended up really liking the love interest who was just as nerdy and adorable as she was. SHIP.


~ Celaena from Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas ~

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)I actually HAVE reviewed this one! I just haven’t posted it. OTL

Celaena wasn’t favorite character but I loved that she was a research and reading obsessed character. She devoured books like I devour them. Plus she liked fashion and clothes like me. Super relatable and love, love, loved that she liked reading. She was both smart and strong. Great combination in my opinion. Even if Throne of Glass wasn’t my favorite novel at all, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books. I’ve heard that even if you didn’t like the first novel, the rest of the books get progressively better and better. And I’m definitely looking forward to that.

~ Amber from The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around UsI am not planning on reviewing this one BUT I liked it a lot. 4 Stars. The writing is really good and the characters are all very mysterious.

Ok so this is actually a pretty interesting book. There’s two POVs and the characters are all very different. Amber is a delinquent that lives in the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center and throughout the book she is the one that runs the book cart. It’s her job and she loves it. It keeps her sane in a dangerous place. On top of this, she loves reading and she takes pride in the fact that she knows that books are a very personal and thoughtful way to help the other delinquents.

~ Emma from The Mother Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick ~

This was one of my favorite series in Elementary and Middle school. I will admit that I probably tried to read the third book first like three times before I realized that it wasn’t the first book. However, Emma is super heartwarming and the main book-lover in the series. She loves writing and reading! Actually by the end of the whole series, I could probably put all of them on the list but Emma was always my favorite. Not including Megan. And Jess. And Cassidy. Okay I liked all the characters but Emma is one of the most bookish.

~ Hermione from the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling ~

Who could forget this fabulous witch? Hermione is like the epitome of a nerdy, smart, book-loving character. She studies and there’s no way that she doesn’t enjoy reading. She’s a fan favorite (definitely my fave of the Golden Trio) and clever and amazing and beautiful.Hermione Opening a Book

Bookishly Ever After

~ Honorable Mention: Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira ~

I’m insanely excited to read this book. The main character, Phoebe, loves reading YA novels. In the book, she turns to YA romance novels to get love advice. I’m positive that it’s gonna be completely hilarious (probably disastrous) and a super fun read. I’m really hoping that this book doesn’t flop because if it does, I’ll be very sad. But yeah I’m gonna have to wait until 2016 to read it because it doesn’t come out until then. 😦

Oooh I definitely didn’t even get all that close to ten. But I tried and I really can’t remember all of the book-loving characters I’d ever happened upon. I probably could’ve added Meggie from Inkheart but I didn’t think of her until after I finished this post. And I read that book forever ago. But what bookish characters are your favorites? Tell me!

Top Ten Tuesday: Hype, Hype, Hype (Oh And I Still Haven’t Read It)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, participating book bloggers blog about their top ten lists.

This Week’s Topic: Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

I’m fairly bad with keeping up on hyped books. I can safely say that I’m trying to catch up with reading hyped books and popular series but well… I’m trying. In fact, reading these somewhat hyped books is one of the things I’m trying to do this summer.

And yeah I don’t have super pretty book pictures but I do have two of the books on this list. That means I can actually take relevant book pictures and put this in my post. YAY! *Blows confetti everywhere*

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And yeah two of those books aren’t on this list but they are equally as hyped and yeah I still haven’t read them…. I have tried picking up Shadow and Bone though! It just wasn’t the right time for me to pick it up. I’m a mood reader, okay? You can also see the mess that is my room in the background. It’s also really awkward trying to take a picture when you’re also listening to a song called Porn Star in the background and half leaning against a wall. Thank you, August Alsina for making a song that is simultaneously super chill and super explicit.

And sorry for reposting this. I had to go into the code to fix the formatting so it wasn’t like reading the whole thing in caps lock >.<

  1.  The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
    I’ve read both Shiver and The Scorpio Races but I have yet to pick up the fan favorite, The Raven Boys. Part of it is laziness because I haven’t put a hold on it at the library but there’s also the fact that my friend wasn’t a huge fan and that scares me. I don’t always like being the black sheep.
  2.  Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
    First, I wanna say that I actually have a friend with the same first and last name as the author! And I’ve heard really good things about this teen author and how her book has well written characters. I love good characters.
  3.  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    Well my friend read it before the hype really set in but now I’m seeing this book everywhere because it won the Pulitzer. Even people at my school that don’t really read all that much have talked about this book. I have a pretty good feeling about it.
  4.  The Giver (and the rest of the series) by Lois Lowry
    Movie came out last year and everybody went to see it (probably because of Taylor Swift to be honest) and I’m still sitting over here refusing to watch it because I haven’t read the book. I have a gorgeous gray and red bind-up of all 4 books so I don’t know why I haven’t read it.
  5.  If I Stay by Gayle Forman
    Same as above. Except there’s the fact that I actually read Just One Day and I didn’t like it.
  6.  The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
    One of my friends is convinced that I will love this book if I read it. Of course I still haven’t so that shows you how much peer pressure works on me when it comes to books.
  7.  This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
    This one hasn’t had huge hype but it has a lot of… ninja hype? What I mean is that even if it’s not the most hyped book (as of now), I’ve seen people briefly mention it on blogs and social media and it’s done enough to really pique my interest. I see this book everywhere.
  8.  Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
    Same as above. Especially last year when the companion/sequel/sister novel, Dangerous Girls released.
  9.  Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
    Actually, you can just put all of Hoover’s books here because I swear I see her everywhere.
  10.  Splintered by A.G. Howard
    People at school have read it and there’s a few bloggers that repeatedly mention this book.
  11.  An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
    I was going to end the list before I realized that this is quite possibly the most hyped book of early 2015. And yeah. I still haven’t read it.

And that’s my list! Is there anything I’ve missed? Tell me about any of your favorite hyped books that I (probably) haven’t read yet! Or if I have read it, let’s talk! 🙂