‘Love makes us such fools.’
On the surface The Strange and Beautiful sorrows of Ava Lavendar by Leslye Walton is about Ava, a sixteen year old girl born with wings, who yearns to fit in with everyone else. But this novel also traces her family history, a history of love gone wrong, of myths and fables.
It begins with her grandmother, Emilienne, who fell in love three times before she was nineteen. After the deaths of her siblings, all due to love, or the lack thereof, she married a man she thought would never leave her. Love didn’t enter into the equation.
Ava’s mother Vivianne is just as much troubled by love as the rest of her family. Falls in love with a boy who, after a one night stand, leaves her. From this one night, Vivianne has two children, winged Ava and silent Henry….but all the time waits for her errant lover to return.
This novel is an interesting mixture of fable and magic realism. Nothing and no one are really how they appear. Vivianne has an unnatural sense of smell and can detect the seasons.
"Summer rain smelled like newly clipped grass, like mouths stained red with berry juice – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. It smelled like late nights spent pointing constellations out from their starry guises, freshly washed laundry drying outside on the line, like barbecues and stolen kisses in a 1932 Ford Coupe."
One of Emilienne’s siblings cuts out her own heart, another quietly turns into a bird. Ghosts freely roam this book as though it is the norm. Now it is Ava’s turn to try and find her place. She longs to leave the safety of her home, all that she has ever known. With the help of a friend she sneaks out but now becomes the obsession of a man who believes her to be no mortal woman but an angel.
This novel is like a grown up fairy tale. If you accept that fact and allow yourself to be swept along with some beautiful writing, you’ll definitely enjoy this book.
Vicki @ Pakenham
Thursday, 16 October 2014
‘Love makes us such fools.’
Thursday, 25 September 2014
Thursday, 18 September 2014
“His tone changed. Thrusting his face at mine, he told me threateningly, ‘you’d best take care. More than one thing can sting under this roof.’”
Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Horns by Joe Hill is an interesting book. It depicts the tale of Ig, a man who had just lost his girlfriend who was murdered. People suspect him for the crime and his life becomes a living hell. Ig wakes up one morning to find out he has grown demon horns. He finds out that the horns make others tell him their secrets. He can also control people based on what they have said to him. Ig then decides to use this ability to find out who murdered his girlfriend, and get revenge.
At first I read this very slowly, as I had other things going on but as soon as I found the time to read I was stuck into the book. At first I thought it was boring, with no development happening. I then read on and found it really interesting. Ig is an interesting character, a man who had lost everything he had loved and now cannot stop hearing people’s secrets. Ig is portrayed as kind of gloomy, always looking at the past with his girlfriend and trying to find out who had murdered her. Ig’s best friend Lee is portrayed as a shifty kind of character, always acting suspicious and doing suspicious things. Lee is by far the most interesting character in the book, with his lost eye and his shifty attitude.
The book also plays on a bit of religion, with Ig being more of a demon while Lee is more of an angel or god. The book also explains that Ig’s power cannot work on people wearing an holy item (e.g. a cross). This also pushes the religious aspect up. The book also has some parts played in a church, with the priests scared of Ig, as he has demon horns and demon powers. The religion that is displayed in the book however, is very limited, which is a very good thing.
In the end Horns is a very good book, depicting Ig’s journey to find his girlfriends killer. I would recommend this book to people who don’t mind reading something a bit adult, or are fans of things to do with demons and angels. The book is also getting a movie in the upcoming years, with it staring Daniel Radcliffe as Ig. I would recommend this book to those aged 15+
By Damon Slatter (Work experience student @ Endeavour Hills library)
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
The Minnow by Diana Sweeney is the winner of the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing 2013.
I procrastinated for quite a while before I read this book. A pregnant teenager whose family had died in a flood? No thanks, I'll read something else.
But when I finally opened the book I couldn't put it down.
The cover is eye-catching - dark and beckoning - filled with sea creatures and underwater life. It also sets the mood for the novel.
And that is what I so loved about the book - a style and mood that sets it apart - dreamy and flowing.
The main character in the book is a girl called Tom who lives with a much older bloke called Bill since the death of her parents and sister.
Tom is pregnant with Bill's baby and she can no longer stay with Bill. She moves in with her friend Jonah who is helpful and supportive, as are others in her community.
As Tom works through her grief she communicates in an unlikely way with marine creatures and with her unborn child whom she names 'the minnow.'
This is a beautifully written novel that I recommend to those who love reading high quality YA fiction.
It is Diana's first novel, and it is a real winner.
Friday, 5 September 2014
Friday, 29 August 2014
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Claire is book one in the prequel series the Infernal Devices based before the Mortal Instruments series began.
When 16 year old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to England in hope of finding her brother. The time is the reign of Queen Victoria and something terrifying is awaiting for her in the London’s downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gas-lit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, Nephilim warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, in order to keep the peace among the human world.
When she arrives in London, she is kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, who are members of a secret organisation called the Pandemonium Club; Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability. The ability to transform at will, into another person. The Magister, the shadowy figure that runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.
Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her new found power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by and torn between two best friends; Jem, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arms length… everyone, that is, but Tessa.
As their search draws them deep into the heart of an evil dark plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world... and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
This book is spectacular, with everything I'd wanted in the TMI series and more. The magic and mysteries are compelling and Victorian London is a fantastic backdrop to this steam-punk tale about a girl who discovers she has incredible powers...and an incredible past. Tessa is a vibrant, fascinating heroine and all the secondary characters, including Will and Jem and Charlotte, are engaging and sympathetic. I thought this book was much more mature than the TMI series, so I'm very much looking forward to reading the next two Infernal Devices instalments.