When the Moon was Ours Books Review

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Number of pages: 288

Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1

Rating (out of five stars): 4

I wish I had pushed myself to read When the Moon was Ours before now. I did have some issues with it, but with this one, the good outweighs the bad.

The prose was a bit too heavy in the beginning of the novel. It became less of an issue as the book progressed, but I felt as if the author was trying too hard for the first little bit.

The writing also made it difficult to get into. Again, once I got further into the book, I was hooked, but it wasn’t as compelling in the beginning.

I didn’t really understand the motivations of the other 3 Bonner sisters. I understand Ivy’s motives, but I don’t understand why the others went along with it for so long, especially since they seemed to know what they were doing was wrong.

Other than those little gripes, When the Moon was Ours was a lovely story about facing your fears and learning who you are. It hits you where it hurts and keeps on swinging.

I found Sam’s story particularly impactful. I would even go as far as to say his part of When the Moon was Ours stole the show. It was written in such a way that it felt as if Miel was supposed to be more of the main character, but I think Sam’s story was far more compelling. Miel’s story still had an emotional impact, but Sam’s story is the one that truly made me tear up.

I also loved learning about bacha posh. I even looked it up (not extensively) after finishing When the Moon was Ours, which I rarely end up doing. It was incredibly enlightening to read about this tradition I had never heard of before reading this book.

The magical realism aspects of the story also weren’t as strange and unbelievable as I thought they would be. I had to read a few sentences twice a couple of times, but other than that it wasn’t too difficult to wrap my head around what was going on.

Overall, I had a few issues with When the Moon was Ours, but ultimately it was an enjoyable and important story. It has therefore earner 4 out of 5 stars.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Book Review

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Number of pages: 301

Number of times read (including the time before this review): 1

Rating (out of five stars): 3

I’m not sure what I expected from a book about a girl with wings, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. I’m not disappointed; I think there is something with magical realism that simply doesn’t click with me. I’m also not one for deep messages and hidden meanings behind everything in books. I am not going to pay attention to minute details just to figure out the ending (this is not a direct criticism of the book in question).

I think the thing that bothered me the most was how we didn’t meet the titular character until 100 pages into the book. I guess it was interesting to see two generations of background, but you would think the book would focus more on Ava Lavender herself. I didn’t really care for learning about her grandmother’s sister turning herself canary. It was strange details like that that forced me to have to read sentences 10 times. They are just brushed over as if it’s nothing.

Speaking of weird, it was a mix of too much weird with too little acknowledgement of how weird it really was. People spontaneously turning to blue ash; perfectly normal! Girls who don’t age; happens every day! It was so strange that a week later I still have no idea what happened at the end.

The book is set around the 1950s, but it felt a little too modern once Ava was born. Maybe the 1950s were really similar to now minus cell phones and laptops, but I’m not convinced.

On the plus side, this strange little book was incredibly well written with well-developed characters.  No characters were mentioned arbitrarily; everyone played a role in the story, no matter how small. It fit what I assume is the message, and the setting of a small town well.

Overall, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender was well-written, but didn’t click with me, earning 3 out of 5 stars.

As a side note, thank you to everyone who help bring For the Lover of Books to just over 50 followers, it means the world to me.