Diese Rezension schreibe ich auf Englisch, da ich das Buch von der englischen Seite von NetGalley kostenlos bekommen habe und die Rezension dort auch veröffentlichen werde – und keine Lust habe, es zweimal zu schreiben.
This review will be in English, because I got the novel from the english site of NetGalley for free and want to post my review on there, too – and I don’t feel like writing it two times.
I was able to read this book as a review copy, thanks to NetGalley, House of Capet Publishing / Xpresso Book Tours and the author Lily Velez.
Author: Lily Velez; Published: 2016; Publisher: House of Capet Publishing; Number of Pages: 276; Genre: Romance, LGBT+, Historical, Fantasy; Price: Paperback: 12,57€, eBook: 2,99€
My Rating: 10/10 Points (5/5 stars)
„It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France.
Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm–a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.
Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.
Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.
Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.“
Ooooooh my. So many feelings! Such great characters. A few days ago I finished the novel and don’t you think I’m over it, I’m still feeling all these emotions. But from the start.
When I requested the book, I somehow missed the fact, that it’s set in the past? Or forgot it until I finally started to actually read it? Especially because the story wouldn’t make any sense in the present? I have no idea what I was thinking – however, I was mildly surprised when I started reading and found it to be set in 1802. :D In the beginning I was a bit sceptical about it, but very soon I started to love it.
The story is so pure. The main character, Noah, is a character I have never read about in any other book before. He is so reserved, only talks if he needs to, so happy with just being by himself and with the animals on the farm, so quickly so unsure around other people. And so loveable, so amazing, so kind, so pure – I just had to love him, Lily Velez gave me no other choice, from the very start on. Just for this character it’s already worth reading the book.
Then there is Jeremie. As the summary says – he’s quite the opposite, being charismatic and open and so lively and can’t stop talking about his books – and I fell in love with him just as much as with Noah. These two have one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read – so true and pure and forbidden (at that time) and strong nevertheless.
Then there are all the other characters – Noahs family and Jeremies family. One to love and one to hate. And within Noahs family so many different characters, especially his sisters – Camilla, the youngest, whom I didn’t like in the beginning but then found myself to like her more and more as the story progressed, and Margaux, such a great character as well, just as her relationship to and her understanding of Noah.
Lily Velez is an amazing writer. I love her style of writing – so easy to imagine everything, and she has a talent for making the reader feel exactly what her characters are feeling. The story is very gripping (it made me miss my bus stops five (5!!!) times, can you believe that), has some very beautiful and pure parts, some dangerous ones, some sad ones, some funny ones – everything is there. Backstories, historic accuracy as far as I can judge, character development, and oh, did I mention all the feelings? I laughed, I cried, I loved, I mourned, I was angry and happy, and sometimes all at once.
I just want to add a quote I especially loved – Jeremie is talking about Noah’s quiteness:
„Different, yes, but not at all exasperating. In my experience, I’ve found that our differences are what make life fascinating. Imagine, for instance, if all the flowers on your farm looked completely identical from one to the other. What beauty would there be in that? None, I should think. It’s the same with the human race. Our differences shouldn’t divide us. They should be cause to celebrate. They should be something we marvel at. Besides, if everyone in the world only talked, then who would be left to listen?“ (eBook Pos. 574, Chapter 7)
I’d like to conclude my review with a quote from NetGalley, which describes it very well:
„A gripping and heartbreaking tragic love story that examines friendship, family, fear, and […] the finality of loss. With writing that exudes striking beauty and poetic elegance, Lavender in Bloom is an exceptionally emotional and unforgettable read.“
And also, such amazing characters, so many emotions, I can’t.
Just read it.