Review – Wings
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  • Posted:
  • May 16, 2010

 

 

I think I needed an easy read after I finished Michael Grant’s Gone books. Everything I tried this week has either not stuck or I wasn’t in the head space for. I needed something light and fluffy. Well, ask and ye shall receive.

I found out exactly what I needed from the totally different end of the Harper teen spectrum (who also publish Gone). Wings is the debut novel from Aprilynne Pike about young Laurel, a girl who finds out that she is different from most people. At the start of the novel Laurel is beginning life at high school after being home schooled her entire life. She quickly realizes that she doesn’t fit in with most of her classmates who seem content with being cooped up in school all day. Laurel feels confined and would rather spend her free time outside whenever possible. She also eats a vegan diet of strict fruits and vegetables which confound her new friends Chelsea and David.

In David she finds an ally and a confidante and she will soon need it. One morning Laurel feels a bump on her back, typical for any teenage girl but soon turns out to be completely out of the ordinary. From the bump sprouts a floral blossom resembling wings. Laurel, who was adopted by her parents when she was little, has no idea how to react to this. She decides to keep it a secret from all except for David, who despite the oddity is falling for her more and more each day. But how to keep something a secret that seems to be a part of you?

This book was fun to read – a little fluffier on the romancey side than I usually care for, but a fun read. It’s not earth shattering or terribly inventive, though I do appreciate the description and the research done on Laurel’s bloom and the ramifications that Pike boils the story down to. She certainly wasn’t lazy with the science in this bit of the book and I found that to be a joy to read. Where she lost me was in the conflict at the end of the book with the baddies who were tricking Laurel’s parents into selling them their land and the subsequent kidnapping and attempted murder that results from it. It’s a touch goofy, and when Laurel finally does reveal who and what she is to her parents Pike doesn’t even write that bit, she just dodges over it.

Overall the effect of this concentrates so much of the story on the inter-personal relationships between Laurel, Daivd, and Tamani, a man who Laurel meets fairly early in the book. Like I said, it’s romance… soft romance, since it’s for teens. A little bit more gushy than I tend to like my romance books too. If there’s a love triangle brewing I’d like there to be some conflict, some tension. The conflict here is barely scratched upon and Laurel just feels like she’s bouncing between two guys and everyone is hunky-dory until the end. I’m pretty sure it’s not meant to be handled with polyamourous tones implied, but no one seems to be fighting over it that much to negate this; jealous looks here and there and one person weakly calling her on the carpet about it, but otherwise nothing. Sigh. Need more conflict than that, my friend.

I feel like I’m giving away more of the book than usual, but there’s still a lot left there to indulge in. This is such a guilty pleasure read for me, and I will admit I plan to read Spells… reluctantly, with eyes downcast. I like it, but I feel guilty liking it because I have so much to dislike about it.

I would give this a 3.5, but I will round it up to a 4 of 5 stars for the scientific explanation. I really did like that bit.

-BP

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