Publication Date 5/5/2009
Wings, by Aprilynne Pike is the story of a young girl’s transformation during a rather vulnerable time of her life. At 14 years old, Laurel’s family moves from their cozy little house in Orick to a larger city in Northern California. Up until then, Laurel had been home schooled by her mother. The move to the larger city results in Laurel’s enrollment in a public school. After making a relatively easy transition into a world of peers, Laurel begins to go through some magical changes that forces her to question and investigate her identity and role in the world.
What caught my eye about this book was the praise quoted on the cover by Stephanie Meyer. That enough gave me cause for concern. I did read all 4 Twilight books (and all in one week too), so I am well aware of Meyer’s way with words. However, one thing that frustrated me eternally with the Twilight series was that for the majority of all the books (particularly Breaking Dawn), NOTHING HAPPENED! All talking, all build up and no closure. Well, Wings ended up following the same formula as the Twlight series. The first half of the book was slow and laid a lot of the foundation for Laurel’s story. I did find her story interesting, but I think Pike could have taken it to another level. There was more science than drama. I was expecting there to be more complications with Laurel’s transition into a new school, with people her own age. Instead, Laurel immediately catches the eye of a rather popular boy at school in biology class who quickly introduces her to a group of friends, all on the second day of school. While the more than half the book is dedicated to Laurel’s transformation, the last 1/4th of the book actually revolved any real conflict and even that wasn’t very exciting. The book does leave itself open to a sequel, for anyone who did enjoy the book.
I think this book will appeal more to the tween age group than it would to high schoolers. What I liked about the story is that Laurel’s transformation into a faery parallels what most girls go through when they hit puberty. There is a lot of confusion and mixed up emotion. There are a few swear words towards the end, but for the most part, the book is fairly innocent. Although Laurel is described as resembling a model with her waif figure and pale white skin, I think kids will relate more to her emotions and actions than her looks. I think Pike really caught onto to teenage awkwardness through Laurel, and I think that is something tween can identify with.
FINAL GRADE: B-Wings by Aprilynne Pike Harper Teen, 5/5/2009 ISBN 0061668036 295 pages