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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Wings" by Aprilynne Pike (reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Order Wings from Amazon Here

Romance novels seem to be a major hit with teens and adults during the summer months. Aprilynne Pike's debut novel Wings comes on the just before the summer rush and is sure to be a hit with readers alike.

Laurel has spent her whole life believing that she is just a regular person, although some of her habits are slightly different from those of the other children. When Laurel's family decides to move from their old family home to a new busier city and send her to school after years of being home schooled, things start to change. Laurel meets David, a boy from her classes and forms an instant friendship with him.

While in an attempt to sell the old house, a mysterious man has made the family an offer that they can't refuse. It appears that whenever anyone wants to buy the house they magically forget that they have put in a bid, or even were looking at that particular house. There just appears to be something wrong with this guy but no one but Laurel seems to feel danger from this interaction.

Meanwhile, one morning Laurel wakes up with an odd shaped lump on her back. What that lump turns into will change not only her life but the lives of others around her. She soon discovers that there is another world out there that she belonged to, and that she may have left her one true love in that world.

Wings is filled with romance, action, and plenty of mythological creatures from faeries to trolls. This book includes many aspects beyond just a romance.

From the moment that I first started reading, Wings captured my attention. Normally not a type of book that I would normally jump at it held a lot of qualities that not only teen readers will enjoy but also adult readers will enjoy as an easy read.

At 300 pages, there is a lot that is covered and explored throughout this book. There is not only a love triangle between Laurel, a human boy and later on a faerie boy, but there is the action between the evil creatures that wish to buy Laurel's old house in hopes of gaining control of the portal to the faerie world. This mixture of romance and action doesn't always appear to work out in books, but Pike seems to know the perfect balance between the two elements. There was never a moment when I felt that the romance was too consuming of the book, and the action/adventure parts of the book fit in nicely with the plot.

The major strength of Pike's writing is the unique ideas presented throughout the book. While many readers are used to the mythical faeries being pretty and having all these delicate features. Pike takes the whole idea of faeries to a new level: There is the sprouting flower on her back, and different faeries being born with different abilities. Having these "out of the box" ideas throughout the book, make the reading more enjoyable.

The beginning of the book is a tad bit slow going. Readers are shown throughout Laurel's school day, and her forming a friendship, with David. However, once the world of the faeries is introduced the book seemed to roll right along until the end.

If there is a weakness throughout the book, it would have to be the frustration that I felt as a reader with some of the characters. There were times when during the story I would get frustrated at the characters for not doing a certain thing, such as telling an adult about a certain problem. There was also the character of David while I enjoyed him in the story, he was just perfect to a T, driving Laurel everywhere, saying the right thing, and acting way beyond the age that he was in the book. While this didn't take away from the book, everything seemed to be believable except this boy, he was just to perfect.

As with all series, the end of the book does leave off with a cliffhanger to the next book. There is a conclusion and readers won't be left hanging, however they will anxiously be awaiting the next installment of the series. In a way it seems that the book ended just when it was getting good, but that should just make the next installment even better.

In the end, keeping in mind that this is a YA book with a targeted audience of teens, this book was a gem and a great start to the summer reading. Wings is a wonderful debut for a promising Young Adult author, and will definitely be a must read for fantasy/romance fans.

NOTE: Wings is the first of four books. It was released through HarperCollinsTEEN, and hits the shelves today, May 5th.


Alice said...

I just got this book and I am so excited to read it. Great review and I think I like the UK cover better.

Cindy said...

I have to say that this book far exceeded my expectations. I was really impressed with it. I've never read twilight or any of that, but this was really good.

I too like the UK cover better, I have to say I wasn't impressed with the US cover!

Thanks for the comments, let me know what you think of it!

Unknown said...

This is just a lovely book, one that I will have to look for. Thanks for sharing!

I'm lovin' the UK cover art!

Dottie :)

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

I've had this on my TBR list ever since I saw the gorgeous US cover on HarperTeen a few weeks ago. Thanks for the great review, I definitely want to read it even more =D

Aprilynne said...

Thanks so much for the review!! I love getting reader feedback!!



Athena said...

I loved this book! I can't wait for the others to be released! Does anyone know when the rest are supposed to be released? Or are the dates not released yet??

Thanks : )


Cindy said...

You're welcome Aprilynne! I enjoyed the book :).

I haven't heard of any publication dates, but if I do I'll let people know here. Usually with books like this it's at least a year before the next one :(

Audrey said...

I was not at all impressed by this book. I felt the characters were stiff and wooden and the dialogue was completely forced and at times just dumb. David was the most wooden of the characters, way too perfect and no personality to speak of. The title was not a good pick because Laurel only mentions wings once in the book and the things on her back weren't even wings. Silly, not very believable. That sums up the whole book for me.

On a positive note, very creative idea for the faeries, completely original. I'm excited to read about Avalon.

Cindy said...

I see all the points you brought up. I think what I liked the most was that it was a quick read, as I Said the frustration was in how perfect the boy was. I mean someone shows me these wings I'd be like "Freak" or run away. And the driving around when the kid just got it no matter where she wants to go.

I would like to see how the Fairie realm is portrayed.

You know I never thought of the title and such, you are right the wings were a tiny part unless you could the first half and the girl's reaction to her wings as the majority of the book.

I could have done without the whole, she goes to lunch and looks at guy. If I read ONE more books where the girl falls in love from across the science room I'll scream :). Why doesn't anyone fall in love in Math or History?


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