Saturday, 18 February 2017

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Wing JonesTitle: Wing Jones
Author: Katherine Webber
Publisher: Walker Books
Jandy Nelson meets Friday Night Lights: a sweeping story about love and family from an exceptional new voice in YA. With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing's speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants.

Wing Jones is the debut novel of Katherine Webber, set in the 90s in the US. The story follows Wing, who has always felt out of place. She has Ghanaian and Chinese heritage and that has always set her apart from the crowd in her southern state, and not always in a good way. When Wing is faced with a tragic and complicated event that she can't quite handle, she finds a talent for running she never knew she had. It's not only the perfect escape from her problems, but might be a solution to some of her families problems too.

Image result for i love it gifThis is truly a spectacular and stunning debut from Katherine Webber, I honestly couldn't put this book down. It just gripped me straight away, I became so heavily invested in these characters, especially the incredible Wing. The writing was absolutely beautiful and I will most definitely be reading whatever Webber does next. I especially loved how much diversity there was in this book, Webber wasn't afraid to tackle tough subjects, like racism, which was important considering the 90s setting in Southern USA.It felt especially poignant given the current political climate in the US, and elsewhere in the world right now.

What I loved most about this book was definitely the writing. There is just something about Webber's writing that grabs me, so that even during one of the worst reading slumps I have ever had, I was completely unable to put this book down. She writes fantastic characters, making it so no secondary character ever feels secondary. Wing was definitely my favourite, I'm sure she will be for many, she is strong in ways she doesn't even know, so many people will be able to relate to Wing. She feels oiut of place and like there is nowhere she fits, but she's also proud of who she is and isn't looking to change herself or who she is to fit a standard dictated by others, and that is fantastic to see.

This was quite an emotional book, dealing with some hard hitting issues and this book really touched me. My only issue with it was that I felt there was not a lot of closure to the story. There was so much more I wanted to see and know what happened, especially in regards to Wing's brother. I finished the book wishing there was at least another couple of chapters, as I didn't get all of the answers that I had wanted.

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Basically me when the dragon & lion showed up.
The only other thing that threw me off about this book was the fact that by about page 7 we are introduced to an imaginary lioness and dragon that Wing sees, They come to her when she needs them most, they're with her throughout her running journey, but they are just plain weird to me. Call them a metaphor, magical realism, a figment of Wing's imagination, whatever they were they felt wholly unnecessary. To me, they added absolutely nothing to the story, it would have been the exact same book without them. I also thought it was a bit too much to have the girl with Ghanaian and Chinese heritage have a lioness and a dragon as her imaginary guardians, but that might just be me.

Personally, I felt this was a superb debut and a great contemporary young adult story. I loved the characters, I loved the writing and I loved the story itself. I also adored the romance in this book, it was utterly adorable. I also loved that the romance wasn't the main focus of the book, or Wing's main focus, I am definitely going to be eagerly awaiting whatever Webber does next.

4/5 Butterflies

 I received a copy of this book from Walker Books in exchange for an honest review. 

3 comments:

  1. I am going to be reading this soon so hopefully I enjoy this as much as you have!

    xx Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

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  2. Ah! I've heard so many good things about this book! I'm even more convinced to pick it up!

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  3. This sounds like such a good debut novel, and I am glad you were able to enjoy it so much. I really like the sound of this one being about culture, and really sinking in emotionally. And it's always a good sign when the writing style resounds so well with you!

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