Title: Wing Jones
Author: Katherine Webber
Release date: January 5th, 2017
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Rating: 5/5 stars
This book has been on my TBR since it came out, but a little while back I started getting into running so naturally I wanted to read a book about someone who runs. Besides that, this book is praised for its diversity and I really need to read some more diverse books. Therefore this book seemed the perfect choice to pick up, and as you can see from my rating, I was right.
This book is about Wing Jones, a 16-year-old girl who lives with her mother, two grandmothers (one from Asia and one from Ghana), and her ‘perfect’ brother. She has been in his shadow for her entire life… until he causes something terrible to happen. Wing no longer knows how to feel about her brother, who has always been her hero. On one night she discovers her running talent and she starts to feel more free than ever before. But the thought of being able to save her family with her talent puts even more pressure on her than before. With the help of new friends and her brother’s best friend, she tries to piece things back together before they fall apart again.
At the beginning of this book Wing is very much in her brother’s shadow. He is the picture perfect high school football-star, whereas she doesn’t have any friends in school and spends all her nights at home (no shame, who needs parties anyway). But her character-arc is pretty amazing. Once she finds the thing she is passionate about, she starts to become more confident in herself and even make new friends. I like how Wing was pretty sensible, she didn’t do any stupid and annoying stuff. Her actions were understandable and I was able to feel for her.
Speaking of Wing’s brother, Marcus. Like I said, he is pretty picture perfect at the beginning of the story. Until he causes something horrible to happen, that is. I don’t want to spoil anything in this review, but I have to say I didn’t like Marcus’ character very much.
Now let’s get into the love interest, Aaron. I absolutely loved Aaron. I particularly liked that he didn’t force Wing into anything. Again, no spoilers, let’s just say he lets her be her own person and can take a step back. I really appreciated that.
I thought the grandmothers, Granny Dee & Lao Lao, added a lot to the story. They, as well as her mother, really grounded Wing. The family relations were very well portrayed and it added to Wing’s character.
As you can tell form my rating, I absolutely loved this book. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before and I will tell you the reasons why I thought it was so amazing.
First of all I like that Wing has an original hobby. I have read my fair share of YA novels, but I have never read a book in which the main character is a runner. It’s a great way to show diversity.
Which brings me to my next point. This book is incredibly diverse. Not only does this book include diverse hobbies, it also includes racial diversity. Wing is half Asian (on her mum’s side) and half African-American (on her father’s side). These cultures are very much shown by Wing’s two grandmothers who live with her.
The third element of this book that I enjoyed was the family dynamic. Wing is a 16-year-old girl and it just makes sense that her family plays a huge part in her life. She has a lot of respect for both her grandmothers and her mum. Besides that, she looks up to her older brother Marcus. This was something I could very much relate to. The age-gap between Wing and Marcus is about the same as the age-gap between my older brother and I. I’ve always looked up to him and I can’t imagine what I would do if my brother and I were put in the situation Wing and Marcus are in. I understood the choices Wing made in this book and I thought she was very sensible, but not too much so that it became unbelievable.
The best thing I can do for my poor heart is to press myself even closer to him and hope my heart will hear his, and that will calm it.
There is genuinely nothing that I didn’t like about this book. The only thing that took me a little while to get used to was the magical realism. But although I had to get into it, I did enjoy the part it played in the story.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book to any lovers of YA contemporary. Or anyone who likes to read about realistic families, not a book focussed completely on romance.
Lots of Love,
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