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Wings Hardcover – May 5, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10–Homeschooled Laurel begins public high school as a tenth grader when her adoptive parents move to LA., leaving behind the land that has been in her mother's family since the Gold Rush days. The many clues that Laurel is different (she is strictly vegan; sunlight seems to shine through her fair skin; she never gets cold; she craves the outdoors; she doesn't menstruate) culminate in a bump on her back growing to the size of a softball and blooming into a flower that has foot-long petals. Returning to her parents' land, she meets Tamini, a faerie to whom she is attracted, who tells her that she is not human, but rather is a plant or, more specifically, a faerie. David, her accepting and supportive classmate, tests her tissue and confirms that Tamini is right. When a creepy alleged realtor pressures the family to sell the land, the teens become suspicious, and they are soon fighting for their lives in a centuries-old battle between faeries and trolls. Laurel's struggles to figure out what it means to be human are matched by her struggles to determine what it means to be a faerie, and she is torn between love for David and love for Tamini. The ending allows for many possibilities in the upcoming sequels. The book has a nice mix of danger and romance, the world of magic and the world of high school, with well-developed characters and a quick-moving plot.–Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
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From Booklist

Fifteen-year-old Laurel has led a sheltered, homeschooled life in a very small town, so when her parents decide to move and enroll her in high school, she has trouble getting used to her new life. A life, as it turns out, that’s not at all like those of other kids. One clear sign is a winglike blossom that blooms on her back. Oh, and her new best friend, the scientifically minded David, reveals under a microscope that her cells are more plant than animal. But it takes an encounter at her old home with the handsome but decidedly different Tamani to convince her that she is a faerie. She also learns it’s up to her to save her land from the evil influences that are trying to take it away from her and her family. This first novel is clearly designed to attract the Twilight set, though there’s significantly less edge (and blood). There is, however, a familiar triangle. Will Laurel choose solid, steady David, or will she be unable to resist Tamani’s lure? Stay tuned. Fine escapist fare, this neatly mixes the everyday with the otherworldly. Grades 6-9. --Ilene Cooper

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 294 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1st edition (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061668036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061668036
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (374 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #950,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Aprilynne Pike is the critically acclaimed, internationally and #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Wings series. She has been spinning stories since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. Since then she has worked as a waitress, a restaurant manager, a slush-pile reader, an editor, a childbirth educator, and a doula.

When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found out running; she also enjoys singing, acting, and (of course!) reading books about magic and kissing. Aprilynne lives in Arizona with her husband and four kids; she is enjoying the sunshine.

For more information about Aprilynne, go to

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 66 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Kossler on May 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Today, I had the greatest difficulty trying to get my hands on this book. I first stopped at the local Troll (ha... ha... ha...) & Noble, hoping that since the book's publisher was HarperCollins, they'd have it. To my sadness, they didn't, and they didn't seem to understand why they didn't have it either. Hm. Fortunately, I managed to find it in an obscure bookstore that I have found has a much more reliable stash of YA goodies for sale. Yay discoveries!

Anyways, I agree with the reviewer who stated that the book starts a little slowly. I wasn't too enamored with David, as he's nice but nothing very interesting. When protagonist Laurel started growing flowers out of her back, that's when it caught my attention. Alas, not enough to interrupt my afternoon nap, but still, I continued the book after dinner.

About half-way through, it started getting really interesting.

First, we meet Tam. This guy has all the charms of Edward and none of the obnoxiousness. We meet him once, then spend some more time playing detective, and all the while I'm thinking "homg...homg... when are we going to see forestboy again?" Fortunately, there was no disappointment in sight! Hurrah! (Random Book-Thought Moment: Tam, you need to wear gloves whenever Laurel's in bloom. We readers can see right through your shenanigans. <wink>) We got to see him multiple more times, and even lead up to a very pleasing climax, with lots of action and kick butt. As fascinating as he is, I'm glad he's not invincible. It's nice to have the heroine have some part in the butt-kicking ending.

Speaking of the butt-kick ending, I loved that. I apologize for using ambiguous terms in this review, but I'm avoiding spoiling any plot bunnies for readers on the fence who might be reading this review.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on May 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Gold Star Award Winner!

What happens when you find out that you are different? Not just a little different but really DIFFERENT?!

Laurel finds herself in public school for the first time when she is a sophomore. She has been homeschooled in a small cabin in the forest. Her parents moved to Crescent City, in Northern California, about an hour away from her cabin to open a bookstore.

At her high school Laurel meets David, and he invites her to join his group of friends. He also becomes her best friend.

As she is getting settled into her new life, she gets a bump on her back - which grows bigger and bigger until she sprouts a pretty blue blossom. This blossom makes her look like she has wings.

She manages to hide it from her family and the people at school, but she and David begin to investigate. He looks at cells of her blossom and her cheeks and comes to the conclusion that she is made of plant cells.

Laurel goes back to her cabin home in search of answers. There she meets Tamani, a gorgeous young man who tells her that she is a fairy. She has been helping the fairies guard a secret that is by her cabin home.

Later, her dad takes ill and Laurel and David risk their lives fighting trolls, who are trying to acquire Laurel's forest home. These trolls are scary! They are big, strong, and the main one is smart.

WINGS is the first of four books, and it leaves us with Laurel living two different lives. Should she go back to her fairy life with Tamani, or stay and guard her adoptive parents and be with David, who Laurel also has feelings for?

I really loved this book. It had everything: love, chases, close escapes, dramatic choices, and lots of magic.
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42 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Sires on May 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Laurel, a fifteen year old who had previously been home schooled by her parents, now finds herself undergoing her first experience as a "normal" high school student. She and her parents have just moved from a log cabin on a piece of property that had been in her mother's family for generations to a small house in a town where her father is living his life-long dream of owning a bookstore. Her mother is a naturopath.

At first things seem to be going well for Laurel as she meets David, a cute, popular boy in her class. David not only accepts her dietary habits (vegan) as well as her need to be outside at lunch instead of in the cafeteria,introduces her to his friends who also immediately accept her. Then one day Laurel notices an odd bump on her back and things begin to change.

The best YA books are simply good books. I have more than one shelf with books that gripped and interested me from a very young age. I pull them down and reread them at times. This book wouldn't have made this shelf-- it's ok, but not gripping. Although important things are said to be at risk, the author does not manage to make the reader feel that possibly something important would be lost if the heroine doesn't win. The author also seems to have neutralized any potential conflict between the younger characters from the start. They are just too "understanding" and reliable to be real teens.

Wings is being touted as a teen book, but it would likely be suitable for younger advanced readers. There's some violence but nothing terribly disturbing. There's some age appropriate boy/girl interaction--not explicit. The publishers scored a blurb from Stephenie Meyer, but the Twilight fan may find the book emotionally tepid.

As for the story, it's not very demanding.
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