- 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
- Average Customer Review: 376 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wings Hardcover – May 5, 2009
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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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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
Top customer reviews
I felt the resolution of the plot was a little 'convenient'. However, for this type of story it is only a minor negative in an otherwise good book.
This is not a high tension book, which is why I say it's a light read. There's tension, but the level of tension is engaging not exhausting.
I think this book is appropriate for pre-teens. There is a lot of hugging, resting heads on shoulders and some kissing. But it's all pretty sweet and innocent and reasonable for the two 15 year old characters. Sex it talked about, in very broad terms and only briefly.
There is one scene with some gun shots, but none are fired by the main character and the target isn't human.
I recommend this book and will very likely read the next in the series.
From a technical standpoint, this book was written from the point of view of a narrator, something that I see less and less of in YA literature. I generally like first-person stories better because I feel like I get the main character better, but this really worked for this story line and the characters involved in it.
The faery mythology in this book was different than most of what I have read before, these faeries very different from the traditional winged creatures we are used to in literature. Instead, these faeries really tied in the concept of nature by being less humanoid and more plant-based. With that, a faery's appearance changed in accordance with the kinds of food they, as in their hair and eye colors. I loved that little detail! Also interesting is the fact that their "wings" had a real purpose beyond being pretty or for movement. All of these things created an interesting and refreshingly different world.
The characters in this book were fantastic. Laurel is our main characters and is seemingly your typical teenage girl. She is the new girl, in public school for the first time in her life. She is beautiful and she knows it without being stuck on it, slim with blonde hair and green eyes. Instead, she is feeling shy and out of her comfort zone when we first meet her. She has been homeschooled until now, living in a tiny town, giving her a complete lack of social interaction with kids her age. That awkwardness makes her real. I loved her loyalty to her friends, even despite all she learns about her history as a faerie. She doesn’t forget them when she discovers the truth about herself. Her “back and forth” between Tamani and David sometimes bothered me, even though I understood it and it was essential to the story line. David is fascinating in that his character accepts Laurel with very little hesitation, perhaps even before she accepts herself. He is highly intelligent and very much a scientific mind which I think helped him accept her. Tamani is interesting because he is rather otherworldly. He is fae, like Laurel, and has lived in the human world just about as long as she has. But they are very different people despite this. She was raised in the human world, living with the ideals and ways of humans. Tamani, even though he technically lived in the human world, lived apart from it. He understood human ways on the surface, but always came across as aloof from human ways.
Things to love about Wings...
--The mythology. As I talked about, it was very different than most books today and I really enjoyed that. It helped to emphasize the nature elements of fae culture.
--The tie-in with established mythology. This book blended Pike's created fae mythology with the mythology of Avalon, my pet favorite.
Things I wanted more or less of...
--A little less Twilight feel. At the beginning, there was a bit of that Edward/Bella feel to it, the pacing maybe a little slow for some reason. Despite my lack of love of that Twilight feeling, I do think that the pace actually served to further the impact of Laurel's self-discovery.
--A little more explanation. I never really found out why gaining access to the Gate to Avalon suddenly became so important to the trolls. Why now? And was it for their use, or someone else’s?
--A little less judgment. Laurel's mother and her reaction to Laurel's reality bugged me.
Some quotastic goodness...
--Typical mother advice. Sweet, honest, and completely useless (7).
--This was way more than some strange manifestation of puberty. Mood swings, disfiguring acne, even periods that went on for months were at least semi-normal. But growing oversized flower petals out of your back from a zit the size of a softball? This was something else entirely (49).
--Her lips filled with the sweetness of his mouth, and Tamani held her against him as if he could somehow pull her inside of him, make her part of him. And for a moment, she did feel like part of him. As if their kiss bridged the gap between two worlds, even if only for that one brief, sparkling moment (289).
My recommendation: A fantastic read for anyone charmed by fae lore, Avalon, and the epic struggle between good vs. evil.
Now, what I didn’t like. She never sold me on the blossom. I mean that she had this huge bump on her back, yet she never told her parents even though they were close. It never made sense to me that no one noticed. Also the girl (forgot her name) who had the crush on David, but said she was happy that Laurel was with him. I was a teenager once and I seriously doubt that I would be happy that one of my friends was dating the guy I’ve been crushing on for years. I mean, I think I’m a nice person, but I doubt I’d cheer them on. I can say that the first half of the book was slow, but I think that’s because she was setting up the story. The second half was really exciting and I’m going to read the rest of the series because of that. All in all, this was a good read. I would recommend this book. It’s a fun and unique faerie story.
Most recent customer reviews
the start, new girl shows up at school and meets amazing boyfriend on first day, is probably the most unrealistic section,...Read more