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.
Wow. What an incredible debut! I would never have guessed this book was a debut – the writing is simply beautiful.
This book is like no other. The writing was beautiful in a simple kind of way, and it helped the pages turn so quickly.
I honestly didn’t know how I’d find this book – the synopsis is quite brief and it left me pretty clueless about the book apart from the racial diversity. It really was a pleasant surprise!
“I feel like it might take over, like I might drown in my wanting.”
The characters had real depth to them. The culture flowed and shone throughout the novel, giving the story a kind of magic I don’t often see in YA. The contemporary style didn’t feel like contemporary – it felt like more. Contemporary is simple…this book was more.
Talking about the characters, Wing made for an amazing MC. She was relatable, honest and well, real. She made mistakes, she didn’t know what she wanted and she didn’t try to cover up her feelings to make herself more likable. I also found her incredibly inspirational, brave and heroic. She is my new bookish hero!
But it wasn’t just Wing that I adored. I loved the dynamic in her family and friends. I love how much they were included in the novel. Sometimes, you can read a romance novel without even meeting side-characters. In fact, it’s rare to have real depth to everyone in a story. This book beat all of those sterotypes.
“Like I’ll be nothing but want.”
The plot flowed magically for a book set over a period of months. I lost myself in the time and I couldn’t have told you how long the book lasted. We obviously skipped days and maybe even weeks at times but just like with Windfall, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.
Let’s also mention that magical realism! I won’t talk about it too much, but this book features some great little side animals that I thought would find weird and childish but I honestly didn’t. It was lovely.
“Like I won’t be able to think about anything or do anything but just want him.”
Let’s talk a little about the diversity in this book. This book includes people of so many different nationalities and backgrounds – and I loved that about it! But it doesn’t just stop at race, this book also featured an lesbian side-character who I think was represented really well.
Along with diversity, this book also tackled some really important topics – love, friendship, grief, growing up, family, and bullying.
Okay, so I’m sure you’ve gathered there are a LOT of things I loved about this book. I could literally go on and on. So I’ll wrap up with one last thing – go and read this. Please.
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽