Wings by Aprilynne Pike
I AM SO RIDICULOUSLY SURPRISED BY HOW MUCH I ENJOYED THIS!
I came so close–so! close!–to not reading this. I bought it years ago by a friend’s request and almost gave it away to my cousin, like, a week before reading it. Such a mistake! Holy!
Wings picks up with fifteen-year-old Laurel’s first day of Sophomore year, trading in her homeschooling for a new house and public education. Aside from her strange habits, everything is perfectly normal until a lump growing between Laurel’s shoulder blades blooms into a pale flower. What follows is a magical induction to the world of faeries, a discovery of surprising heritage, and a malicious ploy for power. Get excited.
I love love love what Pike did with the faerie myth. Most of the time in books we get the court dynamic and high fae like with Sarah J. Maas’ ACOTAR series, Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King, and even with Cassie Clare’s Shadowhunter world; Wings is the first book I’ve read that acts on the traditional fairy kind of faerie, as in plant people with powers. Sure, Pike made changes like with wings and types of powers and the whole not being tiny thing, but at its core this book explores those English countryside-style fairies, the reason for all those iron horseshoes on 19th-c. doors. This time ’round it’s not complicated politics and half-truths that are the problem but cruel mischief and manipulation.
Laurel is surprisingly comfortable considering her years of homeschooling and jumps right in to all her new experiences–be they mundane high school shenanigans or crazy faerie occurrences. She’s fun and mostly confident but can be frustratingly clueless at times. I don’t know if it’s just because I read enough to know what to expect but seriously, Laurel? You have a flower in your back, you only eat fruits and veggies, and your blood is weird but no, you’re definitely not a faerie *frustrated eye roll* Ah, well, I love her anyway.
Pike’s novel is your typical YA love triangle between the safe best friend and the supernatural temptation. Usually I don’t like the whole best-friends-in-love thing…at all…but David and Laurel have a flirty relationship from the start and they only become friends with the start of the book so it’s not a long, drawn out pining on either behalf. Tamani and Laurel on the other hand have a secret history and he’s by no means shy about his attraction towards her. David and Tamani have such different personalities but they’re both insanely likeable ans oh so easy to get attatched to. The interaction of both couples, and even all three of them together is so perfectly balanced, the chemistry unmistakable –it’s impossible to really pick a favourite because both of them are lovely!
In terms of story, there’s a bit of a mystery going on here but I have to emphasize the ‘a bit’ because I had it figured out in an instant. Actually, aside from the supernatural piece thrown into it I had everything figured out almost instantaneously: the house, the people, the land–all of it. A word to the wise: don’t go into this wanting to be surprised because you probably won’t be. Apart from that though, I don’t really have anything negative to say.
Again, I have to say I was surprised. Completely surprised. Shocked, even. Wings was about 10 000x better than I’d expected. Even with the irksome un-acceptance of our MC and the so-called mystery that isn’t really a mystery to the reader at all, I can’t bring myself to truly say or think anything bad about it. What I thought would be a read to pass the time has quite unexpectedly sent me and my broke ass on the hunt for #2!
Click here for the book synopsis on goodreads!