“ Genre: Junior Books / Author: Aprilynne Pike / Paperback / 356 Pages / Book is published 2009-04-30 by HarperCollins Children's Books „
Wings is the first of four books by Aprilynne Pike. The book centres around the main character Laurel who, having been home-schooled for years, has recently began to attend high school. One day she notices that she has a spot growing on her back but as it continues to grow it develops to be a flower and at last wings. As she doesn't want to tell anyone she hides them, with difficulty, under her clothes the best she can.
I found it interesting reading as she developed her wings and thought it was a better way to introduce and get to know the character than if she had already had the wings when starting the book. Unfortunately, most of the book is about her growing wings which for a three hundred and fifty page book is a lot of pages to fill with one storyline.
Nearer the end of the book she meets some other fairies and is taken to a secret fairy world which makes the book a bit better but I was losing interest by this stage which is a shame as the book started off so well.
Overall I think the book was just okay but I will read the next one in hope that it improves. A good concept for a book which needs a better storyline.
Laurel is a 15 year old girl just starting her sophomore year in high school. In fact, she's just starting school altogether as she has been home schooled her whole life at her old home in a different town. Her first day isn't as bad as she thought though because she meets David who quickly becomes her best friend. Luckily for Laurel, she trusts David more than anyone else. What she thinks is just a zit quickly turns into a massive lump and then blooms into flowers which make her look as though she has wings. David is really into science and Laurel knows that he will be able to figure out what is going on. After some careful experiments, they figure out that Laurel isn't actually human and that she needs answers.
When Laurel heads off to her old house, able to sit with her bloom not hidden, Tamani appears. Tamani explains to Laurel that she is a faerie and has much to learn about her origins but the news sounds like a dream to her. Laurel doesn't realise that along with a whole new race/ family to learn about, there are also enemies that want to destroy everything to do with faeries. Will she start believing in herself before it's too late?
What I love about this genre is that so many authors have different views and ideas about mythical creatures. The front cover states that this is a new kind of faerie tale and it most certainly is, for many reasons.
To begin with, faerie's wings in this story are made of flowers and called 'blooms' which come out once a year. The faeries themselves are plants and unlike humans in any way apart from looks. This was a concept that was completely new to me and one that I found very interesting. For Laurel and David, believing in faeries to begin with was hard enough but then to realise that Laurel wasn't anywhere close to human was a bit of the top for the both of them.
I love to know the background of a topic such as this and Aprilynne Pike didn't disappoint. Tamani explains a lot about the faerie world, Avalon and the involvement of historical characters such as Merlin and Shakespeare. Although Wings is set in America, Pike brings in faerie origins similar to others in this genre and links them with her own, new ideas.
Laurel was a likable character from the start. I felt sorry for her on the first day of high school as she didn't know anyone or what to expect. Even though she is gorgeous, she doesn't flaunt it or doesn't love herself and this makes her seem very down to earth. As the story got going, I began to feel even more sorry for her. Who wants to be 15 with huge flower wings growing out of their backs? Not me, that's for sure. Laurel is terrified of what is happening to her but she is also quite strong at the same time. Overall, what I liked most about her was how balanced she is. She doesn't whinge and cry the whole time, nor does she think she's indestructible. For lack of a better saying, she's human and that was due to her upbringing by human parents. I wonder if the same could be said had she grown up in Avalon with others of her own kind.
As sweet as David was, I just didn't/ couldn't love him. I found it quite hard to believe that a 15 year old boy wouldn't completely freak out when Laurel revealed her 'bloom', no matter how much of a science geek he is. I guess David was a bit too bland for my liking but also that might be due to Tamani. I don't think that I could ever pick the normal, slightly boring guy over the hot, charismatic faerie sentry with green hair. I loved Tamani as soon as he appeared in the story. He was cheeky, a little cocky and full of himself but in a funny way. Why is it that I always go for the third party of a love triangle?
I really thought that the story was just going to be about Laurel discovering who and what she is but there was a lot more to it. There's magic, romance, mystery, action and excitement so something for everyone. The plot was well balanced between each different aspect which made the story flow at a steady pace. There were enough twists and turns throughout to keep me guessing and Wings had an ending which left me wanting more without being disappointed.
Once I had started Wings, I didn't want to put it down but work got in the way. It's safe to say that I loved this book, so much that I started the sequel, Spells the very same night.
Available for £4.53 on Amazon.