Saturday, January 2, 2010

Wings by Aprilynne Pike.

Wings by Aprilynne Pike.
First in a Series
Young Adult-Fantasy, 294 pages
Published May 5, 2009 by HarperTeen

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

Confession time: I love fairies. I have since I was five years old, popping in my grandma's old Thumbelina movie over and over again. I probably will still love them when I'm eighty and have those creepy old figurines of them in my house, right next to my angel and Precious Moments collections. So it was a no-brainer that I would pick up this book, especially after my friends yammered on about it and especially after all the good things I have heard about it on the internet. How many Top Books of 2009 lists did it make? Probably hundreds, but I don't have enough time to read all of those and count. Wings hit all the right buttons for me. The only thing that bothered me was that pesky Stephanie Meyer quote on the front. If I have to pick up another book with "Recommended for fans of Twilight" or "Yadda Yadda Yay Book! -Stephanie Meyer" on the front, I will scream. (Who am I kidding, there will be tons more of those) If I were a new author, I would be ticked if I saw that on my beautiful cover. I know, I know. Whatever gets the book to sell to the most people, but still. What does Wings have in common with Twilight except a love triangle and a theme of fantastical creatures? Yeah, that's never been done before.

As the story begins, Laurel has had enough of changes. First she was forced to leave her old town and the only house she has ever known to pursue her dad's dream of owning a bookstore. Then her parents sign her up for public school, after previously homeschooled her, so she can socialize. But there are more changes coming that turn her world inside out. Wings begin to sprout out of her back. Having no idea who to turn to, she confides in a new friend she has been growing close to at school. With his help, she dicovers the truth: she is a fairy. Laurel has a hard time accepting this fact, and the fact that she belongs with the fairies that live around the land her family used to live on. The land that Laurel's family is about to sell. Laurel must choose a side before things turn deadly and spin out of her control forever.

From the first chapter in, I was more than a little disappointed in the protagonist Laurel. She was a delicate flower sort of heroine. "Oh no, I couldn't possibly touch that hunk of meat and those cookies. I'll just stick to my half of a fruit chunk over here." Gag me with a spoon. I feel like waif-like vegetarian girls are covered way too much in literature, because they are 'interesting and different'. I just want a heroine to devour a double cheeseburger and not feel guilty about it. I hear enough at my school, full of "I'll just take one" sticks, to instantly get annoyed at this type of personality. However I immediately became happier when I learned that being a flower fairy, she was actually eating some of her own kind, like a meat-eating human would be. *Annoyance Gone* From then on, Laurel was hard to hate. Even though she is Stunningly.Beautiful., she is a fairy in a human's shell. She is to be pitied because she doesn't even know which race she fits into, the humans who she was raised by or the fairies of which she was born. And she isn't too stupid to live. She rather ingeniously gets herself and others out of a few scrapes.

Laurel also has a love triangle to manage as well. A poor dear child. Achingly gorgeous, two boys, waifer thin. How does she handle it? But the love triangle seemed like an obvious choice. Nothing has been decided yet, so I'm not spoiling you! However once your read the book, I think you will agree. David is the best friend. He and Laurel had a connection from the beginning of school. He stuck by her side when she revealed her wings secret. He finds her 'deformity' beautiful and is accepting. Tamani is a fellow fairy; he guides Laurel as well as answers all her fey questions. David is like a bland vanilla pudding: okay when you have a sweet tooth and will do in a pinch. But the pages come alive when Tamani is introduced. He makes hearts race and have that touch of destiny about it. He and Laurel may have been meant to be together forever. Tamani is the creme de la creme.

Wings has the perfect amount of thrills, love, mystery, and fairies to keep my coming back for more. But Miley Cyrus playing Laurel in the movie adaption? Yuck. My friends are willing to give her a chance, but I'm holding out to see how she does in The Last Song. We shall see.

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