Wings by Aprilynne Pike

by Kat Alexander

Watch out for mild spoilers ahead, as it’s impossible to talk about the book without spoiling the premise…

Laurel knows she isn’t like most other girls. She’s too pretty, she never gets hurt, she can only eat vegetables and fruits without getting sick, she’s fifteen, has hit puberty without a single zit, and never got her period.

Oh, and she has suddenly sprouted a softball-sized lump on her back. Although that’s not nearly as weird as it is when the lump turns into a flower.
And, naturally, all in her first year of public high school, after having moved that summer.
It gets weirder still when her best friend and science geek David looks at a sample of skin and finds plant cells. And then when trying to take a blood sample, they come up with only sap.

There’s someone who knows what’s going on. The mysterious Tamani, who lives on Laurel’s family’s property and swears she’s a faerie. Laurel stubbornly resists the idea, but it all makes sense to David–and as the petals fall and the property is prepped to sell, Laurel may have to believe it, too.

Where to start, where to start… Hm. How about with the whole flower thing. Yeah. That takes prize for THE most creative faerie premise I have ever read. Ever. The idea of faeries being plants… stunningly original.

All of the characters are stunning as well, though they seem awfully convenient some of the time (David, all of the parents) or awfully inconvenient (Chelsea of the Fairy Obsession). Still, Laurel is a perfect heroine; David and Tamani are both incredibly genuine and just incredible in general; Chelsea isn’t so… meh… as some other side female characters can be. And, impressively: When Laurel’s got two different guys going for her, she doesn’t choose both (-cough-HouseofNight), nor does she make an enormous drama out of it that eclipses the actual plot (-cough-BellaSwanCullen). No, instead, she deals with it like an actual teenager. (Although, I gotta say, Tamani’s much cooler than David is. He’s funny.)

The writing itself isn’t the best I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly very, very good. The book is paced perfectly throughout, and isn’t too weighty nor feather-light. There aren’t any nasty sex scenes, there aren’t any gory battle scenes. I don’t even remember any swearing. And, the best part is… it doesn’t need any of it.

Thoroughly enjoyed, highly recommended.

“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. […] You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”

–John Green

Kat Alexander is a Figment Reviewer who (clearly) loves to read and comment. She’s active on a number of sites including NaNo, Fiction Press and FanFiction under aneko24.

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