A very intriguing take on faeries However, I feel that not a lot happened in the first third of the novel it was mostly Laurel finding out who and what she is Though beautifully written, it seemed of an intro to the next book than a novel in itself Still, it kept me turning pages, the characters were well developed, and the love triangle inspired many aww moments I m anxious to see what will happen in the next book I go to a lot of conventions and comic cons While I m there, I usually pick up a sampling of books from my fellow writers Sometimes I am given free copies I don t think I let that affect my reviews, but I like to be transparent about such things This is one that I bought for the intriguing premise, and the charming author signed it to me.As always, I wish to avoid spoilers, but as the back cover of the book reveals that Laurel has to deal that a blossom similar to wings is opening up on her back, I think I ll share that with you right away Laurel is also a young woman with a mysterious past, who is trying to merge into normal high school life in a small town She has always felt she was different, and now she will discover just how different she is And how special.This could have been a very formulaic tale about the teenage girl on the outskirts of high school society who discovers she is not only different but different in a wonderful way Aprilynne Pike dodges that Laurel will discover that her differences, while possibly marvelous, also put her in the way of great dangers By the end of the book, first in a series, the reader can foresee that she is going to have to face some very difficult choices in the days to come She is going to have to grope her way forward to find her destiny, and her survival This isn t a book where the happy ending is that everything was reset to the once normal life the protagonist enjoyed First in the series Avalon. Laurel Was Mesmerized, Staring At The Pale Things With Wide Eyes They Were Terrifyingly Beautiful Too Beautiful For WordsLaurel Turned To The Mirror Again, Her Eyes On The Hovering Petals That Floated Beside Her Head They Looked Almost Like WingsIn This Extraordinary Tale Of Magic And Intrigue, Romance And Danger, Everything You Thought You Knew About Faeries Will Be Changed Forever Wings was my first ever fairy book and I adored it Aprilynne Pike is so clever and creative She has such a unique twist on fairies and I kept reading passages over and over again because they were just so interesting. I will admit this up front I ve been doing a Summer reading project analysing the impact and influence the popularity of the Twilight series has had on paranormal YA and since this book had a Meyer quote raving it on the front, I thought I d see what it was like I didn t go in with very high expectation but even then I was just sullen faced and WTF ing by the end of this book.The story starts of in a basic enough manner with Laurel going to her first day of high school after moving to a new town and a lifetime of home schooling She sits in biology class take your first Twilight drink now And immediately gets all tongue tied and shy over an extremely attractive science nerd called David To give Pike some credit, at least she s setting up her love story early and not kicking her heels with pointless descriptions of everything else going on like Meyer, but give her time and that ll change Soon enough, she makes a distinctly Bella Swan style comment comes through Below the eyes was a warm but casual smile with very straight teeth Braces probably, Laurel thought as her tongue unconsciously ran over her own naturally straight teeth How nice of her to zero in on appearances so quickly into the story Sets her priorities up quickly and believe me, it gets worse towards the end The first 3 chapters are pretty slow moving and unremarkable, same with the characters David seems like the sort of guy you could imagine starring in a non threatening Disney family sitcom as the doting boyfriend of Miley Cyrus or something while tweens drool over him at Hot Topic signings On a related side note, the movies rights for the book are optioned by Disney with Miley Cyrus attached to star This seems particularly fitting because there are points where I just want to throw things at Laurel s face in the same way I do with Cyrus Laurel isn t particularly fun, smart, caring, special or in possession of any sort of personality trait She seldom eats anything other than fruit, vegetables and cans of Sprite haha I see what you did there Pike which doesn t seem to be of much concern to her medicine hating hippie parents, she s skinny and proud of it comparing herself to supermodels and was abandoned on her parents doorstep in a basket under mysterious circumstances This is all told to us, there s very little showing in this book unless it s something to do with flowers or David s abs seriously, which 15 year old boy is ripped They make Channel 5 documentaries about body building teens and not to be complimentary , which get their own tacked on scene which is completely unnecessary to the story I can t call it a plot because nothing resembling any sort of conflict or anything interesting happens until about 280 pages in So yeah, grab a pillow and some caramel shortbread 4 chapters in something finally happens Well, if you can call a zit a plot device Typically for teen girls, Laurel worries about the blemish my back looked like the Himalaya mountain range for most of my teenage years but after her earlier shallow comments, reading her worries about this rapidly growing bump turning into something ugly whilst being quietly judgemental about girls with similar situations doesn t exactly warm me to the leading heroine Eventually the bump turns out not to be cancerous or, God forbid, a zit, and soon it sprouts into a giant flower I will relent a little here and say this was a pretty interesting take on the fairy mythos At least it was enough to recapture my interest after the 5 chapters of non plot and characters that give Julian Sands hope in the personality and charisma department It s serviceable stuff but it s not exactly a page turner unless you mean in the sense that you want to turn the pages just to get on with something else important Does she tell her parents Of course not, that would require giving them an active role in the story At least they actually seem to care, unlike Bella s parents in Twilight who exist to serve no other purpose than to make sure child services aren t called out They re pretty useless but they occasionally show some interest in their daughter Instead, Laurel tells David, who views it with geekish glee which was kind of cute, don t judge me, scientists are hot and decides to do some experiments, where it emerges that Laurel is actually a plant Yep, a plant Somehow I can t imagine the Twilight meadows scene being as devastatingly romantic for Twi hards if Edward had been a plant Say it Bella Say it Poinsettia Chapter 8 introduces us to the generic suspicious figure, here to buy Laurel s family s old house from them How do we know he s suspicious Because he s ugly He doesn t even say anything particularly devious but we know he s evil and out to ruin Laurel s life immediately because he s unattractive This particularly cruel element of the story only gets worse, believe me And for those who are taking notes, now is the time to note the introduction of the unnecessary 3rd wheel in the most pointless love triangle ever He s a big smug but otherwise of the same devastatingly gorgeous young male figures with no other personality traits, and his name is Tamani He s here to tell Laurel all about her true identity as a faerie Laurel doesn t believe him having giant freaking plants grow out of your back is as normal a part of puberty as growing boobs and wanting to kill everyone for 4 days a month and runs off We re 128 pages in 10 chapters and there s no sign of a plot or any action beyond moping and boy perving But now we ve got Tamani on the scene and Laurel can t deny the amazing, passionate connection they shared, despite barely speaking or doing anything Y know true love To quote the phrase that left a million nerds fuming, It s magic, we don t have to explain it When it comes to the revelation of Laurel s true identity, it s all described in a very tell don t show manner surely that s writing rule 1 broken already Tamani describes the faerie court and their particular purposes and then the most awkward part of the book until another 171 pages happens It turns out the flower on Laurel s back is the faerie equivalent of that kind of flower Faeries use their blossom, found only in female faeries, to pollinate and reproduce In their first scene together, Tamani accidentally got sparkly pollen all over Laurel s arm, surely the faerie equivalent of premature ejaculation He didn t mean to do it of course it had just been so long since he d been around a woman that he couldn t help himself She was asking for it Showing off that flower like it was a short skirt in a dingy nightclub The extra kicker comes when Tamani takes glee in telling Laurel that faeries may use pollination for reproducing, but sex is for fun Responsibility free sex no risk of pregnancy or STDs other than maybe a little prick Way to appeal to your base Pike Seriously, this is appealing to teen fantasies than free cupcakes The topic of sex and puberty is mentioned but it s never expanded upon It just feels like Pike s trying to be adult and edgy for a YA audience even though the writing itself seems suited to a pre teen audience Along with his habit of fabulously coming over Laurel, it turns out that Laurel volunteered to be a faerie plant in the human world because faeries age mentally much quicker than their bodies suggest, sort of like the uterus chewing demon child in reverse and Tamani has been watching her for her entire life As he says, it s not spying, it s helping I wonder how distraught he was when there weren t any opportunities to sneak into her room to watch her sleep Laurel is also older than she thinks, and is 19 instead of 16 Instant age of consent About 250 pages in, we get some sort of plot twist, barely one, with Laurel s dad falling extremely ill With this comes Laurel and David s overwhelming urge to investigate the ugly suspicious man who is going to buy the old Sewell house the gateway to the faerie land of Avalon is on the land 2 of the man, Barnes s henchmen, are described as downright grotesque , continuing the theme of ugly EVIL Initiate slow clap sequence We get a bit of action with the henchmen attempting to kill Laurel and David in a good old fashioned drowning But luckily, Laurel s oxygen producing breath saves David Finally, a life saving snog, I ve never seen that beforewaitWe get further tell don t show description of faerie mythology, combining King Arthur with Oberon from A Midsummer Night s Dream tell me that s not a crossover you ve love to see but it s just shoved in there to give the illusion of Pike giving a damn about anything other than the extremely contrived love triangle But along with this comes the scene that made this book turn from meh material to oh Christ, what the hell Tamani goes into a description of the villains of the story, the trolls, in which the topic of symmetry is discussed The symmetrical one s face is, the beautiful they are, like Laurel and Tamani Trolls lack this symmetry, ergo they are ugly Not just ugly hideous The trolls lack any other defining characteristic beyond being ugly and stupid because apparently these things go hand in hand, and apparently their hideousness bothers the trolls themselves Troll mothers are known to abandon their babies if they re too ugly or misshapen When evolution has given up on you, death is unavoidable Seriously Really Pike Of all the elements of fail I expected to find in Wings , ableism was not one of them So if one is ugly, mentally or physically impaired we should just give up on them because evolution has clearly tried to weed them out Forgive me if I m a bit sensitive here, I m not a fan of such blatant displays of privilege in books aimed at an 11 audience To give the book credit, it took 300 pages before it really pissed me off which is 299 than Twilight Maybe Bella and Laurel could get together to drink Sprite and judge the less than perfect, they d get along like a house on fire I m just getting annoyed now, time to wrap this up Blah blah blah, Laurel stops the trolls, Tamani is shot but he s returned to Avalon where Laurel is presented with magic potion to cure her dad and a big arse diamond to give her parents enough money to be able to keep the old house and it s all business as usual Laurel even gets to kiss both guys It turns out that Tamani was her former faerie BFF when they were precocious kiddies in Avalon and is hopelessly in love with her I d say Pike just shoved in the love triangle to make up for the lack of plot but she seems to have just shoved every plot element into the story without any real structure or thought According to her blog, Pike wrote the book in 6 weeks and it shows Overall, the meh factor for this book was at an all time high low It was an easy enough read although there are a few moments where Pike tries to Meyer out on the dialogue The mythos is interesting enough but never focused on, instead spending page after page telling us unnecessary things, shoving in covers to fill the plot holes with no care, and mooning over a love triangle that couldn t be contrived if it tried The characters are dull and everything is handled in a serviceable but lifeless manner The attempt to shove a plot in with the introduction of the ugly evil trolls just pissed me off not only was it shallow and ableist, it was just plain lazy writing Pike got a 4 book deal from this story so I guess there s hope for us all It s often described as Twilight with faeries and it feels a lot like a Twilight inspired rip off I can see how it would appeal to the Twilight crowd and it s relatively undemanding stuff I ll probably forget all about it in the morning. I gave up on YA. TBR Reduction Challange 5 Kirsten Alright guys, I m throwing in the towel I just can t get over the fact that the girl has a giant flower growing out of her back Ew I mean, eeeew Yeah, and then there are some things that just plain annoy me Dialogues like this one for example It took her a few seconds to find her voice Who are you He paused and studied her with a strange, unflinching look in his eyes Well Laurel prompted You don t know me, do you He asked.Um, I don t know about you but I think the question Who are you kind of implies that she does not know him headdesk What I have to admit, though, is that this book is quite funny Unintentionally so, but still funny.Statements like Don t worry, I ll keep my distance from your blossom had me in tears because I was laughing so hard For on that, check out Arlene s awesome review I ve read 112 pages now and I m still not hooked and I just don t feel like finishing it Further the whole plant thing makes it incredibly hard, if not impossible for me to take any of this seriously I m bursting out laughing every other sentence.I don t know, maybe I would have gotten used to the plant thing if I had kept on reading but as I said, I don t feel like it so for now Wings is going to find its way back into the depths of my shelves where it has been hiding out for the past year Thanks for the push anyway Kirsten Wings was definitely a unique take on fairy mythology And I finally get the significance of the cover now, which I have to say fits the novel perfectly I m a huge fan of the Faery Fairy Fae was it is really genre, or rather sub genre I wasn t surprised that I really liked this novel Sensational plot line, really different than anything I ve read The first part of the novel moved a little slow for me But once I became fully engrossed in the world that Pike created, I couldn t get through the pages fast enough The writing was outstanding, it flowed really well It s one of those instances where you don t realize your reading it s so easy to read Maybe that s just something that happens to me personally, but I love when it does The characters were also really well depicted Although we don t know much about Laurel s history, I still felt like I really knew her as a character, and even though Tamani s presence in the novel is few and far between, he is probably my favorite character, which says a lot for Pike s character development And then of course one of my personal favorite elements in any story the love triangle I can t wait to see of that in the future novels, as far as I m aware I believe there are to be three , consisting of a four book series I could be wrong Overall, a exciting and beautifully written novel Spoiler Alert Spoiler Alert This book contains content that can cause a reader to inflict bodily harm to oneself Proceed with caution Oh and my review might contain a spoiler or two you ve been warned.Don t worry I ll keep my distance from your blossom I know whose petals I m allowed to get into and whose I m not he inhaled deeply Mmmmm As fabulous as you smell, your petals are off limits to me Whoaaaaaaaaa Get your mind out of the gutter This is a YA book about fairie flowers for crying out loud Yes, you heard me right fairies that are PLANTS Yes PLANTS Oh fine, I ll admit, I had trouble grasping the concept as well It was all really face palm worthy, and I was actually perplexed to find Stephenie Meyer endorsed this book until I found out that the author Aprilynne Pike is a friend of hers, so that answers that I really struggled with this book if you couldn t tell by now, and there are so many head desk issues with the writing and concept that I actually called it quits and couldn t finish it This book reeks of Mary Sues and Gary Stus You have the main character Laurel that s ohhh soooo beautiful, with amazing eyes, luminous blond hair, a thin, willowy body, with translucent white skin Oh And she s vegan and smells good and she s got this great guy that s too good to be true tripping over her and falling in lurves with her despite the fact that she blossoms a flower on her back and he doesn t find that the least bit weird David, she s a PLANT Yes A PLANT shakes head Putting the Mary Sue and PLANT issue aside, the writing is extremely simplistic and the storyline is developed in a way that makes it hard to suspend one s reality and appreciate the story for what it s worth There were so many insignificant incidences and events that I kept losing interest and I never really came to care for Laurel or David Oh and did I mention she s a PLANT Overall, I d say that the concept had potential but noooo she s a PLANT It takes a talented author to create a fantastical realm and launch an idea that requires imaginary suspension, and unfortunately IMHO Aprilynne Pike didn t deliver, so lucky for Pike that she has friends in high places to get her book off the ground.Final point err question rather Why is this book called Wings if it s really a PLANT and Laurel can t fly with the flower that blossoms on her back Didn t quite get that, but I am not going to continue to read this series to find out No thanks walks away mumbling she s a PLANT WT Kate limps in the kitchen Roommate looks up Roommate What happened to you Kate Fell through too many plotholes.You know, at least in one aspect, the caption doesn t lie You do get a different viewpoint on faeries fairies As for the magic, intrigue, romance and danger, I didn t get much on that, and the extraordinary bit kind of slipped me as well.Good things first the novel is short and reads easy You re not given too much time to groan and despair over the things you hate I admit, I didn t try to delve way too deep into the book, mostly because I ve already read five other books in this genre and I really, really don t need to antagonize over it Or agonize Oh, waitSo Laurel is your ordinary fifteen year old girl whose hippy parents move into a new town oops, there goes the first drink She has been previously homeschooled, but now has to attend public school and meets science nerd Baywatch castoff David in biology class oops, there goes the second After their romancing stage three chapters long ends, Laurel wakes up one day with a swell on her back Within a few days, the thing grows to the size of a softball and then bursts into a huge flower Laurel immediately goes to David for help because that s what you do, go to the guy you know for a total of two weeks and after a lot of experimentation it turns out that Laurel is actually a plant.Wait, what Long story short Laurel is a faerie who s been sent to the human realm with a special mission Along the way comes a hot faerie man called Tamani who fills the roles of mentor second love interest fierce warrior David, bless him, isn t much good in that department Plot kicks in about two thirds into the book, and, you guessed it, our heroes need to save the world OF COURSE.I m not sure what to say here On one hand, the whole concept is original barely , but on the other, it wasn t very entertaining Again, this short book could have been great, if only the author elaborated on some concepts , put the plot in sooner, and, oh yeah, given us better characters Seriously, Laurel is Bella Swan with blond hair and anorexic eating habits, David is a pushover and Tamani acts like a total prick in spite of his accredited maturity keeping track of those drinks I m not.The abovementioned plot holes really are a problem Let s take Laurel s parents for example they don t believe in doctors Fine They support the fact that their daughter is a vegan Admirable They completely disregard the fact that she considers half a peach to be a sinful indulgence Her mother isn t even slightly worried that Laurel hasn t had her period yet Not cool.Also, at the early stages of the book, when Laurel still doesn t know what the blossom on her back is, she tells David that she didn t tell her parents because she didn t want to be turned into a medical freak Not to nip pick here, but if her mother shrugs off textbook anorexia symptoms, I doubt that the flower would be that much of a problem, especially if Laurel made her attitude known Besides, it s established that Laurel loves her mother and that they re close thank God, one book where the parents are normal , why wouldn t Laurel trust her if she trusts some guy she barely knows with a huge secret Not to mention I find it extremely amusing that while Laurel s reproductive system is thoroughly explained, nobody mentiones the less pleasant and much obvious changes in her physiology She has no blood, right Well, if that s the case, she must not have kidneys either, or a bladder for that matter How did her parents missthatSeriously people, it s ninth grade biology tee hee.I really, really don t get why these books not just Wings, but the rest of the Twilight kin are so popular Do people find them that wonderful I mean, the entertainment factor is there, sure, but what about meaning Not everything should ponder the purpose of life, but I don t think it s that far fetched to say that stories to reflect the world around us I m just trying to imagine pre pubescent girls reading this stuff and thinking they ll go into high school and immediately be approached by at least two guys and one of them will be the ONE Sorry, kids, some of us will have to wait a little longer for that I m not suggesting that they would think a vampire would approach them, nor do I think it s impossible to meet the love of your life while in high school, but nevertheless, it s hardly the type of love they describe in YA literature nowadays.Don t believe me Here s what love equals to in Twilight, Hush, Hush, Shiver, Ever, Fallen and Wings stalking, passive agressive abuse on the part of the male, submission and indecisiveness on the part of the female, sexual harrassment and possessiveness Those of you who have your better half is this really all there is to love I doubt it From the top of my head, I can probably think of a dozen books worth your time than these six.I know this may appear a little too much, but think about it the authors don t choose which books become famous oh, how much easier would that be , the fans do I know there are accessible, easy to read books out there with much better messages than Wings or Twilight or Fallen, but the general public doesn t want to read To Kill a Mockingbird or Unwind or Let The Right One In , do they No, they want and abusive relationship disguised as paranormal romance Sorry folks, not me Not any.
Aprilynne Pike has been spinning faerie stories since she was a child with a hyper active imagination At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found at the gym she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula Aprilynne curre
- 290 pages
- Aprilynne Pike
- 26 November 2017 Aprilynne Pike