Monday, 15 January 2018

Book Review - Wing Jones by Katherine Webber - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #82

Amazon UK
Title: Wing Jones
Author: Katherine Webber
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Competition Prize
Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: 5th January 2017
Rating: 4 Stars

For fans of David Levithan, Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell: a sweeping story about love and family from an exceptional new voice in YA. With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing's speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants.

Wing Jones is one of those books I knew very little about before starting, even reading the blurb I wasn't completely sure what sort of book it would be, and whether it was likely to be the sort of thing I enjoy.

Well having read the majority of it in one sitting, and all of it in one day, I can say that I incredibly glad that I took the chance and read this book.  After about the first 50-70 pages which were key to setting the scene and getting to know what Wing Jones life has been like up to this point,  there was a major event which changed things for everyone forever. 

Yet in Wing's case it meant she went from the girl that stood out for her rather different looks, she is part Chinese and part Ghanaian,  and was generally picked on a lot at school, hated lunchtime and had a huge crush on her brother's best friend, to one who suddenly had one special talent that made her stand out for all the right reasons. 

This is certainly a book that tackles what its like being different at school for whatever reason that is, and after the major event, well Wing has all sorts of things to learn and fast in all elements of her life. 

There is a sort of I suppose mystical sort of feel to part of this book, as we discover Wing has two animals that seem to be guardians of some sort that appear whenever she is in great amounts of pain and sorrow. Noone else can see them, but it is with their help that she discovers her hidden talent. 

I'm gutted that the book stopped when it did, as I would have loved the end section lengthened for another 100 pages or so, just to find out what happens next, although that does make me wonder if there could be a sequel for Wing and her rather enjoyable family. 

I loved Granny Dee and LaoLao who are Wing's grandmothers, and both live with Wing, Marcus (her brother) and her mother. One is from China, one is from Ghana and they spend large amounts of time in any scene they are in together, bickering amusingly.  I loved both their personalities and it really added a great dimension to the book. 

This is one of the prettiest paperbacks I have ever been fortunate enough to read, and thankfully the contents do the design justice. The words kept flowing and kept me hooked, I found myself willing Wing on, just hoping that she would get a happy ending. 

I don't read huge amounts of YA fiction, but I would happily state that this could easily be read by anyone of any age (not young children obviously), as I didn't get the "I'm not really the target audience" vibe I often get when reading YA books. I was hooked on this incredibly interesting debut novel, and think Katherine Weber could be an author to look out for in the future. 

Thank you to everyone that voted for this book which was the overwhelming winner. Honestly I think if you hadn't taken part and voted for this it would have been one of those books that sits on my bookcase, admired but not read as I really was unsure at first about it, so I'm really glad that I have discovered thanks to you all how fabulous it is.  Can you do the same with this week's vote I wonder?

1 comment:

  1. I think knowing it was YA I would have left it on the shelf too but it sounds like a great read, especially with the cross cultural interest.


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