Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Walker Books
Rating: 5 stars
Buy the Book: Waterstones, Amazon, The Book Depository
Jandy Nelson meets Friday Night Lights: 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.
I was lucky enough to receive this book for review from LoveReading4Kids but this did not affect my opinion at all.
Everyone has been talking about this book in the UKYA community since it was first announced because Katherine Webber is a massive part of the community so obviously like everyone else, I was incredibly excited for it. My excitement grew as rave reviews started coming in yet this made me skeptical. I always get worried when there is a lot of hype around a book because I’m scared that I will be the only person who doesn’t like it. However, that did not happen with this book because it’s god damn beautiful.
What makes Wing Jones the amazing book that is, is definitely the characters. Without amazing characters, most books tend to fall apart even if the plot is interesting. This novel is definitely character driven and not just by Wing Jones. You aren’t just following her own personal struggles as you get to see everyone around her struggle with the shock that happens to their family. YA is renowned for removing the family from the story to make space for just the protagonist’s story and I loved that Katherine Webber didn’t do that. Wing’s adorable family helped to make this book what it was. I loved the culture clash shown through LaoLao and Dee Dee yet they were still the same in heart, showing that race does not mean that you are completely different from others.
That brings me on to another thing that I loved about this book; the way that it dealt with race. Whilst the race of the characters wasn’t what the story was about, I loved how it was addressed as it can cause an issue. Wing is different and as with the real world, not everyone was nice about it and I loved how this was included. The first 2017 book I’ve read has dealt with diversity greatly so I hope that this carries on through the year (wishful thinking, I know but one can dream).
YA Contemporary is my favourite genre is my favourite genre, particularly YA romance and I loved the romance in this novel. Aaron was adorable and helpful. I really liked the fact that the romance wasn’t the central plot line but it wasn’t just left out because I loved the contrast of the romance against the grief and struggles of the characters.
If I had to mention somethings that I didn’t like as much, it would relate to the passage of time. After one sentence, it would be a week later or so and this put me off because there was no clear separation of time for me. It made it slightly confusing at times for me but that’s being really nit picky. Also, I would have liked a more closed ending because whilst I like open endings, I would have loved an epilogue to see how it all worked out.
To conclude, Katherine Webber’s debut book is a beautiful and heart breaking description of grief, passion, family and romance. There are many things to learn from this book but for me, one of the main things that I learnt was to stick to what you love and what you are good at. Channel your problems into your passion and use it for good. Don’t let it eat you up inside. But this did also teach me the importance of family and sticking together. As well teaching me all about grief. As well as reminding me that girls can do whatever the hell they put their mind to. Basically, this book taught me a lot so I bloody loved it. This is definitely a book to look out for in 2017 and Katherine Webber is going to be a force to be reckoned with.