Title: Wing Jones
Author: Katherine Webber
Published by: Walker Books
Publication date: 5th January 2017
Pages: 378, paperback
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
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.
Wing Jones has been sitting patiently on my TBR since the start of the year, and in preparation for YALC, I finally found time to read it. And I am so glad that I did, because I adored it (and got to tell Katie this at YALC myself!).
The concept of right and wrong were beautifully explored in this book. Marcus, Wing’s brother and the most popular guy in school, is responsible for a drunk driving accident. The whole town immediately turn against Marcus as a result of this, and Wing is left with a dilemma. On the one hand, she loves her brother and is just thankful he is alive, but she also is aware of the trouble he has caused, and knows he will have to face the consequences. The balance between these feelings, played out in Wing’s head throughout the whole book, is incredibly complex.
Wing may have just become my favourite protagonist of the year; I thought she was amazingly strong, and had such a lovely character arc. I was rooting for her the whole way through the book, and I was so happy to see her come into her own, making new friends and growing in confidence. I loved how she used her talent simply as an outlet for her feelings, and only when it was necessary did she change the focus of her running. One particular running scene, right at the end of the book (I’m sure those of you who have read it will know the one), was completely cinematic, and I loved the magical realism aspect.
I really liked how Wing had support from her mother and both her grandmothers throughout the book. The family relationship was really excellent, and so different from other family dynamics I’ve read in YA (in the best way possible). Not only did it feel really realistic, but it was also so heartwarming.
Wing Jones is an absolutely stunning book: it has a unique and gripping plot, complex and emotive characters, and so much diversity. It has everything, pretty much. So in my opinion, this is a book for everyone, and one to bump up on your TBR immediately.