Release date: March 14th 2017
Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshiped her older brother, Marcus, for as long as she can remember. Good-looking, popular, and the star of the football team, Marcus is everything his sister is not.
Until the night everything changes when Marcus, drunk at the wheel after a party, kills two people and barely survives himself. With Marcus now in a coma, Wing is crushed, confused, and angry. She is tormented at school for Marcus’s mistake, haunted at home by her mother and grandmothers’ grief. In addition to all this, Wing is scared that the bank is going to repossess her home because her family can’t afford Marcus’s mounting medical bills.
Every night, unable to sleep, Wing finds herself sneaking out to go to the school’s empty track. When Aaron, Marcus’s best friend, sees her running one night, he recognizes that her speed, skill, and agility could get her spot on the track team. And better still, an opportunity at a coveted sponsorship from a major athletic gear company. Wing can’t pass up the opportunity to train with her longtime crush and to help her struggling family, but can she handle being thrust out of Marcus’s shadow and into the spotlight?
I’ve read a couple books with a similar plot in the last year but this one used a touch of magical realism to set it apart. I got attached to Wing as a character quite quickly and loved her family dynamics, especially with her two grandmothers. There were quite a few themes happening throughout the book but I thought the author handled them all well and did so without making any of them feel shoehorned into the plot.
Wing was a very easy character to relate to. She felt overshadowed by her superstar brother, was bullied at school and the bullying got worse after the accident, felt like she was treated like a kid by her grandmothers, and felt the strain the accident was putting on her family. Her connection to running was amazing to read and I loved her growth through the book. She was someone you wanted to root for to overcome all the obstacles in her way, to help her family, to get the boy she liked, to make the team, to get that scholarship.
Family and bullying were the two main themes in the book. I loved getting to see three generations living under the same roof and Wing’s grandmothers brought a lot of humour to the book. Wing was bullied before the accident but it got worse after, with her being an easy target for everyone to take their anger and hurt out on. I did also enjoy the romance. It was sweet without overtaking the plot. I also really enjoyed Wing’s plot with running and how she connected with it.
The writing style was beautiful. The descriptions were very vivid and it made it easy to get a clear picture of the setting. I enjoyed how the magical realism tied into Wing’s culture and how it was present through the book without feeling overwhelming. It made the book feel like a good option for someone looking to try a book with magical realism. This book has me really excited to see what Katherine Webber releases next.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.