Skip to main content

Review: The Heartbeats of Wing Jones

Title: The Heartbeats of Wing Jones
Author: Katherine Webber
Series: N/A
Length: 336 pages
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication date: March 14, 2017
Diversity: biracial main character and her whole family (half black, half Chinese), many black supporting characters (including love interest), two lesbians
Rating: and why aren't there more stars
Source: eARC via NetGalley


Let me tell you about my experience reading this. I knew from a few chapters in that I was reading an amazing book. As I kept going, it just got better and better and better, even when I didn't think that was possible anymore. It took my breath away, it kept my eyes glued to the page, and it shattered my heart into tiny, wonderful pieces. I got to the end. I thought of basically nothing else for four hours. And then I realized that I needed to start right back at the beginning, and guess what? It was even better.

Somehow, though, I'm having trouble articulating why and how much I loved this. I keep trying to put the words together, and I can't think of any better way to say what I'm trying to say, but nothing can come close to the experience of actually reading the book. So this is the part where I tell you to stop reading my blog and get this book in your hands immediately, because nothing will ever compare.

I love books that play with my emotions, and this book did that in the best way possible. Every word went straight to my heart. I felt what Wing felt. Every part of me was drawn into the story, and I think that's why I read it twice - by the end, I'd put so much of myself into reading that I didn't want to let go.

One of this books innumerable amazing qualities was its cast of characters. Every single character was just so perfectly written that I would have been all that surprised to find that they were real by running into them at the grocery store or something. I've been thinking a lot lately about the difference between characters and people, and these characters are somehow just like complete people put on paper. I can't pick a favorite, though Granny Dee and LaoLao are probably my favorite duo. (Why aren't there more grandparents in YA?)

I didn't know about the magical realism elements of this book going into it, so I was a little confused at first. Pretty quickly though, it became one of my favorite parts. (Who am I kidding? The whole thing was my favorite part.) Everything was blended so perfectly that once I got over my initial confusion, I never had to question anything. And really, what book can't be improved by a dragon? And a lion.

Really, though. Read this book. Let it suck you in. And when you're done, you might just have to read it again.
Goodreads summary:
Jandy Nelson meets Friday Night Lights in this sweeping, warm, arrestingly original novel about family, strength, and hope.

Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshipped 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?
 

Comments

  1. I heard about this book a while ago and I was interested in reading and for some reason I've still not picked up a copy. Your review just reminds me I want to. Especially if it hooks you from the start. I didn't realise there were elements of magical realism though! That makes me want to read more, how did I miss that?

    Great review, I now have to resist the urge to immediately go out and by myself a copy (who am I kidding, I probably will anyway).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From what I've heard, a lot of people weren't aware of the magical realism! If that's something that draws people in, I should mention it more when I talk about the book. (Because I'm going to be talking about this book a lot.) I hope you like it!

      Delete
  2. Great characters and lots of feels? This sounds like a book I could get into. Thanks for the recommendation! I'm always on the lookout for good YA novels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I hope you like it!

      Delete
  3. I hadn't heard of this book before, but I just went and added it to my TBR. It sounds fantastic! Any book you can read twice in a row has to have really touched you.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was incredible! I've never read a book twice in a row before, so it definitely affected me in a way no other book really has.

      Delete
  4. Great review, Clara! I'm so intrigued by the magical realism aspect you mentioned, and that you think the characters are just like people really appeal to me too. I agree - YA needs to feature more family members, including grandparents! Adding this to my TBR now. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Family overall is really lacking in YA, but I can only think of one other grandparent offhand, which is definitely a problem.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

August Wrap-Up

I'm having a bunch of weird feelings about it being the last day of August right now. I mean, I love autumn, and I'm SO EXCITED that summer is coming to an end because it means cooler temperatures and flannel and pumpkin-flavored things and pretty colors, but at the same time...there's just no way that today's the last day of August. That's not a thing that's happening right now in my head. It's just not. I think I'm stuck near the end of July somewhere.

And with the end of August comes the end of summer break. Within a week, I'll be starting my second year of college! Equal parts exciting and intimidating. The week or so is definitely going to be hectic, what with moving and such, so any posts I manage to get up will be scheduled in advance.

August was a pretty great reading month for me - I was actually hoping to get a bit more in, considering it's my last month of 2017 without classes, but I think I still did rather well. And in terms of star …

Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

So, I haven't posted since the beginning of the month, because finals totally destroyed me. But I'm here now! And for the gazillionth time in four months, I'm saying that I'm gonna get back onto a normal posting schedule. But for now, I have plenty of things to post this week since it's one of my favorite times of year - wrapping things up at the very end!

Yes, it's nearly the end of 2017. And personally, I will not be sorry about kissing this year goodbye. I've had a pretty good reading year, and not a bad personal year! But 2017 as a global phenomenon has not been great, and I don't think I'm alone in that sentiment. It's made me really want to focus on the good this year, especially in the form of books! So without further ado, here are my top ten books I read this year.

10. LADY MIDNIGHT by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #1): Based on all the other Cassandra Clare books I've read, I was in no way expecting this to make it onto my favo…

Ten Books I Want My Cousins to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme: Ten Books You Want Your Children/Godchildren/Young Relatives/Etc. To Read.

Hi, everyone! *waves* Long time, no post. School kind of...ate me. But I'm back, at least for today. I don't know what I'm going to do about a consistent schedule, and I don't know whether I'm going to really start back now, but here I am. And what better place to start than a Top Ten Tuesday?

When I saw this week's Top Ten Tuesday prompt, my mind immediately went to my cousins, specifically the ones that are closest to my age. I have a feeling that the books I picked are more YA than a lot of other people's lists, because my cousins aren't all that little anymore! I'm the oldest of that group, and I love them dearly even though I don't get to see them a lot. There are so many books out there that I think they'd enjoy or that I think would be valuable for them to read (or both), so …