Wing Jones by Katherine Webber – Book Review

Title: Wing Jones

Author: Katherine Webber

Genre: Realistic YA with magical realism vibes, Family Dynamics, Death due to Drunk Driving, Historical(ish) Fiction [1990s], Racism, Bullying

Blurb from Goodreads

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.

A sweeping story about love and family.

My Review

It’s refreshing for a YA contemporary to focus on familial consequences of reckless and/or entitled teen behaviour so kudos for discussing the resulting emotional struggles, monetary issues, health insurance etc etc.

The book had an extremely likeable female lead in Wing. The internal monologues from her character made her feel incredibly vital and authentic. However I didn’t feel that her connections with her spirit animals (dragon and lioness) were that well written as I found that part of the novel to be rather confusing. So much so that it really jarred with the way the rest of story was written which sadly lessened the whole reading experience.

Yet, in spite of that, I did enjoy the slow burn romance and how that was developed from from Wing’s PoV. It explored her confused romantic feelings nicely.

However love interest Aaron wasn’t as well developed and therefore he felt incredibly flat as a character. This meant it was somewhat difficult to truly root for them as a pairing.

Although I did LOVE both grandmothers. They without a doubt provided the book with incredible humour, and a mature gravitas yhst never felt condescending to the younger characters.

But then, very disappointingly, the character of the mother was criminally underdeveloped. Such a shame.

I also found it difficult to understand the depth of the love between Wing’s brother and his girlfriend. There was a lot of exposition rather than emotive storytelling with regards to their relationship. Basically it ended a little more show rather than tell.

The narrative was very nicely paced and it kept me engaged all the way though until the ending. But sadly those last few pages really felt rushed and so it left a slightly unsatisfactory feeling.

Nevertheless, Wing Jones, on the whole, was a solid reading experience and Katherine Webber is most likely an author that I will return to in future.

My favourite quote from the book:

I shake my head away from him, furious at myself for thinking he was going to kiss me. Just because he said that being with me is like being alone. Being with a tree is like being alone too. It doesn’t mean you want to make out with a tree.

My Socials 

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