- Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
Rating: * * * * *
Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: January 5th, 2017
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.
Katherine Webber’s ‘Wing Jones’ was one of my most anticipated reads and I am delighted to say that it did not disappoint me in any way. In fact, it exceeded all my expectations. I raced through it (rather appropriately, given the protagonist’s talent for running!) in one sitting and I loved every page.
The most wonderful thing about ‘Wing Jones’ is that it manages to be both moving and uplifting simultaneously. At times it is breathtakingly sad and poignant, but it’s a novel full of hope, too. It’s about overcoming prejudice, grief and hatred, about proving bullies wrong, about building self-belief, and about finding something when it seems like everything is lost. It left me feeling very inspired.
‘Wing Jones’ has a brilliant cast of characters. Wing, the eponymous character, is a heroine to whom you are immediately attached. It is heart-warming and fulfilling to see her grow over the course of the novel. She’s brave, determined, hard-working and selfless. Over the novel she learns to become more confident and to believe in herself. She develops a sense of purpose and a resistance to those who would drag her down and mock her. I felt so proud of her for this. Now that I’ve finished the novel, Wing feels like an old friend. She’s one of the most accessible, relatable and likeable heroines I’ve ever read about. It was a delight to read her story.
One of my other favourite characters from the novel is Eliza. She’s so bubbly and energetic, and it warmed my heart to see how welcoming and loyal she was to Wing. She was never jealous but purely supportive and pleased for her successes. I also loved Wing’s two grandmas, Lao Lao and Granny Dee. They were hilarious together. I particularly liked their argument over the shrunk jumper.
All the characters in the novel feel authentic, unique, memorable, and, above all, realistic. None of them is perfect. I had a vivid picture of each of them – the secondary characters were just as whole and striking as the main ones. However, my absolute favourite character has to be Aaron because he was gentle, kind, supportive and generous.
I love Katherine Webber’s writing style. Her prose is beautiful and she uses brilliant and imaginative similes and metaphors. There is a wonderful warmth and emotion in her prose – every word comes from the heart. The chapters are quite short, too, which means you get that ‘just one more’ urge and then end up devouring the whole book because you can’t stop reading. It’s a real page-turner.
‘Wing Jones’ is a novel I would recommend to anyone and everyone. Unique and unforgettable, it will capture both your imagination and your heart.
I can’t wait to buy a finished copy!