Rating: 1.5 out of 5
15-year-old Laurel has just entered public school for the first time after always being homeschooled. Besides for normal teenage issues such as trying to make friends and getting close to a boy named David, Laurel also has to worry about a mysterious growth on her back, which suddenly blossoms into an actual flower!
With the help of a familiar-looking fairy named Tamani, Laurel learns that she is, in fact, a fairy with the very important job of protecting her adoptive family’s land from possession by the trolls. The trouble is, her parents seem intent on selling the land, and even more so when tragedy strikes. Now, Laurel must face this set of seemingly unbelievable facts about herself and the world in order to protect the ones she loves, as well as the ones she may love.
What a disappointment. WINGS garners attention as being similar to Twilight, but let’s just say that the over-hyped vampire series is still a lot more interesting than anything this book has to offer.
Where do I even begin? The characters lack personality or appeal. Laurel has not a stitch of mental or physical strength on her. Her choice of actions have no validity or sense. The love triangle between Laurel, David, and Tamani is extremely contrived: I sensed no attraction at all between any of the three, no real reason why the boys would like Laurel the bland “heroine,” and no appeal in the caricatures of the boys, David the goody-two-shoes good friend, and Tamani the “dangerously attractive and mysterious” fairy (adjectives placed in quotes because, uh, he’s not. At all). If you’re trying to copy off the popularity of the Twilight love triangle, at least develop the males well enough that readers are encouraged to take sides. There will be no Team David or Team Tamani here: there will be a Team Run-Away-As-Fast-As-You-Can!
The concept of fairies being similar to plants was fairly interesting; my favorite parts of the book are when David geeks out and begins doing all sorts of scientific experiments on Laurel to prove to her that she is a plant. It was quite fascinating, all of the ways that Pike came up with to link fairies to plants! Unfortunately, the story lacked everything else: engaging dialogue, plot, movement. The word that sprang to mind most when I read this book was “contrived;” it felt like we readers were told how we were supposed to feel about the characters and their predicaments instead of actually letting us feel anything. Anything that readers needed to know about the plot was explained in endless pages of stationary dialogue, which I wouldn’t even mind if not for the fact that the dialogue feels forced and the characters are not explaining anything of worth or interest to me anyway.
Alas, it seems like I and other reviewers can blither and blather all we want; the audience (and publishers) clearly know what they want, and that’s some more Twilight spin-offs. Seriously, though, if you’re looking for some more fantasy love triangles and fairy wars etc., don’t check here. It won’t be long before you’ll be wondering about how you can get a refund on your time.
R. J. Anderson
Overall Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Cover discussion: 2 out of 5 - It's... pretty, I guess. And cute, sorta. But, um, what does it have to do with the story? Can anyone tell me?
Series Summer 2009 Book #2