Monday, July 13, 2009

Review (SS2): Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Tags: middle grade, YA, fantasy, faeries, trolls, love triangle

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

Summary

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.

Review

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.

Similar Authors
Stephenie Meyer
Melissa Marr
Maggie Stiefvater
R. J. Anderson

Writing: 1/5
Characters: 1/5
Plot: 2/5

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

20 comments:

  1. In the beginning, there were only good reviews for this novel. Now, I'm starting to see the bad ones. Hm, I debate if I should pick it up.

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  2. Diana, I always say that reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, and the best thing to do is to read everything. Of course, when that's not possible, I usually try to find someone with similar tastes as mine and give their words a little more weight than others'. Hope you give it a try!

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  3. Oh dear. I've heard mixed reviews about this book... I may read this book if I'm able to get to it. My TBR pile is overflowing however... Thanks for the review, anyhow. :)

    - Alex

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  4. Hmm... only a 1.5... actually, I've been seeing a fair few not-so-favourable reviews regarding Wings around, and like Diana, I'm wondering whether it's worth it.

    In terms of marketing, the book's got a lot going for it (blurb by Stephenie Meyer across the top of the cover? hmm...) and by the sounds of it, it's selling pretty well too.

    But at the same time, a few reviewers have brought up qualms about the characterization, so idk. Personally, I find the 'why' behind characterization (& subsequent actions) pretty important, so I'll probably agree with you on that count.

    Kind of reminds me of what happened with Swoon - there were the super positive reviews, and then the... kind of negative ones. Maybe this is another one that I'll have to give a try when I get a chance ;) Great review!

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  5. The wings on the cover are supposed to be made of petals. I think?

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  6. I loved-loved-loved that book and can't wait for the sequel. That said, I know how you are feeling. I am reading Allison van Diepen's RAVEN and if I hadn't paid money for the book, I'd have stopped reading by now.

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  7. Ironically, I was a little worried when I saw the Stephanie Meyer's quote...and even more worried now.

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  8. ^ I'm thinking the same thing now. I've been lusting for this book but now I'm not even sure if it's my type anymore

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  9. I enjoyed it. I thought it was okay for what it was, and I'll read the others. Nice review though, Steph. As always!

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  10. i read a few pages. then stopped.

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  11. I have no idea why anyone would compare this to Twilight. It's nothing like it at all!

    I liked the book, I didn't adore it, but I enjoyed it. I did find it fell flat, but it was interesting enough that I will pick up the sequel when it happens.

    I personally don't want anymore Twilight-esque books. I think the ones out there are more than enough. :P

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  12. I really agree with Cat about the over use of the Twilight comparison. There has been one book that came close to me, but only because it had the emotional pull as did the Twilight books.

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  13. hmm the cover well flower petals ummm you see she is a plant and ummm the flower petals signify...uhhhh ;)

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  14. A refund on your time... ha! I love that :) Sorry the book was a let-down... I think I'll definitely pass!

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  15. It's not the first less-than-stellar review of the book I've read, and with so many books on my TBR pile (and TBR list!) I think I'll be able to skip this one without missing it too much.

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  16. Yikes! I have this in my pile of books to read but it seems like I may be pushing it further down in my pile.

    Thanks for the honesty.

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  17. J. Kaye: What book do you think had similar emotional ties to Twilight?

    I'll give anything with good emotion behind it a shot. :)

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  18. Well, I've got this one on my shelf. I don't think I will reading it super soon, but I think I will have to read it just because I have seen so many mixed reviews. Thank you for your review, it was honest, and I appreciate that!!

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  19. I just read and reviewed Wings last night, and I completely agree with you. This was just... bland. I want my time back.

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  20. -claps- oh thank you! I felt the same way and fairy books have never sat well with me since (books with only fairies a mixed book is fine oddly enough) I HATED wings and there was NO love triangle you KNEW she was going to pick david it was so stupid

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