My first read of 2017 was the infinitely amazing Wing Jones; a UK YA gem. This book grabbed my attention from page one and refused to let go. Even more wonderful on the inside than it is on the outside (and trust me, it's gorgeous on the outside) this book is sure to stay with you for a long time.
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.
Wing, like most of us at one point in our lives, doesn't feel very special; that's her brother Marcus' role. He's the athlete, the star, but Wing's happy with that. She's fine simply being Marcus' sister, because he's the best brother she could ask for. Then tragedy strikes and everything comes tumbling down. Wing learns that perfection is simply a rose tainted lens; in the eye of the beholder. She learns that people lie, people hide, and her life becomes harder than it ever was before.
All because Marcus decided to drink and drive.
Yet it's in this tragedy, in the pieces that remain, that Wing finds two things she had scarcely before considered; love, and her own inner strength. Like a butterfly from a cocoon it is in this tragedy that Wing learns to push herself and to flourish.
I don't want to talk about too much more for fear of spoiling this wonderful story, but I will say that this book is wholly inspiring. It is thought provoking; a real wake up call to anyone, such as myself, who doesn't push themselves in everyday life; doesn't strive to achieve. It is also proudly a very diverse read through which I learnt a little (because of course cultures span much wider than the contents of a single book) about the culture of China and Ghana, which I always love.
It is, simply put, a wonderful debut.
My only, very minor criticism, would be of the scene on page 363 which - being that I wasn't expecting it - completely turned my stomach and in doing so diminished my enjoyment a fraction. That said, I would highly recommend this fantastic read to everyone; you really do need it on your shelf.
As always, thanks for reading and do feel free to leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter!