Publisher: Walker Books
Release: 5th January 2017
Genre: UKYA, Contemporary, Diverse YA
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"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 Jones was easily my most anticipated YA debut of 2017 so my expectations for this book were already sky high to begin with and yet I was still taken aback by how much I loved this book – it’s seriously that good.
The story follows Wing Jones, a biracial teenage girl with a huge heart and a loveable family. With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, Wing doesn’t feel like she fits in anywhere and is content to stand in her big brother Marcus’s shadow cheering him on from the sidelines as he wins game after game as the star quarterback.
When Marcus is involved in a drink driving accident that kills two people and leaves him in a coma, Wing has to deal with her brother’s fall from grace in their community, her family’s mounting medical bills, and the possibility that her big brother might not wake up.
To deal with her problems Wing takes up running and to her surprise finds that she’s good at it, better than good. Wing started running to escape but as word of her talent gets out she’s suddenly the one thrust under the spotlight.
When a life changing opportunity presents itself Wing has to decide: does she continue to run away from her problems? Or find the courage to run towards her dreams?
Wing is one of the most inspirational young heroines that I’ve ever read about. Her voice is incredibly well written balancing the right amount of uncertainty and quiet inner strength of a young woman coming into her own for the first time. Despite not being interested in running in the slightest I connected strongly with Wing’s passion and determination, I’m sure that her story will spark a fire in the heart of every reader who has ever took the lemons life has handed them and made lemonade.
One of my favourite aspects of this book was Wing’s family life. Every character in this book sparkles in their own special way but none more so than Wing’s grandmothers Granny Dee and LaoLao. Despite coming from two different backgrounds and cultures the two women are more alike than they realize sharing a love for food and their family. I really appreciated this subtle and timely message from Katherine Webber on how we’re all more alike than different where it matters.
Wing Jones has sprinted on to the YA scene with a heroine whose heart leaps off the page touching the readers own. This debut novel about losing your way, finding your feet, and chasing your dreams is not to be missed!