October 14, 2017

Run Like the Wind • The Heartbeats of Wing Jones

The Heartbeats of Wing Jones book cover
I was looking forward to checking out The Heartbeats of Wing Jones since I’d first heard of it, in part because the story sounded right up my alley and in part because I’ve been friendly with author Katherine Webber for a few years now. It’s is about a girl dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy: her brother is the drunk driver responsible for an accident with fatalities, and is currently in a coma. As she makes sense of her grief and anger, Wing discovers that she has a talent for running that may just prove to be the thing that will help bring her family what it needs. 

I can instantly tell you that I liked the racial complexity of Wing and her family, as well as how that dynamic is constantly shaping the world around them and their experiences. I also liked that it was centered around a family composed primarily of strong women, as that was my own experience growing up and it felt reflected in this book in a way I’ve never encountered before. In her careful construction of these characters, Webber succeeds in making each one pop off the page in a very real, relatable way. I felt very much that Wing’s family and her friends were becoming my own, flaws and all, the more that I read of them.

I also appreciated how Webber didn’t shy away from presenting as many sides of this difficult, volatile situation with incredible honesty. She revealed the variety of reactions to the accident and to her family through Wing’s own thoughts and experiences. Even though it was difficult to read at times, I admired the way that Webber went all out to portray the situation in as well-rounded a manner as possible.

All in all, The Heartbeats of Wing Jones is a strong debut from author Katherine Webber. It’s the story of one girl figuring things out for herself one step at a time, with just a dash of magic and romance to make it that much more special. I’m happy to be able to say that I enjoyed this novel, though it did take me a while to get truly invested in Wing and the outcome of her story.

The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: March 14, 2017
Source: ARC received from the author (Thanks!)


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