I remember back at YALC in 2016 that the cover for this book was revealed in front of a pretty big crowd at the Walker Books stand. This book has been highly anticipated by a lot of people (including me!) for a very long time now, but on the 5th January 2017 it officially came out here in the UK. I actually ran into Katherine at the Walker Christmas Event in December, and whilst I was particularly awkward in that conversation, Katherine is absolutely wonderful to meet and speak to. Does this translate into Wing Jones? Absolutely.
There may be some gushing ahead.
Fifteen year old Wing Jones lives in 1990s Atlanta, and she’s often caught between two worlds, with one grandmother from Ghana and another from China. But tragedy strikes one day in the form of an accident that affects her brother, and it’s when this accident happens that Wing finds out she has a talent for running, a talent she never knew she had before. It “could bring her family everything it needs. It could also keep Wing from the one thing she wants.”
Let me start off by saying that there is so much praise for this book floating around the internet right now that I’m not sure I can contribute anything original to it at all because, as if there’s a reserve of praise in a bank somewhere, the funds seem to have been used up. I’m going to give it a go though, because this book definitely deserves all the praise it’s getting.
As you might expect, this book is incredible. As you might expect, it was the type of book that had me shaking it after reading it in sheer admiration at how brilliant it was. As you might expect, the story is as brilliant as everyone has said it is and as you might expect Wing is as amazing a character as you would expect.
This book did make me realise something else that I’d never really acknowledged before though as well.
I like a lot of books I read. I love a few of the books I read. This might be the same for other readers too, but there’s also that top category of books that keeps you gripped right until the very end, really quite desperate to read more. Not a lot of books are in this category, but Wing Jones definitely is for me.
The story plays out along a plotline that will keep you on the edge for so many characters. There’s an incident involving LaoLao towards the end that sticks out immediately to me, and I won’t spoil it or say what happens but I think many readers will know which part I’m talking about. The characters are incredible, as I’ve already said and will most likely continue to gush about in the future, and the attention to detail with this book will astound you as well.
The cover, for instance, was very positively received at YALC (I think it’s perfect) and there’s even the purple to pink sprayed edges on the book too.
Like I said, anything positive that could be said about this book has probably already been said. But, if you’re in two minds about reading this book, let me put it this way: Wing, her mother, her grandmothers, Aaron, Eliza and the team, they’ll all stick with you long after you read this book. Katherine’s really knocked it out the park with her debut novel. It’s slick, beautiful and may even remind you there’s always a silver lining to every situation.
And America: I know you haven’t got this book just yet, you’ve still got a few weeks to go, but if you’re reading, trust me. It’s well worth it.