I honestly picked this book up expecting a light, funny read. It turns out Wing’s story started out very sad. She has been the victim of bullying since she was a little girl because she looked different. Her dark colored skin and small eyes make her stick out, unlike her “perfect” brother, Marcus, who always stands out. She grew up without a dad but was okay with it because she always had her reliable brother, her hero until the accident happens and sighs, her life gets even sadder.
But it still is funny, positive and uplifting. Told in the narrative voice of Wing, the story is very authentic and heartfelt. The narrative comes just as Wing thinks so it could be both very knowing and innocent at the same time. Just a sample.
“Heather Parker is one of those people who feeds on other people’s pain. It’s what keeps her skin so clear and her hair so shiny.” (Well that explains why mean girls are so pretty. Lol.)
The peak of the plot is Wing’s discovery that she could run, really run inspired by her lioness and her dragon which I’m sure are totally metaphors of what Wing is going through, perhaps her emotions or her dreams, but might also be elements of a magical-realism so that’s another really unique element of the story. By running, she could feel completely free from every bad thing she’s going through. Free from bullying, judgment, isolation, pain and grief. But at the same time it also makes her feel as if she’s running for a cause, running for the life of her brother.
“I’m not running for me. I’m running because I’d give anything for my brother, and this is all I’ve got to give.”
This book is probably one of the most genuine stories that perfectly fit the YA genre. It has everything- cultural diversity, a bit or romance, social importance and most especially, it definitely has heart, a lot of it.