Wings - Aprilynne Pike In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

So claims the book's synopsis. My reaction before reading the book:

*skeptical* "Oh? Well, okay. If you say so, I guess..."

My reaction after reading the book:

*sarcastic* "Hahaha, no. I'm sorry, but no."

See, here's the first thing - people don't know anything about fairies. Fairies are creatures that we find in old folklore and fairy tales. No matter how you spell it, no matter what image pops into your mind when you think of it (Please, please, don't say Tinkerbell. That little witch has ruined the face of all fairy-kind forevermore. But whatever), you don't know things about fairies. This book is just too full of itself to admit that. It thinks that it's teaching you a lesson, and it'll slap that ruler against its palm and tell you to sit down and listen, because this is the way things are.

Spoilers below, look out. I'm sure you already know everything about the book from reading the enthralling synopsis, but hey.


See, the heroine is a plant. All fairies are plants, and we pitiful humans have been getting it wrong all these years when we assumed otherwise. Laurel (a plant named Laurel. Cute) doesn't shed blood when you cut her. She doesn't need to use shampoo to wash her hair because it's always clean and shiny. She only eats fruits and veggies because other stuff makes her sick. She doesn't get acne like every other teenager on the planet. She has a beautiful voice, a beautiful face and body, beautiful eyes, etc. She's so inhuman, she doesn't even breathe oxygen.

She's also sweet, intelligent, charismatic, compassionate, humble, brave - the works. Or at least, these are facts that the author repeatedly bashed me over the head with, though I never saw any evidence.

BUT . . . no one ever noticed. Not her parents, her friends, or herself. No one thought to wonder why the heck this girl is so different. I mean, why didn't scientists all over the world hear about her and decide to pick her up for study? I'm sure the mice in the attic and the beetles in the lawn knew she wasn't human . . .

In this world, not only are fairies plants, but trolls are just slightly tall, really ugly men who wear business suits. I'm not kidding.

Good guys: gorgeous. Bad guys: hideous. Am I the only one who sees this? Is Pike trying to convince us that only beautiful people are good? That to be ugly makes you a horrible person? Ugh.

This description was also precious - at one point, one of the other fairies was talking to our wonderful heroine, and told her that fairies are always so beautiful . . . because of symmetry. If you were to fold a fairy in half, all the edges would meet up, and that makes them beautiful.

So, of course, if both halves of your face looked like Two-Face's nasty side from Batman: The Dark Knight, you'd be beautiful! If you had a big, bulbous red wart on both sides of your nose instead of just on one side, it would make you gorgeous. Isn't that great?

Whatever. The characters in this book were predictable and bland, There were gratuitous cardboard "friends" and a perfect, sweet, devoted, handsome boyfriend with about as much personality as a pop-sicle stick (who didn't think twice about dating a plant, by the way, 'cause that's not weird or anything), and of course, parents who are never around and never get involved in the teenagers' lives. It wouldn't be right for the heroine to have a family life, after all.

The writing was mostly just flowery nonsense - pun intended. There was way too much harping on how pretty things were. A lot of the time scenes felt flat just because they were described with a skeleton of words, but even more often I wanted to fall asleep because of the flowery nonsense. She would go on and on and on about the sunlight and the grass and people's clothing choices for the day, but she didn't waste any words on the plot - what there was of it - or the "action" scenes, or characterization for the floating names in the book.

This book just . . . wasn't for me. It doesn't even stand out, it's so much like every other YA book on the shelves nowadays. I can't even muster up the energy to hate it properly, it doesn't deserve that much.

If you read it, I hope you like it better than I did.