Published: 5th January 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Synopsis from Goodreads: Jandy Nelson meets
Friday Night Lights: a sweeping story about love and family from an exceptional
new voice in YA. 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.
Set in 1990s Atlanta, Wing Jones struggles to come to terms with the humongous amounts of heartbreak that life has dealt her and as a result of her latest blow she starts to run in the middle of the night to clear her head and low and behold she's absolutely fantastic at it!
Wing Jones is so diverse it is amazing! There are so many characters of colour (as Wing has both Chinese and Ghanaian heritage), more so than I think I have ever read in a book before which is truly wonderful! And on top of this there's an LGBT+ couple featured, which as you know if you have me on social media is something I am always keen on!
The book features so many different plots and experiences which all weave together beautifully, like, there's so much going on in Wing's life with her family, school, relationships, running etc. etc. and yet it all fits in a completely unconfusing and fulfilling way.
I'm certain I'm not alone in saying that Wing's grannies completely stole the show for me throughout this book. Their constant bickering and yet obvious reliance on each other and their importance at the centre of their family was both hilarious and beautiful. The huge focus on family and supporting one another through tragedy is something that, I think, makes Wing Jones so special.
Further to the heartbreak and general toughness in Wing's everyday life, she also develops a relationship with her brother's best friend, her first ever relationship. Considering the difficult times that they were both going through I believe that their relationship developed well and as naturally as I suppose it could given their situation (shan't disclose because spoilers!). The balance of this romance within the book was perfect, there was enough focus on it for you to feel warm and fuzzy while you're reading it but it didn't become the main focus of the plot which was really great. It had romance but it didn't make it become a romance.
Unfortunately I did have one problem with this book which was such a shame as I really did enjoy it a huge amount. I just found the ending to be so abrupt like there were about 50 pages missing. I haven't read another review where people have expressed feeling the same way but I was left with about a hundred questions and not in a good way? I felt like I had to let go of Wing and her life before I really felt like I was ready to, which frustrated me because I had become so invested! I'm not trying to say that there were plot holes or anything like that, just that I would have loved to have a little bit more to really get a sense that her and her family are getting on alright now, they're muddling through and things are looking up. In my imagination that's certainly what happened anyway! Although I suppose it could be seen as a good thing that we can draw from it what we want for her?
Anyway, overall the was a phenomenally diverse and beautiful story which I'd definitely recommend that you check out! And if you have any similar (or completely different!) opinions to me please pop them in a comment below I'd love to hear your thoughts.