By Camillia Dass
Title: Wing Jones
By Katherine Webber
Published by Walker Books
No. of Pages: 384
Available at major bookstores
Wing Jones is a young adult contemporary novel about a girl who discovers herself through her ability to run.
All her life, Wing Jones has been stuck in the shadow of her older brother. She has always been ‘Marcus’ little sister’. However, one day, after Marcus gets into an accident while driving drunk, Wing finds herself having to step up to help her family as they try to hold themselves together through the pain of having Marcus in a coma. During this trying time, Wing finds solace in running, as well as in friendship and then love in the most unlikely of people.
While this book may come across as predictable, it contains many strong elements that all but made up for its clichéd storyline.
One of the most notable aspects of this book was the fact that there were diverse characters. Diversity in literature is currently a hot topic, with authors being encouraged to write diverse characters, while readathons and challenges are also being hosted to promote the reading of books with diverse characters.
The characters in Wing Jones were incredibly diverse. Wing was half Chinese and half African American. She had one African American and one Chinese grandmother, and lived in a community of African American and Caucasian people who got along just fine.
Initially, I was a bit sceptical as it seemed like the author was just trying too hard to fit diverse characters into the narrative. However, as the book progresses, you see how the issue of race is of little matter in the storyline.
In fact, the closest the book comes to the topic of race is when Marcus’ girlfriend, Monica, who is Caucasian, gets berated by her father for dating an African American boy.
One other thing I enjoyed was Wing and Aaron’s love story. I felt that what made their love story beautiful was that it was portrayed realistically – it was organic, and very rational. They did not just fall head over heels over each other, a trope that many young adult novels are often guilty of.
Overall, this was a very easy and simple book that would appeal to anyone looking for a light read. The language was smooth and the story line believable. Truly a worthwhile read if you are craving a classic contemporary novel.