WINGS: PART ONE
This was recommended to me by my GR friend Hayley, whose recommendations I trust implicitly, as she’s one of two people so far who have been crazy—uh, intuitive enough to friend me on GoodReads.
Anyway, if I remember correctly this one’s about fairies, or elves or pixies or something, which I haven’t run into before outside the Love Interest Extraordinaire from Born at Midnight… his name I’ve temporarily misplaced, but I’m sure it’s not a big deal.
Condensed Goodreads Review Here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/717761036
Our heroine today is Laurel Sewell, a girl with cheerful shoes (?!) but a dark mood. She’s been homeschooled for the past ten years and this is her first day at the Pit—uh, High School. A guy called David offers to sit with her during lunch, and they have a nice boring conversation.
After school Laurel goes home, to tell her mother that school ‘sucked’. Her mother scolds her for using such harsh words—rightly so! What will become of society when our children use the word ‘suck’ with impunity!? Then they have a boring conversation too. After that, boring exposition ensues. Then another boring conversation. Ahh, I will have a good sleep tonight.
Good opening, everyone—a solid contender for the show!
The next day at school, David invites Laurel to sit with his friends—who include Chelsea, a character obsessed over what other people eat. Speaking of which, it seems Laurel only eats fruit and vegetables… hmm… wot cood dis meen?!
Also, lunch at this school is 28 minutes long. That seems… kind of arbitrary.
Laurel and David discuss the experience of lunch further during class, and—
Oh. That’s the end of the chapter. An entire chapter devoted to lunch; there’s a new one.
I continue to be riveted by David and Laurel’s conversations, as after an unspecified period of time later they are discussing their respective mothers’ professions. David’s mother is a pharmacist, while Laurel’s is a herbalist. Let’s watch the wackiness ensue!
Only there is no wackiness as of yet. So far, this is one of the blandest things I’ve read since ‘The Wicked Woods’. We learn Laurel was adopted, and then she goes over to David’s house so he can show her a cool tree in his back yard. They exchange numbers, and when Laurel goes home he calls her and they arrange a study date!
This was supposed to be about fairies or something… wasn’t it?
In this chapter, Laurel gets a zit.
It’s on her back though, so I’m guessing it will later turn out to be the titular Wings. After more boring conversations with David and Chelsea, we learn Laurel never has to use shampoo, her hair is just naturally clean all the time.
The next day the zit has grown larger than any natural zit would, but Laurel’s parents are medicine deniers, so Laurel decides to do sod all about it. And—what do you know—it continues to grow after that. She still doesn’t tell her parents. Even when it becomes so big her regular clothes can no longer conceal it.
Hmm, maybe it’s a bubo. We can always hope, right?
The next day Laurel awakes to find she has giant petals growing out of her back. She decides the only intelligent thing to do…
Is to hide it from everyone! Yeah, great plan!
But after all, growing petals isn’t normal, as opposed to (and I quote) ‘mood swings, disfiguring acne, even periods that went on for months’. Wait, periods that go on for months? Not getting your period for months, maybe, but bleeding out for that long is not normal! Not even semi-normal!
With this in mind she decides to go to David for answers—he has a microscope after all, it should be no problem for him to—BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Sorry, I really couldn’t keep a straight face there.
Laurel cuts a piece of her wing off (I get the feeling this is the level of intelligence I should come to expect from Laurel from now on) and goes off to David’s house. He tells her that the petal is a plant. Dun dun dun!
After some cajoling, Laurel shows him the flower growing out of her back. They determine that since it hurt her to cut them up, they’re actually a part of her—I guess these are plants with nerve-endings, then.
Laurel does make the intelligent comment that if she went to school with wings, she’d probably attract the attention of a Dawn character ready and waiting for an excuse to call someone a freak!
And then she says she’s not going to tell anyone, because if she did then she really would be a freak!
Uh, Laurel… I think that ship has sailed.
Well, some guy called ‘Jeremiah Barnes’ shows up to be a character in the book, and he sets Laurel on edge, so I’m guessing this is a villain. Also, he’s an estate agent—one of the most evil people in existence!
He wants to buy some property from Laurel’s parents, and it’s implied he’s magically making other people not interested in land.
Then on Monday Laurel goes back to school, and while having a giant flower grow out of your back is annoying, she is easily distracted by David’s handsomeness. As are we all.
The quarter-way mark! Wow, that was fast! After the bore that was ‘Starcrossed’ this is moving by like a dream!
Anywho, Laurel goes back to her old house so her parents can talk about how they used to be hardcore hippies. She then meets a Mysterious Stranger called Tamani, who’s also a fairy, and I know this because he’s a mysterious stranger and this is a book about fairies.
However, humorous innuendo about flowers ensues, doubly so as I just can’t quite be sure it was intentional. Exposition follows, confirming once and for all that Laurel is a plant. This makes Laurel tell Tamani to get da fuk out (?!) and never come back, though Tamani is desperate to know what her parents intend to do with the property.
She gets away, but he leaves some glitter on her to remind her that she’s in another Twilight ripoff.
The next day, Laurel was a zombie.
Nah, it just says she ‘felt’ like one, though that would have been funny.
She and David have some meandering interactions and then she tells him all about Tamani, and gets really upset that he called her a fairy, even though it’s as good an explanation as any as to why there’s a flower growing out of her back.
Laurel remains pissed off at this explanation, saying that the best thing for her to do is continue ignoring the issue. That’s my girl!
It saddens poor Laurel that she might have more in common with trees than with her parents—wait, shouldn’t she be able to photosynthesise? What’s all this vegan shit?—and has a boring conversation with her dad about how she’s never been to a doctor except one time when weird things happened.
Then her dad tells her the 3vil estate agent made an offer on the house, and even though before she’d been going on about how much she was going to miss the house, now she couldn’t be happier. Because one guy said she was a fairy.
Woo! One third mark!
Laurel and David make up from their slightly less friendly than usual exchange of last chapter, which apparently passes for a fight in this book. Also, there’s a flying car.
I’m not kidding, it says so right here: ‘But a car flew by just at that moment…’
See? Flying car.
Then Laurel points out that her being a walking talking plant is absurd, which David counters with ‘there are more things in heaven etc.’ or that in as many words, at least. Vying with him for the position of Captain Dumb, Laurel thinks that looking at other tissue samples to see if she might be a plant is a CRAZY idea, and people might find out about stuff and… yawn… oh, sorry about that—where was I?
Anyway, David comforts her with a speech on the epic friendship he has for her, the kind that no one in real life would ever give. Ever. And it borders on twu wuv, though I sense we may be saving that spot for Tamani. It’s too bad, because so far David does have him beaten out when it comes to the ‘generic’ part of Generic Love Interest.
Well, turns out Laurel’s saliva cells are plant cells as well, and when they take a blood sample they find out… she has no blood!
Yes, it’s true, Laurel has no blood, and no one ever noticed.
What a bunch of dumbasses.
Wait—it gets better; she doesn’t have a pulse either!
Having no pulse, Laurel is afraid she might actually be dead. I guess we can add brain to the list of things she doesn’t have too. What? Plants don’t have brains!
Kissing between her and David ensues… somehow, prompting Laurel to get da fuk out.
The next day, David has some theories about why Laurel only eats plants and sugar, and when the teacher asks him if there’s something he wants to share with the rest of the class, he says….. pfft, sorry, it’s just so funny…… he says “No, sir. But thank you for asking.”
BUUUUUUURN! That is one sic retort!
Or at least, Laurel thinks it is, because Laurel’s a fucking idiot.
Later, they figure out Laurel has no breath and no veins either, adding more and more reasons to the list of why Laurel and her parents are morons for never noticing this shit. She cries, they hug, Laurel feels disloyal for thinking about Tamani when with David, even though she’s dating neither of them, same old, same old.
And we get this line: ‘It’s pretty unscientific to have a friend who’s a plant’.
Yeah, David, that’s exactly what it is. You and Laurel are in equal position for Captain Dumb now, I think it’s safe to say.
Anyway, Laurel goes to the library to do some research… on Google. But she doesn’t really need to, because Chelsea drops by to justify her existence in the story by randomly being an expert in fairies, explaining that in the Dark Ages, people thought everything that went wrong was the fault of fairies.
No. No they didn’t.
Then she says people used to think angels were fairies.
Well, it’s time for a fancy dress party, and they may as well—seeing as nothing else is happening in the book! David and Laurel glam it up and Laurel is all the rage at the party, until she starts wilting—but seeing as Tamani said that would happen anyway… who cares?
After this, Laurel comes to the conclusion that she is, in fact, a fairy. Or ‘Faerie’ as it’s spelled in the book, I don’t think it makes much of a difference.
Yeah, no shit, Laurel.
Well, that party chapter was really necessary, almost as much so as the one in ‘Halo’!
Laurel decides to talk to her mirror, and when that doesn’t get the results she was hoping for realises she has to talk to Tamani instead. David says she shouldn’t go alone, but Laurel points out that she’s Captain Dumb, so she has to go alone.
So Laurel goes to see Tamani, and he explains that the flower on her back wasn’t a set of wings, thus the title of the book is a misnomer. He also tells her she has magic powers, and then gets jealous when Laurel mentions David. This would be incredibly stupid if it was the first time it happened, but I don’t know, maybe fairies imprint and it’s slightly less stupid than it would be otherwise.
Exposition ensues on a massive scale—here’s the cliff notes version. Fairies are either Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin, and Laurel’s in Ravenclaw. Okay, not really; they’ve all got different powers based on what season they were born in, Laurel’s an autumn girl (or ‘fall’ if you’re from across the pond) so she’s the second most powerful after the plant-controlling winter fairies, having the ability to make potions and shit.
Summer fairies have the power to make illusions, which really begs the question of why they aren’t the most powerful—just ask Aizen Sousuke! And Spring fairies like Tamani are…
Again, not really. They have the power to ‘entice’ people and spray them with sparkly pollen, just like Tam did to Laurel back in chapter eight. A bit strong for a first date, I think, but hey—I don’t judge!
Oh, and halfway mark, yay!
Boring conversations ensue. Tam is a snob, like all magical creatures, and yet is completely indistinguishable from a human in mannerism. He tells her that eating green stuff makes you green, and eating red stuff turns you red. Then they talk about fairy sex!
Okay, back to more of that plot thing, Laurel was taken from the fairy world and hidden in the human world and Tam and some other fairies have been watching over her ever since, because… she needed to protect the land… and that necessitated sending a child-sleeper agent to be adopted by a pair of hippies, apparently.
Why is the land so important? It’s too important for an explanation, that’s why!
For this reason Tam tells Laurel she must stop her parents from selling the land! It’s almost like they should have got someone to be a buyer, rather than hoping the hippies would adopt a child who’d grow up to be in control of the land!
Then he gives her a ring to remind her of him and I guess they’re in love now. Two conversations, and after the first one she hated him; that’s got to be a record!
(CONTINUED IN PART II)