Aprilynne Pike's debut novel, Wings, hits the book store shelves this week. This young adult fantasy features a new twist on the traditional faerie archetype that, to my knowledge, has never before been written about. Pike's unique interpretation of faeries strikes an intriguing balance between magic and realism and is likely to capture the imagination of readers.
The story unfolds when high school sophomore Laurel Sewell wakes up one day to find something resembling wings growing forth from between her shoulder blades. Already struggling with the other aspects of her life that make her feel like an outsider — being adopted after being abandoned on a doorstep at roughly the age of three, moving to a new town, and being a first-time student at the public high school after being home schooled through all of her early education — Laurel must now deal with this alarming new development.
Long, bluish-white forms rose over both shoulders. For a moment Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful - almost too beautiful for words.
With few friends, she manages to find herself torn between the only two people who know her secret. One is a flirtatious yet dependable boy in her science class who is quickly becoming her best friend, with the potential promise of something more serious developing between them. The second is a breath-takingly handsome boy, a faerie like herself, who she knows little about but finds herself drawn to none-the-less.
True to the young adult romance genre format, a budding love triangle develops, and Laurel finds herself emotionally caught in the middle between the boy who is her trustworthy and unquestioningly loyal friend and the boy who is more magically adept than she but still eludes her as a tempting mystery to be solved. When a dangerous enemy appears on the scene, perhaps threatening both the safety of Laurel's family as well as the faerie kingdom itself, both boys do their best to rush to Laurel's rescue.
Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, has called Aprilynne Pike's Wings "a remarkable debut," adding that "the ingenuity of the mythology is matched only by the startling loveliness with which the story unfolds."
Please keep an eye out for my upcoming interview with author Aprilynne Pike.