If you have visited my blog prior to reading this post then it will come as no surprise to you that I absolutely adore the wonderful debut novel Wing Jones written by the lovely Katherine Webber. Today is Tuesday 14th March which marks the US release of the YA novel that has totally captured my heart. With a slightly different title, The Heartbeats of Wing Jones, this book is bound to capture the hearts of thousands more over the coming weeks, months and years. I do not doubt that Wing Jones is a book that will be talked about in the YA community for years to come.
There is also no denying that Katie got so incredibly lucky to have two such gorgeous covers for her first book. With the UK paperback also having gorgeous pink and purple ombre sprayed edges and then this beautiful hard cover in the US, this book is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside. I certainly cannot wait to have a US copy to add to my Wing Jones collection.
Without further ado, let us proceed to why I am writing this post. Wing Jones is a book that I read in early January and I immediately fell head over heels in love. Not only has this book reignited my love of YA contemporary novels but it struck a very personal chord with me for several reasons.
It is no secret that Wing Jones tackles a very serious issue: drink driving and its repercussions.
When I first delved into Wing Jones I was not expecting this, it is not so openly advertised in the UK blurb although it is for the US version. I’m glad that I didn’t know about this going in as I think it would have made me cautious about jumping in so wholeheartedly. I have heard Katie talking at events discussing why she chose to write about someone who drives whilst drunk and sadly that is because a friend of hers was taken as a result of someone doing just that. My story is slightly different but sad all the same. Next week it will be 10 years since someone I was friends with in high school lost her life in a drink driving accident. The difference being that she was the person who had been drunk behind the wheel. I say this with great caution but to this day I am still relieved that nobody else was hurt in this accident because I’m not sure if she could have lived with herself had she been in Marcus’s place.
I have told Katie in writing how thankful I am for this story and how much it means to me to read a story tackling such a taboo topic. Unfortunately so many young people think they are invincible and that just isn’t the case. Please always think before you do something like this because it may not be your life that you are affecting.
Single Parent Family
Wing and Marcus have grown up with the guidance of their mother and grandmothers, LaoLao and Granny Dee. I really, truly appreciated reading a book where the focus was not on the fact that Wing was from a single parent family but that it played an important role as part of the characters lives. Having spent years growing up in a single parent household (under very different circumstances to Wing) I have nothing but completely love and adoration for my mother and I saw so many similarities between her and Wing’s mom. The long working hours, the exhaustion and complete devotion to her children. All qualities that I recognise and love in my own mother. Money is not always easy to come by but I think coming from a single parent family makes us strong in a way we don’t always expect.
I don’t think I will ever tire of recommending this book. I honestly love everything about it and find Wing to be such an inspiring character. I believe that if she can inspire my at the ripe old age of 26 then she will inspire endless numbers of teenagers across the world. This book is incredibly diverse and I think Katie did an excellent job in creating a character that most people will be relate to in one way or another. Reading Wing Jones has certainly ignited a spark in me that isn’t likely to go out any time soon.
Since reading Wing Jones, I have been lucky to meet Katie on two occasions and on both she has been so incredibly lovely and welcoming to me. It is not often that a book has such a profound effect on me and the experience is made all the better to know that Katie is such a wonderful person. Thank you so much, Katie, for such a wonderful and inspiring book. I shall be an advocate for you and Wing for many, many years to come.
You can read my full review of Wing Jones here.
The Heartbeats of Wing Jones is now available in the US and if you’re in the UK and have not read this book yet, I really urge you to! You won’t be disappointed.
If you’ve read Wing Jones, I would love to read your reviews, please leave your links in the comments below.