Wings, by Aprilynne Pike, sadly did not make me want to fly. It seemed like a tamer, less interesting version of Twilight, but instead of humans and vampires, it's humans and faeries. The main character, Laurel--a home schooled adoptee turned public school tenth-grader--moves to a new town and, in the midst of trying to fit in at school with her quirks, discovers she's a plant--bleeds clear goop, doesn't eat meat, breathes out oxygen, and (most importantly) grows petal-like wings out of her back, there by making her a faerie (a highly inconvenient realization just before prom).
She struggles to conceal this new discovery while seeking answers. She meets another faerie named Tamani who educates her about her past, her existence, and the endangered faerie land, Avalon.
Enter trolls--evil clay-faced monsters parading as realtors who, in an attempt to invade the faerie world, try to kill Laurel, her dad, and her crush, David. Thrust into the mixture of magic and reality, Laurel must find the courage to fight for what she hopes is real...and worth it.
I found the plot very...young. It didn't really get going until halfway through and the reading was definite grade-school level, though it is labeled "teen". As with many teen novels, Wings focuses on her relationship with David with a bit of secret romance with Tamani (ah...the love triangle). There are sexual insinuations, but age-appropriate physical intimacy (aka. kissing), though I wonder about the next novel.
To clarify, I have nothing against romance, kissing, etc. in the right context and age group. Unfortunately, the world already has a skewed picture of romantic "love" and this constant repeat of solely physical desires will only carry that skewed picture into the next generation.
Aprilynne Pike follows the Stephanie Meyer road to taking myths and legends, mixing them with reality, and adding a twist of lemon (aka. creativity and perseverance. "When life gives you lemons..."). Wings gives a new angle on faeries from a faerie's point-of-view. I think it's fine to read if you like slower, simple, slightly-cliche writing. I have not read book 2, Spells, but trust the plot picks up and the characters deepen. So, strap on your wings and maybe if you get enough pixie dust, you'll float a bit after this read.
Violence Level: **
Romance Level: **
Christian Focus: *
Readability Level: **** (very simply written and easy to follow)
Story Depth Level: ** (so far it's a little lacking, but the next books hold potential)