Laurel discovers she is a faerie, sent among humans to protect the gateway to Avalon. Thrust into the midst of a centuries-old battle between faeries and trolls, she's torn between a human and a faerie love, as well as her loyalties to each world. In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.
Wings is extremely well written, told in a mature, graceful tone that eliminates any chances of it becoming juvenile. To me personally, it resonates as a enchanting fairy tale more so than it does as a fantasy YA fiction novel. What Stephanie Meyer did with vampires, Aprilynne Pike did with faeries. And yes, I suppose that does mean that I love Twilight, but it also means that this book as a ton of potential.
Pike's version of faeries, which turn out to be much more similar to plants than they are to Tinker Bell, definitely contributes to the overall enchanting feel of the book as well. It also makes the book seem more mature, because I'm sure that the first thing that comes to mind when you think of faeries is miniature people with wings and pixie dust (which, I have to say, does not make any sense at all, considering the fact that pixies would make pixie dust, not faeries), not people who are, virtually, in all senses of the word, plants. The fact that Pike has created this new type of faeries also increases the mystery and intrigue of the book; since we don't know anything about her faeries, it leaves you, as a reader, with a ton of questions that push you through the book much faster.
The story itself is very compelling; it is, after all, a story about a teenage girl who, ultimately, discovers that she is not quite human; in fact, she is not human at all. And from the aspect of a teenage girl myself, that alone should draw all young girls in; any girl who has ever experienced the feeling that you are not quite like all of the other kids, that you're different, can relate. And even though she is actually different in a way that none of us truly could understand, it is an extremely common teen issue. That, in itself, contributes to the book in a big way, because, yes, it is about faeries, but it's also about something bigger than that, something totally normal that tons of girls struggle with.
Pike also deserves major points for character development; I honestly feel as if I know majority of the characters in the book, both main and supporting. And not only do I feel like I know them, I also like them. A big issue for me nowadays is a very, very, strong dislike for a lot of the main female characters in YA novels, but I did not have a problem with that at all in Wings. Laurel is a generally likeable character, as are her two love interests: David and Tamani, which is also something this book is definitely not lacking: ROMANCE!
You can't deny it. If you read YA fiction, that has to be one of the reasons you keep coming back for more. The romance. But this aspect of Wings also makes me love Pike even more, because she treats it in a mature, serious way that doesn't even go near melodramatic or overly girlie. David and Tamani are completely different characters, and this causes an issue for not just Laurel but also the reader; two conflicting love interests always makes our hearts break, because it's so hard to decide just whose side to be on.
Wings is definitely on the top of my list; its romantic and enchanting, but also suspenseful and sweet. In my personal opinion, it's better than Marr's Wicked Lovely, but they're both pretty close, and if you like either you definitely need to read the other. Also, if you've read this one, you've got to read the sequel, Spells. It's just as good, if not better.