Book Review: The Heartbeats of Wing Jones

wing jones.png

At it’s core, this story is about self-discovery and the forces that contribute to who we are and  help us find our way. This story is about the ways Wing’s life changes over the course of a year clouded by tragedy that disbands her understanding of herself and family. Because the book jacket is a plot summary of the first 250 (out of 323) pages it was easy to feel like the story was lagging making the tempo challenging to follow.

So here is what you should actually know before deciding to read The Heartbeats of Wing Jones:

  1. Wing Jones is a high school sophomore living in the shadow of her superstar football quarterback brother.

  2. This story takes places in 1995 Atlanta-meaning landlines and no texting. (fun!)

  3. There is a small element of magical realism? Sort of?

Much of this book takes place in Wing’s mind while she is running, which I found to be incredibly fascinating. I ran track for about 2 weeks in high school and have avoided it since. This story forced me to reconsider my resistance to the activity. Webber writes about running how some people write about wildflowers or kissing in the rain. She uses gripping and lovely imagery; it is inspiring. I am excited that this is Webber’s first novel. While there are things that I struggled to love about the book the author shows incredible potential.

The night air wraps its arms around me as I silently jog down the street and away from my house. With every step I feel freer. I let my breathing come naturally, my breaths kissing the night. The night kisses me back, butterfly kisses made of mist. The sky is cloudy, not a star to be seen, and it feels so low that if I could run just a little bit faster I could leap up and touch the heavy night clouds.
— The heartbeats of Wing Jones; page 108.

Rating: 3.5/5

Mood: Like watching someone whittling. It is a process with fascinating and beautiful elements but is also slow and methodical.

For Fans Of: Jenny Han, A Ring of Endless Light, Running, Giving new authors a shot