Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Books I've Loved: The Heartbeats of Wing Jones

I really enjoyed this one and read the whole thing in a single afternoon.  It's a story about a girl who has always lived in the shadow of her older brother, Marcus, who she worships.  Then Marcus drives drunk and crashes his car, killing two other people and winds up in a coma.

The book follows Wing as she and her family deal with the aftermath of this tragedy, from figuring out how to pay the medical bills to dealing with the fact Marcus, the golden one, did something so irresponsible and reckless.

Unable to sleep at night, Wing starts running and discovers not only does she have a talent for it, she loves running.  Not to mention Aaron, Marcus's best friend and future track star...

I loved this book for tackling difficult subject matter in a realistic way.  I also loved the portrayal of Wing's multi-ethnic family that includes two grandmothers from very different worlds who don't always see eye to eye.

I also liked the relationship between the siblings.  They obviously cared a lot about each other, but Wing saw Marcus in an unrealistic way.  Her journey in learning to see her brother as both human and flawed, and to accepting him that way, is well worth reading.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb:

Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshipped her older brother, Marcus, for as long as she can remember. Good-looking, popular, and the star of the football team, Marcus is everything his sister is not, and Wing is all too aware of this.

Until the night when everything changes. Marcus, drunk at the wheel after a party, kills two people and barely survives himself. With Marcus now in a coma, Wing is crushed, confused, and angry—could Marcus, the golden boy, really have done something so irresponsible, so reckless? She is tormented at school for Marcus’s mistake, haunted at home by her mother’s and grandmothers’ grief. To make matters worse, the bank is threatening to repossess her family’s house because all their money is going to pay her brother’s mounting medical bills.

Every night, unable to sleep, Wing finds herself sneaking out to go to the school’s empty track. With the breeze in her hair and her feet pounding the dirt for hours and hours, she can imagine she is keeping Marcus’s heart beating. If she runs hard enough, maybe he’ll wake up. Maybe she’ll free her family.

When Aaron, Marcus’s best friend, sees her running one night, he recognizes that her speed, skill, and agility could get her spot on the track team—and better still, a shot at a coveted sponsorship from a major athletic gear company. Wing can’t pass up the opportunity to train with her longtime crush and to help her struggling family, but can she handle being thrust out of Marcus’s shadow and into the spotlight?

1 comment:

  1. That does sound good. I find the names weird though. The son is Marcus and the daughter Wing??