Wow. All I can say is Wow.
I just finished Regina Sirois’ book On Little Wings. I’ve been hearing hype on this book for a long time now and had actually purchased the ebook months ago. It moved up high enough on my to-read list. I'm SO glad.
I’ll say right now that I don’t give many five-star reviews. I love a lot of books. A three-star review means I liked the book. Four stars mean I really liked a book and would own it and read it again. Giving a book five stars means it touched me in some way.
Sometimes a story struck a chord because of real-life experiences that made me relate to the characters (such as the I Am Not a Serial Killer series by Dan Wells—and no, I’m not serial killer material).
It might be that the five-star story captured my imagination with its world building, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the fabulous places and desperately wanted to go there and meet these characters.
It could be that the weaving of words and the story haunted my sleep and followed me around even when I wasn’t reading. Like a delectable dessert whose lingering taste keeps me wanting more.
On Little Wings is one of those books for me.
So, what’s it about?
Jennifer's mother is not an only child.
Jennifer's aunt has thirty seven freckles.
And life just stopped making sense for this sixteen-year-old girl from Nebraska.
It will take one forbidden journey, an octogenarian movie star, three old pirates, and one scarred genius to put all the pieces back together.
If that is even possible.
When Jennifer finds a dog-eared photograph of a freckled girl, she never dreams the innocent picture will tear open a gaping wound to her mother's secret past.
Jennifer must leave her home, parents, and best friend in the wheat fields of Nebraska and travel to the rocky shores of Maine to find the aunt she never knew she had. Her search for the truth is distracted by the strange and hilarious characters in the tight-knit town of Smithport. From the 88 year old movie star who likes to show off her tattoo, to the fishermen who have a passion for rockets, to the aunt who recites poetry in the long, Maine nights, Jennifer is intrigued by the lives swirling around her.
In the midst of madness she meets Nathan, the tight-lipped, reluctant prodigy who is surrounded by women who need him to be brother, father, protector, provider, and now, first love. With a restrained, mature, and uncertain voice, Jennifer shares her tale of family, love, loss, truth and beauty.
As Jennifer seeks to piece together her mother's shattered story, she inadvertently writes one for herself.
Sirois uses beautiful language to paint this tale. I’m not in to too much description and will skip over a lot of flowery language. That’s not what Sirois does as she crafts this story. But she made me feel like I was there. Made me want to go to Smithport so I can meet these quirky, fun people. There's a certain showdown that we anticipate, and I loved the circumstances when it finally happened.
On Little Wings is up for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction. I’m not the least bit surprised.
You can download a sample of the first fourteen pages from Kindle here.
What do the star ratings mean to you? We often see books with extremes--5s or 1s. How come we see so few 3s?