As she recounts the final months of Beth’s life, Jennifer sifts through the lies and the truth, but what she finds are mysteries, miracles, and more questions. Was Beth’s death an accident? Why couldn’t Jennifer—or anyone else—save her?
Through Jennifer’s eyes, we see one girl’s failure to cross the threshold into adulthood as her family slowly falls apart.
Taken from GoodReads.
The Anatomy of Wings is the story of ten-year-old Jennifer Day, who has no idea why her perfect sister, Beth is suddenly gone. Though young and still innocent, she wants answers, and she wants to understand how the sister she knew as the epitome of beauty and all things girly, had turned into someone she hardly even knew. Starting with the contents of a small cardboard box, Jenny starts to unravel the mystery surrounding the loss of her sister and learns to accept the reality of it.
I picked up The Anatomy of Wings on a whim while I was
stalking perusing the contents at the bookstore. I happened upon the cover, I read the summary, and I was sold. The debut novel of author Karen Foxlee, The Anatomy of Wings is a heartfelt story of learning to cope with loss in the only way a young girl knows how. It's tumultuous, heartfelt, and captures the true devastation and need for answers that Jenny feels as she continues to question the events leading to Beth's death. Jenny learns that her parents did everything they could to control Beth's wayward behavior, but it only added fuel to the fire.
I truly wanted to love The Anatomy of Wings. It has all the makings of the perfect story. The writing is clear, fluid, and easy to read. The prose perfectly balances descriptiveness, while remaining concise and relatable. However, I felt a disconnect with the story line, perhaps because it was so disjointed (chapters describing other families, etc). The elements were all there to make it relevant to teens today, but I had a very hard time feeling that connection with Jenny's family. Though the sadness is central in the truth of The Anatomy of Wings, I just didn't feel it myself.
I definitely think that The Anatomy of Wings is a well-written book, and it's not a bad debut. I just had a hard time connecting with it. I give The Anatomy of Wings a 3 out of 5, and I'd recommend it to those who enjoy realistic YA fiction. There are mentions of alcohol and sexual situations, so I'd recommend it to a more mature YA audience, despite the age of Jenny, the narrator.