How to Fly With Broken Wings
By Jane ElsonBlurb: 'If Finn Maison shouts jump you jump or you are dead.'
Twelve-year-old Willem has Aspergers Syndrome and two main aims in life: to fly and to make at least two friends of his own age. But all the other boys from the Beckham Estate do is make him jump off things. First his desk - and now the wall. As his toes teeter on the edge, Sasha Barton gives him a tiny little wink. Might she become his friend?
Bullied by Finn and his gang the Beckham Estate Boyz, Willem has no choice but to jump. As he flies through the air he flaps his arms, wishing he could fly and escape into the clouds. Instead he comes crashing down and breaks his ankle.
Sasha, angry with herself for not stopping Finn and his Boyz, is determined to put things right. And soon, while the gangs riot on their estate, Willem and Sasha form an unlikely friendship. Because they share a secret. Sasha longs to fly too.
And when Magic Man Archie arrives with stories of war-flying spitfires, he will change the lives of the kids on the Beckham Estate for ever. And perhaps find a way for Willem and Sasha to fly ...
Touching on themes such as friendship and bullying, this is a charming tale about overcoming obstacles and finding friendship in unlikely places.
Genres: Juvenile, Realistic Fiction
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
My Rating: 2 stars
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
It says a lot that only a few weeks after reading How to Fly With Broken Wings, I am having a hard time remembering a lot of details about this book. Actually, I had to look up two of the main character's names because I just couldn't remember them. Yep, it was one of those books.
The writing style was the first thing that caught my attention in a negative way. It's very flat, with simple sentences and little variation of sentence structure that made it hard to become engrossed in the book.
Secondly, the characters; yeah...once again, I couldn't even remember Willem and Sasha's names right away. Finn, for some reason, I remembered. I just really didn't care about them at all. I've seen characters like them before; a bullied boy who has issues making friends, a bully who has a bad home life, the girl who befriends the bullied kid. Honestly, there are plenty of books that deal with these dynamics between characters, and deal with it better.
The plot began to get a bit convoluted. I think it should have just focused on the relationship between Sasha, Finn, and Willem; that would have been enough. Instead, we also were treated to rioting gangs, and stories of dead pilots and their long lost loves, and a kindly old man who is Willem's neighbor. They were all nice plots, but they could be a distraction. Sometimes, less is more.
This book had a lot of potential, but that potential was totally wasted. How to Fly With Broken Wings had absolutely no emotional effect on me whatsoever, and I have a suspicion that in a few months I'll have practically forgotten it.