Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Wings, book 2

Synopsis: “I can’t just storm in and proclaim my intentions. I can’t ‘steal’ you away. I just have to wait and hope that, someday, you’ll ask,” Tamani said. “And if I don’t?” Laurel said, her voice barely above a whisper. “Then I guess I’ll be waiting forever.” Although Laurel has come to accept her true identity as a faerie, she refuses to turn her back on her human life – and especially her boyfriend, David – to return to the faerie world. But when she is summoned to Avalon, Laurel’s feelings for the charismatic faerie sentry Tamani are undeniable. She is forced to make a choice – a choice that could break her heart.

Review: I was eager to read Spells and I was waiting for its release in France for a while. This second volume focuses mainly on the choice that faces Laurel: to lead a life as a human or as a faerie. A very difficult choice for her. Having been raised among humans, Laurel feels like she cannot abandon her family, friends and her boyfriend, David. But the call of Avalon is also very tempting. Moreover, she’s very attracted by Tamani, the faerie sentry whose mission is to protect her. Unable to make a decision, she tries to reconcile/combine these two lives and doesn’t hesitate to play both ways, but having such an attitude isn’t without consequences.
I must admit that I liked less this second book because I found there was overlong passages. I didn’t finish it as quickly as I would have liked. In fact, I had some difficulties to finish the book, it’s unfortunate. Perhaps it’s the fact that this one is more focused on the love triangle… well I don’t know. Personally, I preferred the passages occurring in Avalon. I wanted to stay longer in this world, to know more about the life and the functioning of this society.
Indeed, on the other side of the gate, we find a fairytale world, full of magic. We finally discover Avalon. This is all new to Laurel too because she forgot all about her early years when she lived there. But life in the faerie world isn’t as perfect as it seems to be. In Avalon, faeries are divided into castes. Those who are at the lowest rung of the ladder, as Tamani, must serve the other faeries who belong to a higher class. So there is a faerie hierarchy, a protocol to follow and a set of strict rules which the girl has difficulties to comply. It was very interesting to discover at the same time as our heroin, the uses and customs of the faeries. I was amazed also by the descriptions of magical landscapes.
As for characters, I must say I was less charmed by David in this second volume, I don’t know why, he’s always so sweet and caring towards Laurel and would do anything for her but I found that he has lost some of his luster. Regarding Tamani, I was really sad for him, especially at the end. Laurel is terribly cruel with him. Okay, she doesn’t want to leave her family and we understand that but why does she play with the poor Tam and his feelings? She’s not nice in this book. We can see also the appearance of a new character in this second opus: a woman named Klea Wilson but we don’t know much about her. Is she a Friend or an enemy? Only the sequel will tell (or at least I hope so). The end opens the door to other possibilities and a third book that promises to be more exciting. In the end, even though I enjoyed less the second book, I’m still a big fan of the saga and I look forward to read the sequel.

Wings by Aprilynne Pike (VO)

Wings, book 1

Synopsis: Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.

Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

Melliane’s review: I had this book for a long time but hadn’t read it yet. When I saw the beautiful french cover, I decided to try. Laurel is a young girl who faces the world for the first time. And it starts to change when a flower begins to grow in her back (It’s very curious and I couldn’t properly see it in my mind). Therefore, Laurel realizes she isn’t human but something she doesn’t know anything about. So, we can see her evolution, her denial and her acceptance during this first novel.

The story is nice and we can read it rapidly. I really liked the Avalon reference, but it makes me ask a lot of questions. I would have loved to know more about this fairy world and its residents.
Despite this first book was pleasant, it was desappointing that the events happen so quickly. Between two paragraphs we can have hours or even a day, without really being noticed. So, some moments are cut hastily without really understanding them.
For the characters, there is a big contrast between David and Laurel. She is a young, simple, empty and not very inteligent girl. I didn’t like very much her character, who doesn’t have a big interest for me. David is a young, appealing, very smart boy. A little too much maybe ? It was weird that a fifteen years boy knows so much about plants and biology. I think it increases Laurel defects.
So, I have a mixed opinion about this book. I think I will read the second but not right now.

Inessa’s review: Another book that I devoured in just a few hours as it was very exciting 
Laurel’s parents have always dreamed of owning a bookstore. In order to make their dream come true they leave the tiny town of Orick to settle in a little further town, Crescent City. After this move Laurel’s life will be changed forever. Now she has to go to school, what is new for her as far as she followed private lessons. Her first school day shows up to be a painful day, the only positive thing is her meeting with David, a boy who seems very interested in her. Fast enough, she even makes new friends. Everything seems to be going well until a barely detectable lump appears in her back … 
I enjoyed this first installment of Wings! I really liked all the characters, especially the two boys who were so touching on their own way. 
Laurel, the heroin, has always lived away from the others, almost isolated. We can also say that she’s a pretty special girl: she doesn’t catch cold, doesn’t need drugs because she never get sick and above all, she feels really good outdoors. Moreover, she’s vegetarian. Laurel is also a very beautiful teenager with a perfect skin so when she notices for the first time the lump on her back, she’s immediately intrigued. At first she thinks dealing with a simple pimple but soon she realizes she never had pimples and the bump is growing constantly. Whatever she does, nothing helps. Have a bump that grows in its back, it’s pretty scary! She even thinks she could suffer from a serious illness. But despite the seriousness of the situation, she decides not to tell to her parents. Certainly all of this isn’t very realistic but I think the purpose of this novel is above all to make us dream and in my case, it worked, I was totally amazed! 
Luckily for Laurel, in her misfortune she can rely on David who will do everything he can to help her. It’s a boy who is quite rational and hooked on biology. Though, curiously, it’s David who will support Laurel and convince her to accept what is happening. Besides at the beginning, their relationship is very touching: it’s clear that David is madly in love with Laurel but she’s not sure about her feelings towards him. In addition, she meets the beautiful and mysterious Tamani who won’t help her to see things more clearly, on the contrary! I loved this third character. He’s the opposite of David but equally endearing! Tamani is the ‘bad boy’ we used to see in young adult novels: he’s arrogant, fearless, and self-confident. He’s a warrior, a fighter. As Laurel puts it, Tamani is passionate while David is rather calm and quiet. The only thing the two young men have in common is their love for Laurel and they’re willing to do anything for her. She’s so lucky!!! As if all of this wasn’t enough, Laurel has to face the threat that hangs over her and her parents. I was also surprised by the way the author tackled the myth of fairies: it changes many things we learned in books about faeries. Moreover, Aprilynne Pike hasn’t hesitated to appropriate some well-known legends to create her own story. So join the Arthurian myth to the character of the famous play by Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream is both audacious and original. I loved this passage and now I want to know more. 
The style of writing is very fluid, the story is told in third person and descriptions are accurate and beautiful! In the end, I was pleasantly surprised by this first volume. It’s beautiful, cute and cuddly. The author has managed to carry me in her wonderful world. I look forward to read the sequel!