THE HEARTBEATS OF WING JONES REVIEW: When Tragedy Strikes, Wing Runs ~ Tales of the Ravenous Reader


Hello lovely readers and thank you for stopping by for my review of HEARTBEATS OF WING JONES by Katherine Webber.  I picked up this book once I knew Katherine was visiting the SF Bay Area and practically kicked myself for not reading it sooner. I fell in love with the story and it’s main character Wing, so much so that I contacted Katherine to interview her because I had to know more about this story.  You can watch that interview directly below and then read my thoughts on this story that I think is quite fabulous.

My Thoughts


When I sat down to read HEARTBEAT OF WING JONES I was immediately taken in by it’s main character Wing Jones, her earnest voice had an intensity and depth of emotion that shone through on each page. Her vulnerability makes your heart ache for her because she feels as if doesn’t fit in anywhere, not at home or at school. And definitely not the dizzying heights of  popularity and respect her brother has achieved through his spot on the high school football team. The love that she has for her family, especially her big brother is the only thing she is sure of, content to live on the fringes.  Then tragedy strikes and the only thing that has grounded her is gone and she is left adrift, navigating through an environment that she already feels out of place in and has to find herself on her own.

Wing and her family try their best to manage in a world that her brother is not actively participating in but the stress takes it’s toll on everyone, especially Wing. Then one night she is guided by mysterious forces in the form of a tigress and dragon that lead her to take her pent up frustration and energy onto the track and run. This is where I feel the need to put on my heels and run like the wind because Katherine is able to make Wing’s running sound as swift as it is graceful. Thus begins Wing’s journey to stand up for herself and take control of her own path and not be content to stand by in the shadows any longer.

Besides having a main character  that one cannot help but admire and cheer on. HEARTBEATS OF WING JONES also has an amazing supporting cast of characters. Okay!! can we take a moment to talk about the comedic relief that one gets from her two grandmothers, Granny Dee and LaoLao (one Chinese and one Ghanaian). Their cultural differences and spirited ways made me laugh so hard my belly heart. Then we have Aaron, her brother’s best friend that has spots her running and gives her the push that is needed and did if forgot to say that she has had a crush on for years….ahhh yes….there are kissing scenes my friends and it is very good. Besides all that goodness there is also a mentor (go girl power) Eliza, who’s friendship helps further push Wing into the lime light. Initially I felt that she would prove to be more of a nemesis but things totally didn’t run in that direction and I was so happy because of it.

I went into reading HEARTBEAT OF WING JONES by Katherine Webber, knowing very little but the basics. I was geared up for a hard hitting read and was rewarded with a literary treat that was full of heart and laughter interwoven with touches of magical realism. I highly recommend this feel good read about finding yourself in the midst of a tragedy and making your place in the world. I will be looking for more from Katherine Webber in the future.




by Katherine Webber


Published: March 14th 2017 

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Series: No Standalone 

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?


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