Two Book….oh wait, One Book Tuesday!
Title: Scars Like Wings
Author: Erin Stewart
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: October 1st
***TRIGGER***: suicide, scars, hospitals, death of a parent(s)
Relatable, heartbreaking, and real, this is a story of resilience–the perfect novel for readers of powerful contemporary fiction like Girl in Pieces and Every Last Word.
Before, I was a million things. Now I’m only one. The Burned Girl.
Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn’t need a mirror to know what she looks like–she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her.
A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be “normal” again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends–no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever.
But when Ava meets a fellow survivor named Piper, she begins to feel like maybe she doesn’t have to face the nightmare alone. Sarcastic and blunt, Piper isn’t afraid to push Ava out of her comfort zone. Piper introduces Ava to Asad, a boy who loves theater just as much as she does, and slowly, Ava tries to create a life again. Yet Piper is fighting her own battle, and soon Ava must decide if she’s going to fade back into her scars . . . or let the people by her side help her fly.
“A heartfelt and unflinching look at the reality of being a burn survivor and at the scars we all carry. This book is for everyone, burned or not, who has ever searched for a light in the darkness.” –Stephanie Nielson, New York Times bestselling author of Heaven Is Here and a burn survivor
Oh boy, this one got me—I cried big time. I knew nothing about this book going in, as this is Erin Stewart’s debut novel, but it completely blew me away.
The book opens with our main character Ava at a doctor’s appointment a year after surviving a horrific fire that not only took away her entire world, but also left her scarred over most of her body. The imagery and descriptions were so vivid, it almost made me uncomfortable reading and imagining Ava’s scars. Stewart words were unflinching.
Ava has such an incredible and distinct voice that was refreshing to read. Honestly, her self deprecating and dark humor might make some people uncomfortable, but she’s just trying to get through a terrible situation without completely losing herself in the process. The connection between her and Piper was magnetic—they took on the world together. They helped each other along this journey. And sometimes I really didn’t like Piper—she could be selfish and deceitful but she was also trying to figure out what her new normal. When you boil it down, this was a story about friendship through regrowth.
Additionally, this was a story about grieving an old life. Ava will never be the girl she was before the fire, but she doesn’t have to completely lose that person altogether. She is rebuilding her new normal, with the help of her family and her friends.
ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.