Sometimes you just need to read something that punches you in the gut. I was so ready to ride a rollercoaster of emotions for this book, and I totally got what I asked for.
Title: Scars Like Wings
Author: Erin Stewart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genres: YA Contemporary
I was given an ARC by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Scars Like Wings was so emotional and heartbreaking, so uplifting and hopeful. I was immediately swept up by Ava’s voice, and I refused to let go until the last page.
Is this really Erin Stewart’s debut? I know it is, but reading this book made me feel like I was reading a seasoned author’s book. The book was well paced, it was brilliantly researched and sensitive on the heavy topics it touches on, and the characters were phenomenal.
Oh the characters. Oh Ava. Our main character is still grieving the loss of her parents and cousin after a year of surgeries, physical therapy, emotional therapy, and so much pain. Ava’s voice feels so, so real. Her grief is palpable, the rage she experiences is understandable. When she feels joy I just want to cry happy tears.
And then there’s Piper and Asad, who enter Ava’s life after Ava goes back to high school. They are beautiful and imperfect and whole. Even the ‘villain’ of the story is three-dimensional, which I really appreciated. There were so many problems, so much drama—it felt like going back to high school in a very scary, very real way.
I haven’t read a YA contemporary quite like this in a long time. I cried, I laughed, I cried again. This book is seriously a roller coaster ride of emotions—and I loved it. So much.