Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a chance to review this book ahead of its release date.
So, sometimes there are books that you may think, well, I just can’t relate to that. But books are not just for you to relate to personally. They are for you to open your eyes to others and what they might be going through. They teach you empathy and how to switch your perception of what you only see on the outside. This book is one of those that I digested in such a way.
SCARS LIKE WINGS follows Ava, a year later after a horrific house fire that killed her parents and left her burned on 60% of her body. She lives with her aunt and uncle as she navigates life feeling lost and hideous. She makes a deal with Cora, her aunt, and attempts to go back to school for a sense of normalcy. Ava knows her life is no longer normal, and the stares and whispers about her appearance do not sneak by but are amplified in her already fragile mind.
She meets a girl named Piper, who’s recovering from a car accident and together, along with a boy named Asad, they form bonds that seem unbreakable, but are just as splintered. Piper may push Ava to become more confident, but it can only go so far. Ava realizes the trauma that Piper is going through behind closed doors and learns to look past her problems. Behind the backdrop of a theater group and secrets, she must come to terms with; Ava must find a way to break free of her scars.
I finished this book in less than a day. The characters and their journies were so heartbreaking. Having scars of my own (car accident, thyroid surgery, throwing my arm through a window), I felt a little bit what Ava was going through. People who ask about the scars on my face as a child and when we’re children we don’t know how to process it. We sink into ourselves, feel ashamed, or just get angry. These feelings are normal and are some of the things Ava goes through. What I learned as I grew, is what Ava learns in this book, is that you are not your scars and that you can rise above the stares and the questions and comes to terms with your past because scars, unseen or not, are there to stay. It’s what you do with them that defines you.
I cannot wait to see what else Erin Stewart has in store. I cannot believe this is a debut because it is just phenomenal!. Congrats on a fantastic book. I hope teachers and librarians stock this book and use it as required reading.
Expected publication is October 2019 from Delacorte