Synopsis from Soho Press:
Seventeen-year-old Xochi is alone in San Francisco, running from her painful past: the mother who abandoned her, the man who betrayed her. Then one day, she meets Pallas, a precocious twelve-year-old who lives with her rockstar family in one of the city’s storybook Victorians. Xochi accepts a position as Pallas’s live-in governess and quickly finds her place in their household, which is relaxed and happy despite the band’s larger-than-life fame.
But on the night of the Vernal Equinox, as a concert afterparty rages in the house below, Xochi and Pallas accidentally summon a pair of ancient creatures devoted to avenging the wrongs of Xochi’s adolescence. She would do anything to preserve her new life, but with the creatures determined to exact vengeance on those who’ve hurt her, no one is safe—not the family she’s chosen, nor the one she left behind.
About: All of Us with Wings is a young adult magical realism written by Michelle Ruiz Keil. It will be published on 6/18/2019 by Soho Teen, an imprint of Soho Press, paperback, 360 pages. The genres are young adult, magical realism, and LGBT. This book is the author’s debut and it’s intended for readers ages 16 and up, grades 11 and up. According to the publisher’s website, “Soho Press is an independent book publisher based in Manhattan’s Union Square. Founded in 1986, Soho publishes 90 books a year across its Soho Press, Soho Crime and Soho Teen lists, and is known for introducing bold literary voices, award-winning international crime fiction, and groundbreaking young adult fiction.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading All of Us with Wings on 4/23/2019 and finished it on 4/26/2019. This book is an okay read for me. I picked this book up purely on the cover because it’s cute but the story is more weird than I can handle. There are drugs and mentioned of sex, rape, and tattoos going on in this story with older men and underage girls. There are family abandonment and teenage parenting. The parents of Pallas sleeps with other people while together under one roof. Their daughter experiencing puberty and little green monsters showing up in different places, including dreams. Adults dressing up an underage girl slutty to bring her unwanted attention and giving her access to boozes and drugs. It’s just not my kind of read to be honest. It’s definitely sad that a young girl have to experience this kind of life.
This book is told in the third person point of view following Pallas, 12 as she watches her rockstar dad’s band members arriving at her home for an after party from the concert. The alternative view is Xochi, 17 as she says goodbye from hanging out with (babysitting) Pallas to go join the party in the basement. She tried to smoke weed and then feel suffocated so she went out for a walk and ended with a tongue pierce. The third view is of a neighbor’s cat named Peablossom. He witnessed other worldly beings come to life after Xochi and Pallas’ witch rituals. There are other views introduced later into the story to tell their experiences with Xochi.
All of Us with Wings is well written. The story started out slow but strong with drugs use and soon got better when readers learn more about Xochi. It’s a hit and miss with me on the magical realism in this story because I don’t find the green monsters interesting nor the cat’s view. I like that Pallas is smart and loves to read. The diversity in this book is vast with Anna having two dads and how people treat her. Levi sounds like a cool guy with his rules. I like the ending with the humor and what the green monsters did.
Pro: book cover, a glimpse into the life of rockstars, a glimpse into the life of a child being abandoned, diversity
Con: just not my kind of read
I rate it 3.5 stars!
About the Author:
Michelle Ruiz Keil is a Latinx novelist and playwright with an eye for the enchanted and a way with animals. She teaches writing with a focus on fairytale, divination, and archetype and curates All Kinds of Fur: A Fairytale Reading Series and Salon in Portland, Oregon. She has been a fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Lit Camp. Her published short fiction can be found on Cosmonauts Avenue, and she has a forthcoming theater piece in collaboration with Shaking the Tree Theater. All of Us with Wings is her first novel. (Photo and info obtained from Soho Press’ website).
More Information about Soho Press
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Soho Press for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.