Summary: Controlled by her father and bound by desert, Frenenqer Paje’s life is tediously the same, until a small act of rebellion explodes her world and she meets a boy, but not just a boy–a Free person, a winged person, a shape-shifter. He has everything Frenenqer doesn’t. No family, no attachments, no rules. At night, he flies them to the far-flung places of their childhoods to retrace their pasts. But when the delicate balance of their friendship threatens to rupture into something more, Frenenqer must confront her isolation, her father, and her very sense of identity, breaking all the rules of her life to become free. (GoodReads)
Review: Although I had been looking forward to reading this book for months, when I actually started reading, I didn’t think I would wind up liking it after all. Rosetti’s writing style took some getting used to. Frenenqer’s voice seemed a little off to me in the way that she began describing her life to the audience (the book is narrated in first person) and how she responded to her best friend Anjou and Sangris, the shape-shifter boy.
By the halfway point, however, I had mostly adjusted to the way the story was told, and was definitely invested in how things would turn out. Frenenqer’s relationship with Sangris was sweet and frustrating by turns, hitting all the usual beats of a teen paranormal romance formula. Equally as interesting was Frenenqer’s relationship with her overbearing, control-freak (to put it mildly) father. While the symptoms she showed from her father’s emotional abuse and mother’s neglect did largely make sense, at times it was difficult to read about her inability to change her situation and the way she continuously pushed Sangris away. As you might imagine, the turning point eventually comes, but it occurs so late in the story that I would have liked more resolution, even if it was just a short epilogue.
I enjoyed Rossetti’s descriptions of the oasis where Frenenqer lives. As cliche as it sounds, there were times when I could practically feel the desert heat radiating from the pages. As a whole though, Frenenqer’s world seemed a bit too hazy. Though it’s fantasy/paranormal, the book is set in modern day Earth (or some magical version of it). For whatever reason, I kept getting distracted from my reading experience by feeling I had to mentally test the boundaries of the world, which is a problem I’ve rarely had with other contemporary/urban fantasies.
In short: Like one of Frenenqer and Sangris’s trips, The Girl With Borrowed Wings makes for a nice, short escape. Bring it to the beach.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Cover & Title: Very pretty cover. I appreciate that they went for a more artistic angle than the typical computer-edited photo-of-a-girl approach. The title suits the story well.
Where I got the book: Shelves of the local library.