The Girl With Borrowed Wings by Rinsai Rossetti
Standalone (as far as I know)
Bookologist Analysis: This book was floating on the sky with wings as it flew far away.
Controlled by her father and bound by the desert, Frenenqer Paje feels like a list of rules in the shape of a girl. Then 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 attachment, no rules. And 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.
A desert in an oasis not an oasis in a desert. This is how Frenenqer lives in a place that is supposed to be a flowing fountain of plenty where there is supposed to be life, but rather there is a constricting heat where you are a woman and cannot leave. Frenenqer feels the extreme caged feeling that is brought on by her family, specifically her father, and the culture she is forced to move to.
You might get a little creeped out, but if you think about it most YA books are written by people many years older than the characters in the book. Surprisingly, Rinsai was eighteen when she wrote the book and got published at twenty-one, which means you feel an actual teenager talking. This book felt like someone’s life story to the extreme. Having all the rules you have to follow as a teenager is represented by Frenenqer’s father and the desert. Her mother is this innocent person dragged into all of this that doesn’t want to do anything. Frenenqer gets away from all of her reality by controlling her friend; she’s a little sadistic which I like she wants to pushes Anju to be her secretary till she breaks which I find is almost a release for her. The permanent solution though is Sangris –a boy that takes Frenenqer wherever she wants to go -from Thailand to France. You really feel the angst of a real teenager in this book. You feel the strings that are not attached anywhere that is floating towards the sky with nowhere to land till they find someone to attach to.
Sangris is this free spirit who is coincidentally called a Free Person. Free Person is not a species, but rather a term used for any unattached shape shifter. He has nothing and we know next to nothing about him except that he is often restless and floating around the world(s). We happen to meet him in a souk as a cat (weird place to find your best friend). He pays Frenenqer back by taking her anywhere in the world. I find it so unbelievably awkward to see a girl brought up in restrictive household and society that has the emotional tools of a thirteen year old to learn her way around a boy (if you can call a shape shifter that). He obviously has a crush on Frenenqer as he shows up almost every night to go everywhere from Thailand to Copenhagen, but for the majority this book is set in an oasis in the UAE. Sangris teaches Frenenqer about the world and it is delightful to see her make a friend whom she trusts. It’s the beauty in the love story to see a strong free willed boy to come to love a girl with mental blocks come to love a boy whom she is comfortable around even in just a shirt (big no-no in the Middle East).
This book I have to say over all that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and really hope there is a sequel. The book was going to an extremes we all feel at the hands of our parents. It is also story about how you should never love or worship somebody who wants you to only a mold of what you are (*coughs* Frenenqer’s father). Love people who love you and admit it when you are sure you love them too. Don’t let other people have to suffer at your hands as Sangris did for a whole year falling for Frenenqer. Mental blocks you have should be knocked down as soon as possible. This book is full of lessons that you should take to heart.
This book is definitely one of my favorite books that I have read in the last couple months. The one thing it lacked however was world building. I mean who else lives in Ae. Are Free People the only sort of flying/shape shifting species out there? I hope there is sequel where we see the rest of the people and more of an action plot than romance plot. This book is beautifully written for Rinsai most of kissed the Blarney Stone while she was traveling. Read it and see a girl break barriers- physical, mental, and social.