Book Review: Scars Like Wings

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.

I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I love a good transformation story. I love how this book addressed grief and trauma. I felt it did such a great job at bringing up these topics in a very respectful way. The overall theme of this book was learning to accept others’ differences. I felt the conflict between characters seemed to get resolved quickly which made the book a tad unrealistic. 

I loved the transformation of Ava when she meets Piper, another burn victim. Even though the tense moments seemed to be instantly resolved, the characters felt very real to me. Their emotions felt very real. There were so many heartwarming and heartbreaking moments through this book. 

I really loved how in the end Ava realizes that the choice to be happy is hers alone and it is up to her to create it. She can’t wallow in the life she has been handed and she needs to learn to be happy and find a new purpose. 

Every single character had scars. Every single one, even if they weren’t visible they were there and that is not unlike real life. We all carry our battle wounds, but it is up to us on how we choose to use them. 

Like Ava, I handle my depression and grief through self deprecation and that made her a very relatable character for me.  I felt the friendships were very genuine and I liked Piper even though she came off a bit selfish at times. She, too, was learning to live this new life she was handed and that can sometimes be a trigger to treat others poorly (even if it is a bad one). 

Thank you so much to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for allowing me to review this title. 

Image and synopsis taken from NetGalley.

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