First appeared on Goodreads, December 23, 2013
The story: When she was ten, Abbey Chandler was meant to die, but instead, Death took her mother. Five years later, Abbey is still trying to cope with her survivor guilt and dealing with her misguided, but well-meaning father. When someone posts doctored pictures of her and her best friend on an Internet cite, she decides to go with her dad to their family cabin for some alone time, and hopefully to escape the worst of it. But then weird things start to happen, not least of which is Nate, Abbey's crush of all crushes, suddenly seeking her out and declaring his love for her. Weird, because at the time, Nate is supposed to be climbing mount Denali and since we're allowed to look through Nate's eyes as well, we know that at the time, he's also dying in the snow after an avalanche.
On a Dark Wing is a hard book to get into. Abbey is not your perfect heroine - she's boy-obsessed, she's self-centred and she's kind of a coward. Her best friend, Tanner, who was left paralysed after a bad incident, had a lot more guts than her, and in fact, he was a lot more fun to follow.
But as the book progresses, I admit I kinda liked Abbey. Sure, sometimes I thought she was selfish and honestly a bit TSTL, but who wasn't at fifteen. And with the spins Dane puts on the story, you really can't blame her. I wasn't wild about the altering POVs (first person for Abbey, third person limited for everyone else), but I kinda see why we need it - otherwise, the story wouldn't make much sense.
I don't want to spoil much for you, so I can't tell you exactly what happens, but here are the things that would make anyone disillusioned with YA Paranormal renew their faith - the creepy stalker DOES NOT get the girl. How awesome is that? This book gets brownie points just for that! And it only gets better because the real love interest is bite-your-fist swoon worthy.
Even better, though, is the fact that throughout the book, Abbey GROWS. She advances by leaps and bounds, and somehow, it's made to look realistic. She becomes very mature as the story progresses, and instead of ignoring her disillusionment, she embraces it to become a better person (for the most part).
Some of the scenes that rang the most true for me, though, were those between Abbey and her father. Dane portrays their relationship realistically, creating a father - daughter experience which is not common in the genre.
What can I say, it is a great book. Even when there are things I didn't like, it didn't bring down the experience for me because the overall product was good.
If I had to point out a specific problem, though, it would be the last chapter. I honestly don't know what to think of it, and it really depends on the interpretation. On one hand, it is delightfully creepy. On the other, it throws all the good stuff I said about Abbey's character growth into a loop. But given that she's fifteen, I can't really fault her.
NOTE: A copy of the book was provided by the publishers via NetGalley.
NOTE 2: Image via Goodreads.