The Heartbeats of Wing Jones, Katherine Webber: Book Review

Running may be the one way to solve Wing Jones's problems.

heartbeats of wing jones katherine webber book reviewRandom House Children's Books / Katherine Webber
The Heartbeats of Wing Jones Book Cover The Heartbeats of Wing Jones
Katherine Webber
Young Adult
Random House Children's Books

Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshipped her older brother, Marcus, for as long as she can remember. Good-looking, popular, and the star of the football team, Marcus is everything his sister is not.

Until the night everything changes when Marcus, drunk at the wheel after a party, kills two people and barely survives himself. With Marcus now in a coma, Wing is crushed, confused, and angry. She is tormented at school for Marcus’s mistake, haunted at home by her mother and grandmothers’ grief. In addition to all this, Wing is scared that the bank is going to repossess her home because her family can’t afford Marcus’s mounting medical bills.

Every night, unable to sleep, Wing finds herself sneaking out to go to the school’s empty track. When Aaron, Marcus’s best friend, sees her running one night, he recognizes that her speed, skill, and agility could get her spot on the track team. And better still, an opportunity at a coveted sponsorship from a major athletic gear company. Wing can’t pass up the opportunity to train with her longtime crush and to help her struggling family, but can she handle being thrust out of Marcus’s shadow and into the spotlight?

*Special thanks to Random House Children’s Books for allowing us to read Katherine Webber’s The Heartbeats of Wing Jones.

Katherine Webber‘s The Heartbeats of Wing Jones is a warm and emotional story about how one girl decides to do anything it takes to help her family. Enter Wing Jones, who has looked up to her brother Marcus her whole life: he’s popular and the star of the football team, so naturally everyone at the high school admires him as well.

But then Marcus drives drunk after a party one night and ends up killing two people. He also ends up in a coma. So things are not looking good for the worshipped Marcus Jones. Wing is a mess over this and is almost in denial that her amazing brother could do something so terrible. Wing also is a mess overseeing her mother and grandmother so upset over this matter. And then the bank is threatening to take away their home because they will not be able to pay the house bills. Their money is going towards Marcus’s medical bills instead.

While all of this is going on, Wing finds an escape. She sneaks out of her house at night and goes to her school’s track to run. While she is running, she feels as if she is keeping her brother’s heart beating. If she keeps running harder, then maybe her family won’t lose their house or their son and brother.

Then Marcus’s best friend, Aaron, sees Wing running one night, and realizes that she would be a good asset to the school’s track team. But he also thinks she would be able to receive a sponsorship from an athletic gear company. When Aaron tells her about this, Wing realizes this could really help her family out. And it doesn’t hurt that she has had a crush on Aaron for a long time.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a family drama. This novel tugs at my heartstrings because of how much Wing loves her brother even after everything that happened. It also was sad that Marcus had ruined three lives including his own life. It is hard to come back from that. I also loved how Wing was able to come up with a way to help her family who was in a crisis. It was a nice break to have a love interest for Wing as well. This novel is worth picking up because of all the love in it.

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Jessica Duffield
the authorJessica Duffield
Contributing Writer
I am a junior in college. Books are my passion and I hope to work in book publishing once I graduate from journalism school.