The Girl With Borrowed Wings

The Girl With Borrowed Wings

4.3 8
by Rinsai Rossetti
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A stunningly written tale of an isolated girl and the shape-shifting boy who shows her what freedom could be—if only she has the courage to take it

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

…  See more details below

Overview

A stunningly written tale of an isolated girl and the shape-shifting boy who shows her what freedom could be—if only she has the courage to take it

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rossetti was a teenager when she wrote this novel, and her connection to the stifling constraints, torn emotions, and dazzling first tastes of freedom and power that are synonymous with coming-of-age make this first novel shine. Of Thai descent, 17-year-old Frenenqer Paje has grown up under the thumb of her coldly overbearing father; they currently live in a desert oasis in the Middle East where Frenenqer attends a private school for expatriates. When she disobeys her father by rescuing a mistreated cat, her life changes dramatically. The cat is actually a shape-shifting "Free person" named Sangris who, without any rules to bind him, is Frenenqer's polar opposite. By night, he flies Frenenqer around the world to places both real and magical, slowly chipping away at the defenses she has built up to withstand her father's callous cruelty. Despite Frenenqer's apparent lack of agency, she is actually strong, willful, passionate, and quite funny, and watching her come into her own is thrilling. A breath of fresh air. Ages 12–up. Agent: Danielle Chiotti, Upstart Crow Literary. (July)
The Horn Book
"Exceptional in its originality and in the luminous, funny, elegant quality of its writing. Rossetti moves from quirky, intelligent banter between teens to descriptions of sunshine, landscapes, and bodies, evoking a sharp, clear sensuality....Rossetti raises the bar for current romantic fantasies."
The New York Times
"A frankly spellbinding love story."
Booklist
"A premise that's unique among the stacks of paranormal romances...Feels like a breeze in the desert."
BCCB
"As symbolic as it is magical: the possibilities presented by Sangris and his wings have the same sort of reckless freedom that often accompanies first love, heedless of the rules of the regular world."
The Los Angles Times
"Eye opening and inspiring"
USA Today's Happy Ever After
"The Girl With Borrowed Wings stands in a category of its own making. . . .Rossetti's style hearkens back to Margaret Atwood's literary prowess with humanity's frailties, edgy humor and limitless imagination. . . .Different, quirky, memorable for all the right reasons."
Booklist (starred review)
"A premise that's unique among the stacks of paranormal romances...Feels like a breeze in the desert."
From the Publisher
"A frankly spellbinding love story." — The New York Times

"Eye opening and inspiring" — The Los Angles Times

"The Girl With Borrowed Wings stands in a category of its own making. . . .Rossetti's style hearkens back to Margaret Atwood's literary prowess with humanity's frailties, edgy humor and limitless imagination. . . .Different, quirky, memorable for all the right reasons." — USA Today’s Happy Ever After

"Infused with an urgent hope, this glimmering love story exhilarates and refreshes." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Rossetti was a teenager when she wrote this novel, and her connection to the stifling constraints, torn emotions, and dazzling first tastes of freedom and power that are synonymous with coming-of-age make this first novel shine....[Frenenquer is] strong, willful, passionate, and quite funny, and watching her come into her own is thrilling. A breath of fresh air." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A premise that's unique among the stacks of paranormal romances...Feels like a breeze in the desert." — Booklist (starred review)

"Exceptional in its originality and in the luminous, funny, elegant quality of its writing. Rossetti moves from quirky, intelligent banter between teens to descriptions of sunshine, landscapes, and bodies, evoking a sharp, clear sensuality....Rossetti raises the bar for current romantic fantasies." — The Horn Book

"Told in lush, beautiful language that explores the minutiae of expression and feeling of two lost souls, this novel will resonate with readers experiencing the first flush of desire and the confusion it brings." — School Library Journal

"As symbolic as it is magical: the possibilities presented by Sangris and his wings have the same sort of reckless freedom that often accompanies first love, heedless of the rules of the regular world." — BCCB

VOYA - Lucy Schall
Seventeen-year-old Freneqer Paje recalls a tumultuous year in which she abandons the rule-driven life of her abusive, controlling father and opens herself to the passionate world of her shape-shifter lover. Freneqer lives on a bleak, exotic oasis in a city that her father designed. He is also creating Freneqer: how she holds her spoon, closes a door, or pronounces words. Her first rebellious act is rescuing a dying cat. The cat is a "Free Person," a shape-shifter without rules or boundaries. At night he sprouts wings, and they fly to all the places they have lived. He loves her, but physical love repulses Freneqer. She rejects him. He continues to follow Freneqer's life through her friend Anju, who persuades Freneqer to find her own wings or independence by telling her father that she loves him. The declaration breaks his hold and allows Freneqer to open herself to love. The story explores the complicated relationship between freedom and restriction with heavy symbolism. Most teens will question the long build to the first kiss in chapter seventeen and Freneqer's rejection of it. Anju, Freneqer's friend whose insights unite the lovers, transforms almost too quickly from Freneqer's personal secretary to her wise life counselor. This multicultural, coming-of-age, romantic fantasy will appeal to a small audience of mostly females sophisticated enough to appreciate the extreme restrictions of other cultures and the necessity of personal choice to overcome them. Reviewer: Lucy Schall
Kirkus Reviews
Her name--Frenenqer--means "restraint" in "some language or other," and she is the only child--creation, really--of a man for whom affection is unspeakable: Pfft. Expatriates, Frenenqer and her parents have lived many places but called none of them home. The teen's world now is comprised of three boxes: her family's apartment, her school and the car that takes her from one to the other within the dusty, isolated oasis. When, much to her father's displeasure, Frenenqer rescues a large cat she finds caged in the souk, she liberates a "Free person," a shape-shifting being "born without rules." His are the wings she "borrows," when he nightly takes her in his arms and flies her around the world and into the realms of the Free people. With Sangris, Frenenqer feels free for the first time in her life--but can freedom accommodate love? Rossetti's lush language is highly metaphorical and often sensuous, befitting the unfurling of Frenenqer's stunted soul: "And when I came back up the air was still fresh and calm-smelling,…and the palm trees rustled in faint applause." Her earthy, often funny exchanges with Sangris represent freedom for both Frenenqer and readers from her cold, controlling father, whose "words have a way of shaping the world around him." Infused with an urgent hope, this glimmering love story exhilarates and refreshes. (Magical realism. 12 & up)
The New York Times Book Review
…in The Girl With Borrowed Wings, a frankly spellbinding love story, Rinsai Rossetti shows the power of fantasy when it coincides with, rather than opposes, what may be a grim reality…Rossetti…writes about obstacles nearly all young adults face, whether their sense of displacement is geographical or otherwise: how to create an identity while maintaining a sense of belonging, particularly when it involves forging intimate relationships. As they search for answers to their own daunting questions about identity and love, or for an escape from such queries altogether, it's hard not to imagine teenagers falling for this enchanting fantasy. In her beautifully rendered tale, Rossetti proves fantasy and reality can indeed coexist.
—Shirley LaVarco
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Rigidly controlled by her father and striving desperately to be the perfect daughter he envisions, Frenenqer Paje, 17, moves through her overprotected life in a state of numb obedience and boredom. The stifling culture and heat of the desert oasis where she lives makes any rebellious behavior futile, but her spirit is bigger than she realizes. When she disobeys her father and rescues an abused cat from an Animal Souk, she changes her life. No ordinary feline, Sangris is a Free person, a shape-shifter not bound by rules. Though the idea of it nearly paralyzes her with fear, Frenenqer can't resist Sangris's offer to take her somewhere-anywhere-and the two set off to visit the places where they have lived throughout their nomadic lives. Sangris, who can grow wings at a whim, transforms himself into a gargoyle at first, because Frenenqer is so timid about touching a member of the opposite sex. But as their friendship grows, she is more and more attracted to the handsome, nearly human form he assumes around her. Sangris realizes that complete freedom can be lonely, and that he wants more than camaraderie. When he presses the issue, Frenenqer ends their friendship. With the guidance of a remarkable friend, she hits upon a clever solution to soften her father's rules. And once her issues with him begin to resolve, she finds that she can reach out to Sangris as more than a friend. Told in lush, beautiful language that explores the minutiae of expression and feeling of two lost souls, this novel will resonate with readers experiencing the first flush of desire and the confusion it brings.—Caroline Tesauro, Radford Public Library, VA

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803735668
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
07/19/2012
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
1,191,274
Product dimensions:
5.94(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.09(d)
Lexile:
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Rinsai Rossetti has lived in Thailand, Canada, Italy, America, the UAE, and other countries. She has completed two years at Dartmouth and lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, and the United Arab Emirates.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >