Book Review: All of Us With Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil

All of Us with Wings  by Michelle Ruiz Keil Genre:  YA fantasy, magical realism Synopsis:   man who betrayed her. Then one day, she me...

All of Us with Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil

Genre: YA fantasy, magical realism

man who betrayed her. Then one day, she meets Pallas, a precocious twelve-year-old who lives with her rockstar family in one of the city’s storybook Victorians. Xochi accepts a position as Pallas’s live-in governess and quickly finds her place in the girl’s tight-knit household, which operates on a free-love philosophy and easy warmth despite the band’s growing fame.

But on the night of the Vernal Equinox, as a concert afterparty rages in the house below, Xochi and Pallas perform a riot-grrrl ritual in good fun, accidentally summoning a pair of ancient beings bound to avenge the wrongs of Xochi’s past. She would do anything to preserve her new life, but with the creatures determined to exact vengeance on those who’ve hurt her, no one is safe—not the family Xochi’s chosen, nor the one she left behind.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Excessive drug use, child neglect, death, pedophilia

Overall rating:  ★★☆☆☆

Some of my first thoughts while reading All Of Us With Wings included: “why the hell are there so many characters,” “I am so confused,” and “what in the actual hell am I reading?”

This was a weird book. And there were components of it that could’ve been really lovely, but the book includes an excessive amount of adult/teenager relationships that were key part of the books but could’ve been entirely omitted without changing the purpose of the story. Why do we need a romantic relationship to kindle between a 28-year old and a 17-year old? Why do we need sexual scenes between twenty-somethings and a teenager? We don’t. There’s a difference between a traumatic experience between an adult and teen/child, and a blatant relationship or sexual encounter. And what’s worse is that the characters in the book are talking about the age difference and the problems there, but it doesn’t change any outcomes or the situation. I just don’t get it.

What I would’ve enjoyed more is the blossoming friendship, almost mentorship, between Xochi and Pallas. That should’ve been the main plot point, but it kind of just stymied out. But that was definitely a relationship worth exploring, a friendship worth growing.

I was also incredibly disappointed by the pair of creatures plot line. It could’ve been really good, but I didn’t feel like they got a large enough part in the story. They almost even seemed like an afterthought. Like if they had been removed from the story completely, and just a few small things shifted, it would’ve been the same story. I wanted more from the creatures because in many parts, I felt they could’ve been absolutely horrifying, and other parts, I could’ve absolutely appreciated them. But the romantic pieces overtook so much of the story. Then there’s the problem of the weird chapters from Peace Blossom to the cat’s POV. It was so weird and awkward, and not at all believable.

This book felt so scattered and like it was multiple plots pulled together to make the book longer. Honestly, I was not a fan and wouldn’t recommend this book.

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