Monday, September 5, 2011

Book Review: No Wings Attached

By Melissa Amster
I've been on a fairy tale kick lately with reading chick lit novels that have a suspension of disbelief. "No Wings Attached" by Stella Deleuze definitely fits into this category.

Celia sends a letter to the universe, requesting a few "must-have" items to make her life complete, such as a job she enjoys and a good relationship with a nice man. Tom is a "wish consultant" who is sent without his special powers (due to a previous mistake) to grant her wishes. As Tom is getting to know his "client," he soon begins to fall in love with her. And to Celia, he is everything she has been wishing for in a man. However, this relationship is a disaster waiting to happen, if some higher powers have their way.

There were a lot of things that I loved about this novel. It had a realistic feel to it, in terms of descriptions. I felt like I could really take on the characters' emotions and even become nervous for them. They were both easily relatable characters, as well. I have experienced the kinds of stresses Celia has experienced, either by myself or vicariously through those I'm closest with. I also tend to act as a "wish consultant" in real life by trying to make good things happen for people I care about and looking after others to the point where I get emotionally involved (in a vicarious way). Another thing I love was the way Ms. Deleuze gave her readers a feel for the season. I could easily feel the weather she was describing, if that makes any sense. I was also able to visualize characters and places really well. I also loved the romantic relationship in the story. It reminded me of the early days of when I first fell in love with my husband. I personally enjoy getting those kinds of reminders, almost 10 years later. While I think some authors could use some spice in their novel, Ms. Deleuze's romantic scenes were clean and that worked for this novel. The emotional aspect is what really brought the story home for me.

Having said that, there were other things that Ms. Deleuze could have polished up to make this novel even more stellar. The first is spelling and grammar. In her guest post at our blog last month, she mentioned that she had a "hand for editing." However, I didn't see that "hand" touch this novel at all. Perhaps someone could have returned the favor to her, as there were a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. If I weren't reading it on a Kindle, I would have taken a red pen to it myself. The phrasing and conversation structure was awkward and the transitions between scenes could have used some fixing up, as well. "No Wings Attached" was written entirely in the present tense. I've read other novels written in the present tense and didn't even notice that structure because of their smoothness. With this novel, the structure did not help the awkward phrasing. I've tried to write short stories in the present tense and it is challenging. So I give Ms. Deleuze credit for her effort. Finally, while Ms. Deleuze's descriptions are spot-on, I wish she had described the setting to be more in London than she implied. I could easily see everything taking place in New York City, as there was a generic feel to the setting. It didn't really give off a feel like it took place in London, the way other British (and even some American) authors have given that kind of feel to their novels.

Overall, "No Wings Attached" is a sweet story that throws a lot of surprises at the reader. It has a "Harry Potter" feel to it in some ways, but it is also a modern, romantic fairy tale. I could tell that Ms. Deleuze really put a lot of thought and love into her story, allowing her readers to love it for the reasons I did. I agree with those who want a sequel, as I would like to see what happens next for both Celia and Tom.

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Books Etc. said...

This is now going on my to-read list! Sounds sweet and like something I would really enjoy. Great review! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Melissa, for the review. And I'm glad you like it. I'm 33k into the sequel and am positive to be able to release the sequel this winter.
Kster: I wish you happy reading and many hours or enjoyment. :-)