Cover Image: If I Promise You Wings

If I Promise You Wings

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Member Reviews

Absolutely loved this book! A captivating story with well-developed characters and an engaging plot. Couldn't put it down! Highly recommend to all book lovers.

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Going into this book I really didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t really read the synopsis and pretty much went blind. But that sometimes end up being the best thing. This book for sure took me through a wide range of emotions. Which I absolutely love in a book. I love books that can make you feel.
The topic of grief is for sure a tricky one to navigate in my opinion, and some authors tend to not do it justice. And by that I mean showing how you live with it every day and it sneaks up on you during the most random times.
And this book shows that perfectly while Showing how it impacts your day-to-day life. A lot of the characters could’ve used more filling out but overall I did like the story. The main character ,Alix, emotional arc was for sure one that was believable and had me on this rollercoaster of a ride with her.
Would for sure recommend this book to anyone looking for a book to remind you that the best way to honor someone who has passed on is to enjoy every moment as you are living it and to never take anything for granted.

Thanks to the folks at NetGalley for a copy of this book. My review is a honest reflection of my feelings towards this book.

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First of all, what a vibrant and compelling cover!

I love stories set in France (especially complex but sweet romances), so I was very excited to read this novel. Layer it with a moving tale of coping with grief and discovering who you are….and you have quite an engaging combination.

My thanks to Netgalley and Algonquin Young Readers for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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I won't be rating this one, as I was unable to complete reading it. This no doubt had a unique storyline but it was just not for me. It was slow paced and *no offence* it was boring.

• I went in blindly just by the beautiful cover but the plot was not exciting for me. Which I can understand was my fault. I should have read the synopsis.
• Another fact - there was a love triangle where the girl was torn between two boys. I don't have anything against the trope, but provided it is weaved beautifully which I don't think it was in this story.
• It was not for me , but definitely others might enjoy if that is their taste. (⁠ ⁠ꈍ⁠ᴗ⁠ꈍ⁠)

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced ebook.

Alix has lost her best friend. She’s been abandoned by her mother and neglected by her father. But she’s always had feathers. She yearns to create wings, to fly with birds. In the aftermath of Jeanne’s death, she finds solace in a salon of feathers and works her way to creating wings for the Moulin Rouge, falling in and out of love, and find herself and her own voice. Alix’s emotional journey was interesting to watch unfold, but I didn’t feel as connected to her as I wanted to. But ultimately, this story was hopeful.

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Thank you Netgalley and Algonquin Young Readers for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

"If I Promise You Wings" by A.K. Small is a beautifully crafted YA book that takes readers on a poignant journey of self-discovery, grief, and resilience amidst the backdrop of Parisian fashion. If you are someone who likes “Emily in Paris” (minus some of the over-the-top drama), then you may find yourself really enjoying this book, especially with the MC’s character.

The story follows Alix Leclaire, a determined teenager with aspirations of becoming a renowned feather artist. However, her dreams are overshadowed by the tragic loss of her best friend, Jeanne, who perished in a car accident. Despite grappling with grief and self-doubt, Alix embarks on a courageous quest to fulfill the promise she made to Jeanne: to pursue her passion for feather design. I feel like I learned a lot about feather design in this book. I didn’t even really know it was a thing or just how complicated this design process is, but Small is definitely able to make this niche topic very interesting!

From the moment you meet Alix, you are drawn into her world of pain, longing, and untapped potential. Small’s writing sucks you into Alix’s world, and the way she portrays Alix's emotional journey captures the complexities of grief and the transformative power of pursuing one's dreams.

I absolutely loved the evocative prose and vivid imagery that transports you to the streets of Paris, where you are immersed in the glamorous yet tumultuous world of haute couture. I really felt like I was in Paris with the rich descriptions, though the book maybe glamorizes Paris a little. The descriptions of feather designs and the intricate process of creating them also adds depth and richness to the story, enhancing your understanding of Alix's passion and artistic vision.

While the story tackles weighty topics such as addiction, loss, and loneliness, it is ultimately a tale of hope and redemption. It was a story that made me invested in Alix’s character as I was able to see her grow as an artist. As Alix navigates the highs and lows of her journey, she discovers the strength within herself to overcome obstacles and embrace her true identity. In the beginning, she seems a bit immature/selfish, but she definitely grows on you as she grows herself.

Overall, "If I Promise You Wings" is a poignant and uplifting novel that resonates long after the final page. A.K. Small's exquisite storytelling and compelling characters make this book a must-read for fans of YA contemporary books as well as those who want to experience Paris fashion without the expensive travel.

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I want to thank Netgalley for an advanced ARC of this book but unfortunately I DNFD less then half way though because the book could not keep my attention.

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I really enjoyed this book. The author portrayed grief in such way, it was incredible. I loved the novel so much, it felt truly magical. The setting of the feather artist's boutique was magical. I loved the characters and novel so much. 4 out of 5.

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THIS BOOK! I don’t think I have ever loved the setting of a book more.

The apprentice of a feather artist in a boutique in Paris is just such a perfect setting. Honestly still not sure if that is a proper career or if it is completely made up but either way, it felt truly magical.

Every description of a feather in this book was beautiful and the wings were so amazing.

As for the actual plot, I really enjoyed the focus on grief for the main character’s best friend as well as the actual apprenticeship. But the actual romance part of the book was seriously unnecessary and honestly boring.

Overall, really magical story that is worth reading for the setting!

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I was amazed by the world that was created within this story. It was so intriguing and captivating. Every page brought me deeper and deeper into a story that had my full attention. Thank you NetGalley for an arc of this book.

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🪽YA Romance
🎶 Paris
🪽Grieving Best Friend
🎶 Music and Fashion
🪽Two love interest
🎶 Self-Discovery

I received a Netgalley ARC for If I Promised You Wings I’m exchange for my honest opinion. These are my true thought about the boom.

I loved that unique take on magical feathers and using feathers for fashion. I have never read anything like it.
This book was a journey of self-discovery for the FMC. Alix is going through grief after losing her best friend. As a promise to her friends she pushes her self to apply to be an apprentice for a famous feather artist. She get hired on to start from the very bottom. She starts seeing the feather artists son. A little after she finds out that her best friend that passed away had an unknown friend whom she starts to hang out with and fall for as well. Will she get the apprenticeship? Who will she end up with?

This book was very good. I like that the author created problems that the FMC has to go through. The story was very beautiful and you get to learn about different birds and their feathers.

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I received a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. Alix is dealing with a lot in this book. She having problems with her family, wanting to do what is best for art, dealing with the lost of her friend Jeanne, and the choice between two guys. There is a lot of emotions on the pages of this book. It was a quick read that I did in one setting. Alix did come off as little over the top at times. I am not sure either guy was a good choice for Alix. Raven was not the bad boy they say he is for he has his own issues. Blaise the school friend he is kind of a goodie goodie and not sure if there was more to the book that him and Alix would stay together. It is a wonderful book if you like emotional roller coasters.

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If I Promise You Wings is both a heartbreaking and delightful tale of loss and finding your "wings" after.

Alix, reeling from the loss of her best friend in a car crash, approaches one of the most well-known feather boqitues in the world with the hopes of becoming an apprentice there. She meets a colorful cast of characters - each with their own hopes and dreams as fierce as her own - who may just hold the key to securing her place in the world of feather art and moving on from her loss.

I greatly enjoyed this title. It made me feel like I did when I was in high school, with the entire world ahead of me. The relationships between the characters develop really nicely and every character feels alive and full formed. I understood their ambitions and actions in a way that I think can sometimes be lost in YA novels. I think that some work very hard to develop their main character at the expense of side characters. This one develops them all together, weaving the stories together until one character cannot be extracted from another without their story falling apart.

The romance(s) were my only point of critique in the book. I felt at times like Alix was using the two romantic interests in a way that felt manipulative. I had to keep reminding myself that Alix herself is barely out of childhood and grieving an extreme loss, so we might expect her to seek comfort where she can.

I would absolutely recommend this book to others. It is well worth the read.

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Overall I enjoyed this book, the writing was very good and I enjoyed the characters and plot.
I found from time to time that I'd get a lost a little when dialogue was in French however overall it wasn't too much of an issue.

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This review was made possible via an ARC through NetGalley

If I Promise You Wings by A.K. Small is a contemporary YA taking place in Paris, France. At its heart, it’s a grief story. Alix’s best friend, Jeanne, has recently died in a car accident and Alix is trying her best to move on while still being haunted by Jeanne’s memory. Alix goes to Mille et Une Plume, a feather boutique, and begins working for Madame Salome and competing with two other girls for an apprenticeship.

If you love Paris or Parisian things, this is absolutely the YA for you. Small is from the Sacre Coeur herself and uses French words and street names, making it feel very authentic and like you are in Paris.

Alix is shy and keeps very quiet, but she attracts people to her with her tattoo, her passion, and her talent. Raven, the boutique owner’s son, takes an interest in her very quickly but she also finds herself attracted to a bandmate of Jeanne’s, Blaise, who is also going through his own stuff.

I would recommend this to fans of a Parisian setting and for readers looking for a shier main character.

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It was a nice read. I am so happy to have had a chance to read the book and be granted an arc.

I enjoyed the over all plot and characters. I thought it was really well laid out and interesting.

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I unfortunately didn't connect with the story as much as I thought I would. That being said it is a beautiful story. The setting is absolutely perfect and the way it's written truly makes you feel like you're there. You follow this story of grief, friendship, and finding yourself that really does take you to another place. It's all very otherworldly. Even though I didn't personally connect with the struggles of the main character it was still an overwhelmingly positive reading experience.

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If you love the city of Paris and a journey of a young girl discovering her passion in life then you'll love "If I Promise you Wings". It's about a young girl who loses her best friend and promises that she'll follow her dream of being a feather artist and promises her friend wings. It's a lovely story of heartbreak, dreams and finding love.

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*3.5 STARS*

Content Warning: neglectful parent and abandonment, death, grief

+ I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book because it is very lyrical, and we are in Alix’s head a lot. Alix’s mother left her and her dad, her dad is a neglectful parent and her best friend just died. Alix finds herself being brave enough to ask to apprentice at a feather artist shop. I thought her growth in the story was inspiring. I loved Alix’s connection to feathers and how working at the shop helped her open up to people, and to her own art.

+ My favorite part of the story I think had to be about the feathers! Mademoiselle Salomé is a premier feather artist in Paris. I went to the Moulin Rouge during my honeymoon so I was actually fascinated about the setting and theme of this book. I could really envision these feather works of arts that Mademoiselle Salomé and her team would create and loved the drama behind the scenes with the other staff at Mille et Une Plume. I liked the secondary characters in the book also, they had so much character.

+ The romance is a bit of a love triangle. Alix is caught between two boys. She starts hooking up with one boy, Raven and then starts befriending the other boy, Blaise, as they both grieve over Alix’s best friend. You could kind of tell how it would play out and honestly, I didn’t mind it because Alix is a broken soul. And if she’s looking for love because she doesn’t even have parents around to be there for her, then I was there rooting for her on this journey – even if it meant her trying to fix some relationships.

~ This is all part of Alix’s growth but she is very timid at times especially in the beginning and I just wanted her to do the right thing, when she did the wrong thing.  She doesn’t know how to communicate how she feels and that was frustrating at times. Like I said, she learns eventually to come clean, so there is growth in her character.

~ There is a lot of French words and I didn’t know what they meant but it didn’t make it hard reading. I just hoped I was saying them correctly in my head – but I’m pretty sure I was wrong!

My Thoughts:

I thought this was a beautiful story about personal growth and how an obsession with feathers helped keep Alix afloat during her grief of losing her best friend and even losing her dad, who leaves her in a time when she really needs someone to stay with her. I love how Alix finds a family with the staff at Mille et Une Plume and she learns a lot about fashion, and actually expressing herself. The secondary characters really bring the story to life and the romance, though a love triangle, I thought had a beautiful ending. By the end of the book I was as obsessed with the feathers as Alix was.

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A girl who dreams about becoming a feather artist gets an apprentice ship under her idol while dealing with the grief of her best friend's death, a possible love triangle, and finding her place and what she wants to do with her life. Alix Leclaire wants to work as an apprentice for the feather artist at Mille et une Plume. She dreams about her creations becoming high fashion and that her best friend Jeanne will become a famous musician and together they will take over the Paris art scene. But then, Jeanne dies and Alix is lost, she feels empty, trying to deal with her grief and decides to pursue the job at Mille et une Plume. As she begins working there she begins finding herself as an artist as well as falling for the handsome son of the artist, Raven... but then there is Blaise, a boy who knew Jeanne and was in a band with her and who has reached out to Alix to grieve together. Alix finds herself falling for both boys while also trying to deal with her grief. Alix has tried to live like Jeanne but maybe it's time for her to live for herself and make her own wings. This is a story about grief and finding yourself after losing someone important to you. Alix throws herself into her work but by trying to be Jeanne, she has to figure out where to draw the line between remembering a friend and being herself and grieving. It's a unique story for sure and I think if you are looking for an emotional story about grief this would be for you.

*Thanks Netgalley and Algonquin Young Readers for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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