Gonzalez, Julie 1958-
GONZALEZ, Julie 1958-
Wings, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Ricochet, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Florida resident Julie Gonzalez made her publishing debut with the young-adult novel Wings, a myth-based tale that focuses on a teen's search for identity. Ever since his birth, teenager Ben Delaney—who prefers to be called Icarus—has been convinced that he is destined, at some point in his life, to grow wings and gain the ability to fly. Ben's story is told from alternating perspectives: both Ben and his older brother, Ian, deal with circumstances as they occur. As readers watch anxiously, Ben's personal determination to fulfill his dream grows strong with every year that passes, and his will drives him to jump off increasingly tall platforms as a way of challenging his limitations.
Gonzalez's "writing is clean and crisp, the chapters short," commented a Kirkus Reviews critic, who noted the mounting "sense of foreboding and danger" in Wings. Reviewer Cindy Welch commented in Booklist on the plot's many levels, writing that "Ben's fight against gravity and his study of natural history add a nice subtext, and the evolving relationship between the brothers is as absorbing as the wait for wings." Jeffrey Hastings, writing in School Library Journal thoroughly enjoyed Gonzalez's debut novel, commenting that Wings "is a book that seems to improve slightly with each chapter; the dialogue becomes more natural, the characters more palpable." Dubbing the book a "promising first effort," Hastings added that "Gonzalez is ready to take off as a fine YA author."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2005, Cindy Welch, review of Wings, p. 1284.
Kliatt, March, 2005, Myrna Marler, review of Wings, p. 10.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2005, review of Wings, p. 286.
School Library Journal, August, 2005, Jeffrey Hastings, review of Wings, p. 126.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2005, Jan Chapman, review of Wings, p. 55.
Random House Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/ (October 10, 2006).*