Book Reviews

Review: Wings in the Wild by Margarita Engle

Wings in the Wild is an in verse novel about love, freedom, and friendship. It’s a story about sacrifice, art, and love. If you love verse novels and want to read about inspiring teens, then this is for you. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Winged beings are meant to be free. And so are artists, but the Cuban government has criminalized any art that doesn’t meet their approval. Soleida and her parents protest this injustice with their secret sculpture garden of chained birds. Then a hurricane exposes the illegal art, and her parents are arrested.

Soleida escapes to Central America alone, joining the thousands of Cuban refugees stranded in Costa Rica while seeking asylum elsewhere. There she meets Dariel, a Cuban American boy whose enigmatic music enchants birds and animals—and Soleida.

Together they work to protect the environment and bring attention to the imprisoned artists in Cuba. Soon they discover that love isn’t about falling—it’s about soaring together to new heights. But wings can be fragile, and Soleida and Dariel come from different worlds. They are fighting for a better future—and the chance to be together.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Wings in the Wild simultaneously talks about how helpless we can feel as teens, and individuals, in the face of climate change, but also what we can do. How we can feel empowered. It’s a lyrical in verse novel about art and censorship, about justice and sacrifice. Dual POV, Wings in the Wild revolves around two very different teens, but both united by their ability to see and support each other. Being in verse can sometimes be a challenge to portray action and dialogue, but Wings in the Wild never feels like it gets stuck.

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Wings in the Wild also explores the concept of home. The ways in which it changes, evolves, and grows. But also the ways in which it is transplanted, removed from us, and torn apart. This story exemplifies the power of music. How it can universally speak to us, to transcend words and convey raw emotion. If you love books about climate justice and activism or stories about inspiring teens, you have to read Wings in the Wild. Find Wings in the Wild on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & Blackwells.


Who is your favorite literary climate activist?

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