Hello My Darling Bookworms,
One of the very first books I ever reviewed on Words for Worms was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (which you can read HERE if you’re so inclined.) I loved that book. Adored it, even. That’s why I was so extra super excited when I saw that Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s sophomore novel We Never Asked for Wings was available on NetGalley. I snapped that puppy up faster than you can say “Mexican feather art.” Not that that’s a thing you would ordinarily say, but it makes sense within the context of this book so I’m going with it. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration through NetGalley. I was not compensated in any way and all the opinions expressed are my own. They’re also honest as heck because I have no filter.*
We Never Asked for Wings revolves around the Espinosa family. Letty Espinosa has been working three jobs for 14 years in the San Francisco area to help support her family. Her parents are undocumented Mexican immigrants and when Letty found herself pregnant as a teenager, her parents stepped in to raise her son, Alex, and later her daughter, Luna. When her parents decide to move back to Mexico, Letty is left trying to navigate life assuming full responsibility for her children and her role as sole breadwinner.
Alex and Luna are struggling with the implications of their grandparents’ move as well. They are as unaccustomed to Letty as she is to them. Alex funnels his frustration into schoolwork and a budding romance. Luna responds with the sort of clinginess only a 6 year old can offer. When Letty comes up with a plan to improve the family’s situation and get her children out of their dangerous school district, one wrong move could send their whole world spinning out of control.
When your first novel is a showstopper, it can be tough to follow up, but Vanessa Diffenbaugh does it with aplomb. We Never Asked for Wings visited some of the themes and tones that made The Language of Flowers such a great book while still differentiating itself as a great stand alone novel. If you’re in the mood for an emotionally wrenching yet ultimately heartwarming read, you need to check out We Never Asked for Wings!
Let’s chat, Bookworms! What are some of your favorite sophomore novels? What are some that have disappointed you? (Because I always answer myself, my biggest disappointment in a sophomore novel to date was Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield… Review here if you dare.)
*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*