Scars Like Wings

Scars Like Wings

Relatable, heartbreaking, and real, this is a story of resilience--the perfect novel for readers of powerful contemporary fiction like Girl in Pieces and Every Last Word.Before, I was a million things. Now I'm only one. The Burned Girl.Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn't need a mirror to know what/>Before,...

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Title:Scars Like Wings
Author:Erin Stewart
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Scars Like Wings Reviews

  • Debbie Schrack

    Based on a real friend of hers, Erin Stewart's Scars Like Wings helps readers understand what it's like to wake up with a different face and life. Ava's voice is engaging from the first line. We feel her pain as she tries to fit in and learn how to deal with the loss of her family. Her friend Piper's cheerful persona is a great counter balance to Ava's bitterness. Yet each girl has her own struggle to fit into the world. This is a well-written and poignant novel. I recommend that everyone read t

    Based on a real friend of hers, Erin Stewart's Scars Like Wings helps readers understand what it's like to wake up with a different face and life. Ava's voice is engaging from the first line. We feel her pain as she tries to fit in and learn how to deal with the loss of her family. Her friend Piper's cheerful persona is a great counter balance to Ava's bitterness. Yet each girl has her own struggle to fit into the world. This is a well-written and poignant novel. I recommend that everyone read this book!

  • Schizanthus

    All the stars!!! That was gorgeous! It’s been almost three weeks since I finished reading this book and I’m still struggling to form meaningful sentences about it. There isn’t anything I can say that would do justice to the ways Ava and Piper made me feel so please just trust me when I say I want

    to read this book.

    Also, you may want to make sure you have plenty of tissues on hand before you begin. I was close to tears when I read

    All the stars!!! That was gorgeous! It’s been almost three weeks since I finished reading this book and I’m still struggling to form meaningful sentences about it. There isn’t anything I can say that would do justice to the ways Ava and Piper made me feel so please just trust me when I say I want

    to read this book.

    Also, you may want to make sure you have plenty of tissues on hand before you begin. I was close to tears when I read the author’s note about eight year old Marius, whose own story helped to inspire Ava’s, and that was before the first chapter. Couple that with the comparisons between

    and

    , and you’ve essentially already got a foolproof recipe for a good ol’ ugly cry. And ugly cry I did, as well as some more minor dehydration inducing episodes, but they were of the ‘this is so beautiful!’ variety.

    Ava survived the fire that claimed the lives of her parents and her best friend, but she doesn’t feel like the lucky one. After a year of excruciating treatments on her scarred body, 60% of which was burned, Ava is leaving hospital to live with her Aunt Cora, the “self appointed CEO” of the “Committee on Ava’s Life”, and Uncle Glenn.

    Ava doesn’t want any part of finding a ‘new normal’ but reluctantly agrees to attend school for two weeks to appease the Committee. If she can just make it through ten school days and show her Aunt she’s attempted ‘reintegration’, she will be able to resume hiding from the world indefinitely because she’ll have concrete evidence of its failure. She’s certain of it.

    Except Ava doesn’t expect to meet people like Piper and Asad. Piper was my favourite character, partially because of her fluency in sarcasm and eccentricity, and also because I understand what it’s like to have a car accident turn your life into a Before and After. I appreciated her use of humour to deflect and deny the pain she was feeling.

    Asad is a theatre geek, whose passion and personality stole my heart. Their empathy and compassion made me consistently want to give them bear hugs but they also snagged some great lines. About

    :

    I would tell you that Ava’s story is inspirational but she hates that word so instead I’ll tell you that it’s a reminder that the love, support and acceptance of others can make all the difference when you’re in pain, for whatever reason.

    I loved the complexities of the characters. I can’t think of a single person who remained inside of the box that was initially labelled with them in mind. Perception or circumstances may have cast them in a specific role and while sometimes that may have been accurate to a degree, that’s not all they were; oftentimes they were also the opposite and I find that so encouraging.

    At one point I nearly convinced myself to refuse to turn the page because I didn’t think I could handle it if what I feared was going to happen actually did. Thankfully I was mostly wrong about that part of the story. Had I been right, I’d probably still be ugly crying!

    I figured out who was

    early on, quite possibly accidentally, but this didn’t affect the way I felt about this book. By the time the truth was revealed it actually made even more sense to me why it had to be this person.

    include bullying, homophobia, ableism, depression and

    .

    Thank you so much to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster (Australia) for the opportunity to read this book.

  • Lola

    This is such a realistic story that I had no problem picturing everything happening and understanding what the characters were feeling. As someone who enjoyed the book Wonder but wished it had been about a more mature protagonist, this was pretty perfect for me and a wonderful reading experience. The poems included had a huge impact on me because I strongly connected with the heroine whose heart was shattered into a million pieces when her parents and best friend died in a fire that she was the

    This is such a realistic story that I had no problem picturing everything happening and understanding what the characters were feeling. As someone who enjoyed the book Wonder but wished it had been about a more mature protagonist, this was pretty perfect for me and a wonderful reading experience. The poems included had a huge impact on me because I strongly connected with the heroine whose heart was shattered into a million pieces when her parents and best friend died in a fire that she was the only one to survive. Everyone has scares but some scars, like Ava’s, are impossible to miss. This, of course, affects the way she sees herself and other people see her.

    I was excited when Ava met Piper, her new loud and unapologetic friend, because she really needed someone to make her feel comfortable about who she is—make her realize that even if the new Ava looks very different, her looks do not mirror who she is on the inside. She should care less about what people think of her and more about letting herself be happy even if she believes she doesn’t deserve it. Ava and Piper’s interactions are incredible. I felt their connection deeply and was happy to see how much Piper emboldened Ava and encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone. Piper is also one of the most intriguing protagonists of this story because her sense of self is worth analyzing.

    I cannot wait for this book to hit shelves.

  • Elvina Zafril

    Scars Like Wings is a story about Ava that lost her parents in a horrific house fire. That incident left her burned on 60% of her body. She had 19 surgeries. She is feeling lost and hideous. Her life is no longer normal.

    She met another burned survivor, Piper. She didn’t expect to meet her. She met her at her support group and school, The characters were so likeable. I enjoyed my journey throughout the book. It was so heartbreaking.

    There are so many lessons that I learnt in this book. The plot

    Scars Like Wings is a story about Ava that lost her parents in a horrific house fire. That incident left her burned on 60% of her body. She had 19 surgeries. She is feeling lost and hideous. Her life is no longer normal.

    She met another burned survivor, Piper. She didn’t expect to meet her. She met her at her support group and school, The characters were so likeable. I enjoyed my journey throughout the book. It was so heartbreaking.

    There are so many lessons that I learnt in this book. The plot is good and this book has fast pace. I finished it in less than two days.

    The author really done a good job by representing such interesting characters. I liked that the family and friends’ theme also included in this book and to me this theme is one of the aspects that make this book stand out.

  • Mridu  aka Storypals

    It is for all the young adult readers. Also, people who enjoyed #Wonder will also probably enjoy reading this.

    Why do I talk so highly off of this novel (even though hI haven’t actually thrown in the best of the adjectives in yet but it deserves them all) you ask?

    Because I was able to relate to the main protagonist. I was able to feel, understand all the feeling she was going through. How an event, an accident can change your whole entire life and then you start seeing yourself in different lig

    It is for all the young adult readers. Also, people who enjoyed #Wonder will also probably enjoy reading this.

    Why do I talk so highly off of this novel (even though hI haven’t actually thrown in the best of the adjectives in yet but it deserves them all) you ask?

    Because I was able to relate to the main protagonist. I was able to feel, understand all the feeling she was going through. How an event, an accident can change your whole entire life and then you start seeing yourself in different light.

    Here the character is dealing with her burnt scars, I got partial facial paralysis as a kid, which sort of changed the person I was to the person who I am. Demeaning myself to just how I look than appreciating I am still the same person with the same talent.

    And now that have put that out, I wish I met someone like Piper. God we need more people like Piper. Complex as she is, she will help you out with her sense of self analysing in the best possible way.

  • Kelly (Diva Booknerd)

    Ava Gardener is the sole survivor of a house fire that took the lives of her parents and cousin Sara. Ava lives with the scars that serve as a reminder of her sorrow, for the lives lost that fateful day and the life that she's been so cruelly denied. Once an outgoing and popular girl, Ava has become a recluse, completing her education through correspondence and reluctantly attending group counselling appointments for adolescents who have survived tragedy and trauma.

    Enduring invasive

    Ava Gardener is the sole survivor of a house fire that took the lives of her parents and cousin Sara. Ava lives with the scars that serve as a reminder of her sorrow, for the lives lost that fateful day and the life that she's been so cruelly denied. Once an outgoing and popular girl, Ava has become a recluse, completing her education through correspondence and reluctantly attending group counselling appointments for adolescents who have survived tragedy and trauma.

    Enduring invasive reconstructive surgery and grafts, Ava is restricted to compression bandages to ensure her skin remains taut during the heeling process, her aunt and uncle working tirelessly to afford Ava's ongoing medical expenses. Cared for by her aunt and uncle, Sara's parents who are mourning the loss of their only child, Ava understands the financial burden she's become. Championing her recovery, Cora is enthusiastic when Ava's counsellor suggests Ava return to school, no longer challenged by her online studies and needing to gain a sense of normalcy so to appease Cora, Ava agrees to a two week trial.

    Ava Gardener is a wonderful young woman who has endured devastating tragedy, losing her parents and cousin in traumatic circumstances and although heavily scarred, Ava survived. The intensity of the fire burnt over sixty percent of Ava's skin and although she's endured multiple grafting procedures, Ava's facial scarring has become a barrier in regaining her independence. Through counselling Ava befriends Piper, the two young women both survivors. Piper was involved in a car accident and now physically disabled as a result, never allowing herself to become a victim or survivor but rather a girl who is thriving. Neither Ava or Piper serve as an inspiration to others, they simply want to experience adolescence.

    Ava and Piper are characters of contrast, Ava wants to remain as inconspicuous as possible, Piper is self deprecating and uses humour to make antagonisers and detractors feel uncomfortable. Ava is a kindred spirit filling the void of loneliness for Piper, Piper encourages Ava to broaden her horizons and although both Piper and Ava continue to navigate their tentative friendship, Ava's confidence begins to blossom.

    Scars Like Wings is a gentle and healing narrative, to not merely survive but to endure, to exist and to live again. Diverse young adult literature is almost exclusively sexually diverse, multicultural, multigender or hearing and vision impaired and Scars Like Wings is an incredibly important narrative. Physical scarring can often be debilitating, not only effecting confidence but the discomfort and pain associated with skin trauma. Ava's experience in finding her sense of normalcy is a personal journey, she experiences isolation, undiagnosed depression, acute pain and her movements restricted due to her compression bandages. Her recovery is ongoing, with Cora massaging ointment into her skin nightly. Psychologically, Ava also experiences vivid reminders of her loss which some readers may find confronting.

    Erin Stewart has authored a tender, captivating narrative and an unflinching account of the scars we carry. Some not always visible. A beautifully compassionate debut novel and essential reading

  • Rachel

    *thank you to Netgalley, Simon & Schuster (Australia) and Erin Stewart for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

    4 stars.

    Such a well told story from a burn victim. Sorry I mean burn SURVIVOR. This story is raw and full of emotion.

    Ava is seriously burned in a fire that completely destoroyed her home and claimed her parents lives. She ends up living with other family members, Cora a/>

    *thank you to Netgalley, Simon & Schuster (Australia) and Erin Stewart for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

    4 stars.

    Such a well told story from a burn victim. Sorry I mean burn SURVIVOR. This story is raw and full of emotion.

    Ava is seriously burned in a fire that completely destoroyed her home and claimed her parents lives. She ends up living with other family members, Cora and Glenn who's Daughter, Sara, was also killed in the fire. Ava now feels she lives in the shadow of Sara while she tries to work her way through her new life. Cora and Glenn are wonderful guardians, ever so supportive but they all have their own greif to deal with. But together, they step by step, manage their way to creating a new normal life together.

    What an emotion wreck I was after reading the part of the story where Dr Layne takes Ava on a road trip. Anybody who has suffered deep and debilitating greif and loss will understand this. It's utterly heartbreaking because I can relate on a deep level to the way this story goes, to how to feels to feel something that's been taken away. It really was such a heartbreaking read that only a person who has experienced such heartbreak can write about, and in this, the author did it well.

    But this book is more than that. It's about losing yourself, losing others and then finding yourself again in a way you didn't think possible. It's about the struggles in getting there. The suffering. And then finally the breaking through it all.

    The part where the photographer Photoshop's Ava's photo of herself, really bothered me as I'm sure it would have to anybody who has things about their image that makes them self-conscious, or scars of any kind that they would wish weren't there. He edits Ava's photo so that her scars are no longer there and he then goes to tell her that he made her look, "Better". Like seriously! How in sensitive can a person be. I get that he really did think he was trying to help, but it really wasn't helpful at all. Instead it just pointed out that there was something 'wrong' with how she looked. But it made me realise that comment and all the other ones in this book about insensitive people, is something people with obvious scaring go through each day. Among the rare ones who happen to see beyond all of that, the world is full of those who see and judge and react in a negitaive way. We get to experience what it's like to stand out in a crowd when all you wish you could do is disappear into the background.

    This is a story of courage and hope and survival. About how, together, we can climb back out of the hole we have fallen into. But it is also about the strength of friendship and love, support and just simply how being there for someone can mean everything.

    is a powerful story with a lot of important messages. I highly recommend this book.

  • Paulette

    Our protagonist Ava has burn scars across 60% of her body from a house fire where her mother, father and best friend (Cousin) lost their lives. Ava now lives with her Aunt and uncle, one year on from the tragedy, countless surgeries and rehabilitation it is time for Ava to go back to school, to get back to "normal"

    So much has changed for Ava, her mental state, her depression, her scars, kids can be cruel and as a teenag

    Our protagonist Ava has burn scars across 60% of her body from a house fire where her mother, father and best friend (Cousin) lost their lives. Ava now lives with her Aunt and uncle, one year on from the tragedy, countless surgeries and rehabilitation it is time for Ava to go back to school, to get back to "normal"

    So much has changed for Ava, her mental state, her depression, her scars, kids can be cruel and as a teenager in high school it will be brutal. But Ava agrees to give it a shot. At support group, Ava meets Piper a burn survivor from a horrific car accident. We follow Ava’s journey, her struggles, her triumphs this is a story of courage, friendship, taking chances, self-acceptance and learning to love herself again.

    There are parts of the story that lagged for me and were very young. At the core heart of the story was uplifting, and the research Erin invested in burn scars and associated trauma was evident in Ava’s road to recovery, it felt real and relatable.

    Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia and Erin Stewart for my ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Published in Australia October 1st 2019.

  • Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

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    SCARS LIKE WINGS packs an emotional wallop and was probably one of the most difficult YA books for me to get through this year because it could be so devastatingly tragic and heart-breaking at times, even though it had its lighter points. In X meets Y formula, I'd say that this book is like WONDER meets THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, in that it is about disfigurement and disability, and also about the power of support groups and having a purpose in the recovery process, and how recovery is

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    SCARS LIKE WINGS packs an emotional wallop and was probably one of the most difficult YA books for me to get through this year because it could be so devastatingly tragic and heart-breaking at times, even though it had its lighter points. In X meets Y formula, I'd say that this book is like WONDER meets THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, in that it is about disfigurement and disability, and also about the power of support groups and having a purpose in the recovery process, and how recovery isn't always a straight uphill journey, and the importance of recognizing that.

    Ava divides her life into two sections: Ava Before the Fire and Ava After the Fire. She is the only one to survive the house fire that killed both her parents and her cousin/best friend. Now she lives with her aunt and uncle, covered with burn scars and still filled with the loss of her previous life and her loved ones. Under pressure from her aunt, Ava goes back to school and it's about as horrible as you might expect, because kids can be so cruel.

    Her one friend is actually a girl from her burn support group, a girl named Piper who is filled with pep and verve and defiance, and basically embodies everything that Ava wishes she could be. She gives Ava the confidence to stand up to her bullies and renew her interest in singing, which was her passion before her injury. It seems like things might finally be turning around, especially with an exciting new surgery on the horizon, but Piper's friendship is somewhat toxic, and Ava is finding out that Piper wasn't exactly the best friend in her previous friend group, before they ended up estranged from Piper's injury. Worse still, some of the kids in her drama club don't want her onstage, performing with them, and when Ava gets a crush on a boy at her school, it forces her to confront her own self-worth, and see it separately from what other see at face-value.

    This book broke me. Ava's grief over the loss of her family broke my heart again and again. I felt so bad for her, and the many cruelties that she suffered at the hands of others. She never got a break. Since I was in her corner from the beginning, it made every "win" extra satisfying, because it felt like they were so few and far in between. Ava was a great character and she was done so well. I also loved Ava's aunt and uncle. Their love for their niece was so pure and I loved that they loved her on her own terms and not just as a surrogate daughter. Everything about that family was pure gold.

    I was less a fan of Ava's friendship with Piper and Asad. I felt like her relationship with both of them could be kind of toxic, especially with Piper. I guess kids

    cruel, even when they mean well (or want to mean well), but it was still kind of upsetting. I wanted better for Ava and didn't feel like she got that here, even if she ended up loving herself again because of (or in spite of) her friends.

    SCARS LIKE WINGS is a really great book and I like that it has a happy ending. There were some things about it that required a suspension of disbelief, but overall I think it did a great job not only portraying what seemed to be an accurate representation of someone with severe burns going through the physical and psychological recovery process, but also about finding yourself and your identity as a teenager, and what it means to truly overcome adversity and love yourself when others don't.

    3.5 to 4 stars

  • Teodora

    This affirmation just made me want to sell my soul for this book.

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