cover image The Girl with Borrowed Wings

The Girl with Borrowed Wings

Rinsai Rossetti. Dial, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3566-8

Rossetti was a teenager when she wrote this novel, and her connection to the stifling constraints, torn emotions, and dazzling first tastes of freedom and power that are synonymous with coming-of-age make this first novel shine. Of Thai descent, 17-year-old Frenenqer Paje has grown up under the thumb of her coldly overbearing father; they currently live in a desert oasis in the Middle East where Frenenqer attends a private school for expatriates. When she disobeys her father by rescuing a mistreated cat, her life changes dramatically. The cat is actually a shape-shifting "Free person" named Sangris who, without any rules to bind him, is Frenenqer's polar opposite. By night, he flies Frenenqer around the world to places both real and magical, slowly chipping away at the defenses she has built up to withstand her father's callous cruelty. Despite Frenenqer's apparent lack of agency, she is actually strong, willful, passionate, and quite funny, and watching her come into her own is thrilling. A breath of fresh air. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. Agent: Danielle Chiotti, Upstart Crow Literary. (July)