If I Promise You Wings -- YA Book Review with Craft Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This week I am sharing a young adult novel instead of a Crafty Sunday post. I am still making my paper beads but haven't made anything different yet. Plus, I did a small craft with this novel and am including a craft round-up for teens to go with the book. The book is If I Promise You Wings by A. K. Small. 

From the Publisher:

Hold Still meets You've Reached Sam in this lyrical novel about one young woman's journey through the Paris fashion scene as she chases promises, overcomes grief, and falls in love.

Alix Leclaire has a plan: graduate high school and land her dream job as a feather artist at Mille et une Plume, where her creations will help define high fashion. Her best friend Jeanne will get a record contract and they’ll take over the Paris art scene together.

But then Jeanne dies.

Alix is lost, until the day she feels Jeanne pushing her to the feather boutique. Soon, Alix is living a life she hardly recognizes—pursuing a passionate affair with an alluring artist, stealing feathers for her own creations, risking everything as Jeanne once did. But then Alix meets Blaise, the dreamy musician who comforts her, centers her, challenges her.

Torn between two beautiful boys and coping with grief, Alix’s art takes on a frightening and wild beauty. Living like Jeanne has given her everything she thought she wanted—but she must decide whether to hide in Jeanne’s shadow or soar on her own wings.

From Me:

This story is sad and happy. It is beautiful but shares some ugly moments of life. It will pull you in and keep you wanting more. Alix is in a strange situation with her life. Her mother left her. Her father is a drunk musician who is off touring with his girlfriend in the United States. That leaves Alix and her best friend, Jeanne. But the night of graduation, Jeanne changes their plans and Alix refuses to go. Jeanne and her boyfriend of the moment drive off. Later Alix sees the car they drove off in has crashed and Jeanne is dead. The book takes us through Alix's grief. She becomes brave and asks for her dream job at Mille et un Plume. Mademoiselle Salome sees something in Alix and lets her start as a intern where she makes breakfast, cleans and such but also works with the feathers. Mademoiselle Salome even offers her a room to stay above the boutique.  

Then there are the boys. Mademoiselle Salome's son Raven has a body like a Greek god and is the artist Alix hopes to become. He however is unfocused and not really interested in working. He is however interested in Alix as well as one of the other girls at the boutique. Then there is Blaise who talks to Alix about Jeanne. He was friends with Jeanne. Alix has to deal with all of that. Yet Blaise seems to always be there for Alix when she is at her lowest. When he can't be his great aunt, a duchess, is. 

Alix's world is opened by each of these boys as well as the family at the boutique. Alix makes mistakes and bad choices as well as has great successes. It is a story about life and how we pick ourselves up after a great fall. Alix lives and breathes feathers. She has a feather tattoo on her arm. She learns to make wings at the boutique, and they even enter their wings in a competition. Alix also makes feather bouquets from scraps of feathers and feathers she finds on her own. People are very interested in the bouquets, but she does not share this idea with her family at the boutique. 

The story itself is well written. You feel the magic of the feathers for Alix. You feel the coming of age with the boys and the various adventures. It is a story that teens and adults will enjoy reading. It opens the world of feathers to people who may not know much about it (including myself). The reader sees Alix struggle with the grief, with relationships and friendships as well as with herself. She is blessed to have so much opportunity at a time where she is at a low point. The reader gets to go on the ride with it all. It is a book that teens will want to read and discuss. 

To go with this book, I thought I would make a small feather bouquet. I do not have real feathers but have synthetic ones sold at most craft stores. I did not realize that feathers have meanings depending on birds they are from and their colors. The reader learns a bit about this in the book. To make my feather bouquet I started with the tall feathers and grouped them together. I wrapped floral wire around them and then added in the smaller feathers continuing to wrap the wire around them all.

My synthetic feathers have bright colors, and some even have dots that are obviously not real. Once I got a small bouquet that I liked I cut the wire and wrapped the end into the wire.

Next I wrapped the wire and the ends of the feathers with ribbon. I grabbed some sparkly white ribbon I bought for my quilled Easter eggs which may have been a mistake as it didn't glue to itself well. 

Then since one of Alix's bouquets was a centerpiece, I put my very small bouquet in a small vase that Hazel gave me for Mother's Day when she was young. 

This would be a fun craft to do with actual bird feathers. However I do not have any, so I didn't try. Did you know it is actually illegal in the United States to collect bird feathers? (Source) Anyway to make your own you just need some feathers, floral wire, wire cutters and ribbon!

Feather Craft Round-Up

In case you don't want to make a feather bouquet, here are some other feather crafts teens may enjoy making with this book!

1) Blue Bear Wood shares a spooky Felt and Feathers Halloween Garland

2) And Next Comes L shares a great Feather Bowl Craft

3) Hunny I'm Home DIY shares a sparkly Printable Mardi Gras Mask Craft

4) Blue Bear Wood shares a beautiful No Sew Feather Mask

5) On Your Journey shares a fun Crescent Moon Wall Hanging Craft