The Girl With Borrowed Wings
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The Girl With Borrowed Wings

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  577 ratings  ·  135 reviews
A stunningly written tale of an isolated girl and the shape-shifting boy who shows her what freedom could be--if only she has the courage to take it

Controlled by her father and bound by desert, Frenenqer Paje’s life is tediously the same, until a small act of rebellion explodes her world and she meets a boy, but not just a boy--a Free person, a winged person, a shape-shift...more
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published July 19th 2012 by Dial (first published July 1st 2012)
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My review can also be found on my blog Collections.

Before I started The Girl With Borrowed Wings, my sole reason for wanting to read it was the cover. It easily lured me in, and I couldn't stop thinking about what kind of story could be inside a book with such a vibrant and gorgeous cover. Reading the summary made my curiosity grow even more. There are tons of books out there with amazing covers but with stories that don't live up to their covers' greatness. I had a good feeling about The Girl W...more

I find myself, for the first time ever perhaps, struggling to properly organize my reaction to a book. So I am going to jump right in and hope that you follow me.

The first aspect of this novel that bothered me is the title. The Girl with Borrowed Wings. Maybe it just me being too picky and finicky but I feel that there’s a “the” missing there; the absence of which makes the title sound awkward and feel uncomfortably incorrect. It is probably me. I am no grammar queen.

The novel itself is a hot...more
Right now, I feel very unaccomplished. Rinsai Rossetti is currently twenty one and wrote the first draft of THE GIRL WITH BORROWED WINGS when she was eighteen. I'm twenty three and have yet to write anything as beautiful or as wonderful as Rossetti's debut.

Frenenqer Paje lives the way her father wants her to live. He dreamed of a perfect, submissive, quiet daughter and Frenenqer will be that girl no matter her natural inclinations. He keeps her in her room except for when she goes to the local E...more
"I am unlike most other people because I began, not in the body of my mother, but in the brain of my father. He invented me, you see. He sat down one day and dreamed me up. I started out as no more than a figment of his imagination”

The Girl with Borrowed Wings is completely different from any other books I have recently read. I found the book thoughtful work of young adult literature where we see a soul is caged on her own body, controlled by her father. The Girl with Borrowed Wings is story of...more
Pingle McCloud

I also posted this review on my blog

I got this book free from First Reads giveaway on Goodreads. Actually this is my first Young Adult book since Harry Potter which I read it a long time ago when I was in high school. I haven't much care about this genre before, because I think I have passed that age (don't know if it has an age limit). I didn't say that I'm ancient, it just that I'm not amused by sweet young love and teenage problems. Turns out, there are a lot of great Young Adult books out th...more
I've just finished reading "The Girl with Borrowed Wings"---isn't that a lovely title?---by Rinsai Rossetti.

How to describe this? It's a rather odd story, no doubt about it. At once we're plunged into a description of this terribly restricted life in a small middle-eastern town, bound and dominated by the harsh desert. But when the heroine rescues an unusual cat trapped in a cage and dying of the heat at a crowded animal bazaar, then the magic begins. Because it turns out this is no cat at all--...more
Jen Sainty

I had already checked other person's reviews before starting the book, and I saw rave reviews, and some mediocre. I must say I'm not disappointed and I found it to be a great book. It ended on a happy note, so that may have upset some who love tragedy. While the romance in the book did get a bit melodramatic at some points, I din't find it largely overdone; in fact, it appealed to my inner romantic female.
I loved Rinsai Rossetti's writing style. She has the gift of lovely, flowery, descriptive l...more
May 02, 2013 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kate by: Teen Book Club
Frenenquer (what a name) lives in an isolated oasis in the Middle Eastern desert, under the iron rule of her father. Her father has put her into a little box and she is not allowed to do anything remotely immodest. Then one day she rescues a cat. A talking cat. A cat who turns out to be a shape-shifting, flying "free person" - someone not even bound by the rules of staying human.

She names the boy Sangris, and despite everything she finds herself enjoying her time spent with him. He takes her to...more
Couldn't finish
This is the kind of book I love discovering: restrained and thoughtfully crafted, yet sensuous and evocative in its characters and settings.

The problem with most debut authors is that they cram all of their ideas into one book. Rosseti avoids this problem: her book is simple in idea and (for the most part) smooth in execution. Frenenquer Paje is an isolated girl: she's controlled by her father, trapped in the desert, and of (very) mixed cultural heritage. She has nowhere to belong, and is a stif...more
This book struck me as the sort of thing I would have written when I was 13 and feeling particularly emo. The ridiculously controlling and emotionally abusive father, the girl who thinks she's ugly even though she's obviously drop-dead gorgeous, and the over-the-top boyfriend who pretty much sings "I can show you the world" in between sessions of begging to be allowed to kiss her feet (no, I am not making this up)...oh, the melodrama! Not to mention the way that the main character's lifetime of...more
I've read quite a few good books this year, including one or two that aren't part of series, or are debut novels. But I think this may be the best one yet. The story is simple, but it's one of those times when "simple" makes the story that much more powerful.

Frenequer Paje belongs nowhere, can claim no nationality or birthright. From the beginning she has been her father's creature, bowed down under the weight of his impossible expectations and trapped in a cycle of suffocation within her own sm...more
I could not put this book down and ended up finishing it in only 3 hours.

Frenenqer (I understand it is pronounced Fren-in-qar (like car but with a q) but I may be wrong) was created in her father’s thoughts unlike other children. Her father one day wanted a daughter, a perfect, ideal, submissive, daughter who would bring beauty into the world. In order to create this ideal daughter there were rules, strict rules. No slamming doors, no reading too much, milk should not drip from the spoon, silenc...more
Living in an oasis with her very controlling father and her detached mother, seventeen-year-old Frenenquer Paje watches her life growing ever more restricted by the day. Because of the notice men pay to her when she ventures outside, she hardly goes on walks anymore. Much of her free time is spent reading and rereading the stacks of books she has in her room. Her father has been molding her to fulfill his idea of perfection almost since birth, and often behaves quite cruelly toward her, at one p...more
Crash Queen (Weaver of Dreams)
Frenenqer, a girl living in the desert, is controlled by her father. From where she goes, what she does, and how she speaks, he watches everything she does. The only time she's left to herself is up in her room as night begins to fall, which she spends reading.

When she saves a dying cat, she has no idea that it's actually a Free person - a shapeshifter. He offers her small grasps of freedom where, in those moments, the itch of her father's control washes away.

As the stakes get higher, Nenne...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
If you are a reader who enjoys books that are heart- touching, gut wrenching, that leaves you wanting more at the end, this would be the perfect book for you.

It all started when Frenenqer Paje's father sat down one day and dreamed her up. You see, she wasn't born from her mother's womb, but in the brain of her father (Rossetti 1). That's how Frenenqer's crazy, restricted life came to be.

Her father is like God, or so she thought because no one was allowed to stand up to him, not even his wife. H...more
This is my favorite book ever! I think it may be one of the best Young Adult books ever written. I'm so impressed by the author. I can't believe this book is only her debut. Her book has the literary skill of a master and she deals and develops her characters beautifully.

Her characters are really unique and realistic. Unlike most books that try to create overly sympathetic protagonists, Rossetti's book develops strikingly complex characters. Moreover, through Frenenquer's relationship with her...more
Melissa Garrett
I don't often give 5-star reviews, but THE GIRL WITH BORROWED WINGS is one of the most heart-touching, gut-wrenching, beautifully written books I've read. Ever. And I've read a lot of books. It will be one of those books I read again and again until the cover is worn and pages tattered. The chapter, IN WHICH I JUMP OUT THE WINDOW, is what totally did me in. Throughout the book I vacillated between feeling extreme sympathy for Frenenqer "Nenner" Paje because of the repressive conditions under whi...more
I loved this book, although at times, I despaired that I was going to hate the main character. Frenenqer Paje is completely controlled by her father, and her life is utterly dry and constrained and claustrophobic. Her only escape is in reading, and she dreams of having wings with which to fly away. She lives in the middle of a desert in the Middle East, so the setting is both physically and culturally oppressive, but really it is a perfect manifestation of Frenenqer's mental and emotional repres...more
Georgia Beaverson
The Girl with Borrowed Wings drew me in and kept me riveted to the very end. It's a quiet but powerful book about relationships and taking up the power of love to become who you want to be. Set in an oasis, the novel depicts a girl's budding relationship with a shape-shifting boy and her sterile, controlling relationship with her father. The relationships contrast with and feed off each other, building to a climax that--if not unexpected--comes about in an unexpected way. Rossetti's writing wing...more
I really wanted to like this book but I had to fight my way through it. The plot never really grabbed me and frankly I didn't like any of the characters. Why did I finish it? Because it was on a Best Of Fantasy list. I thought it would didn't. I would agree that the writing is lyrical but that was about it. Nothing really happened to make it interesting. It didn't help that it took place in a desert oasis and I'm reading it during a Texas summer!
jo mo
really, really different. original.
bit too corny, but cute nonetheless.
how she finally seperated her strings to her father (view spoiler) as simple and difficult as that.

[ read nafiza's review ]
Claire Legrand
I loved this book. It was odd, unexpected, and so beautifully written that I had to stop and read certain passages out loud just to revel in the language. Different from other YA books I've read, and refreshingly so! Such lovely imagery it makes me ache to think of it.

Highly recommended!
Wendy Lu
On the one hand, there are several things about this book that bother me or are obvious tropes. The fixation on her height, her skinniness, her big, upslanted eyes, her straight black hair, the wings, the feline boy who tumbles into her room who loves her, helplessly. All of this reeks of middle school fantasy wish fulfillment. On the other hand, it was really adorable and I got sucked in about halfway through. There was also one thing that was very interesting -- the role Nenner's father played...more
Alexis Salcido
Very strange and confusing right off the bat. The writing didn't grab me either. Overall, I was too uninterested to continue past page 4.
Wow... fantastic.

This book was fun. I loved the fantasy aspect of it. A girl growing up with her family in a society where she's not allowed to visit friends without parental appointments being scheduled. Her world consists of the bubble from her school, parent's car, and home. She has a very contained life, and then a boy with wings and mystery comes and helps her escape from her reality during the night-time. I liked this book, but I wasn't in love with it. I had trouble understanding the depth of Frenenquer's...more
A young adult fantasy novel about freedom vs. family constraints, freedom of choices vs. “limitations give things meaning,” making a connection with someone, and choosing to love. It’s a little like “Peter Pan” except Sangris grows up during the book and Nenner doesn’t want to go home. There is also commentary on society’s restraints, political correctness, and ethnicity that makes us unique as it sets people apart. Nenner was a passive character, outwardly conforming, and it was hard to care wh...more
Have you ever wished that you had wings? Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be able to fly away any time that you wanted, and go anywhere you wished? Frenenqer has been many places and lived in many countries, but she has never felt free. Even when her father's not there Frenenqer can feel the pressure of his expectations like a tug on her spine leading her wherever he wants her to go. So she contents herself with small rebellions like reading books and dreaming of wings while she'...more
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Mrs. Gallagher's ...: Final Book Review 1 7 Nov 29, 2013 01:22PM  
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My first day on earth was spent in a huge tropical storm which cut the power lines and brought century-old trees crashing down. I hope the two events weren't related.

After that auspicious start, I spent many years sitting in an Emirati desert staring at the moon. My first book is The Girl With Borrowed Wings.
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“He had an extraordinarily casual air about him. I'd noticed that before, when he had tossed himself out the window.” 8 likes
“I frowned. Evidently, Sangris wasn't a cat who could shape-shift. It was more difficult than that. He was a nothing who occasionally pretended to be a cat. "I wish I could know what it's like for myself, that's all," I said. I felt rather the way a jail inmate would if a bird flew up and shouted through her window bars: This freedom thing? Yeah, not so great. 6 likes
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