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Hope Is Our Only Wing

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  62 reviews
At a time of national upheaval in Zimbabwe, an unlikely friendship illuminates the power of hope and the possibility to heal--in the face of tragedies beyond any teen's control.

For fifteen-year-old Shamiso, struggling with grief and bewilderment following her father's death, hope is nothing but a leap into darkness.

For Tanyaradzwa, whose life has been turned upside down
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Soho Teen (first published May 3rd 2018)
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Average rating 3.49  · 
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Jasmine from How Useful It Is
I love the writing, especially how the author describes the sceneries and surroundings. I like getting to know Zimbabwe and the differences in funeral processions. I like Tanyaradzwa because she's nice despite her shortcomings. The main character, Shamiso, 15, takes a bit of time for me to get used to. She has an attitude but she's tough enough to prevent bullies from telling her what to do. The politics takes me near the end of the story to understand what's going on. There are many terms I ...more
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Set in Zimbabwe, the story focuses specifically on the adolescent friendship between Shamiso and Tanyaradzwa, two schoolgirls that are each dealing with change. For Shamiso, it is the death of her father and for Tanyardzwa; a cancer diagnosis. Quite simply, this is a beautiful YA novel and I found it to be quite easy reading. Of course, the subject matter was not easy and I am quite interested in continuing my journey for more information about the country and it's history.

Goodreads Review
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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HOPE IS OUR ONLY WING is set in Zimbabwe and is the story of two teenage girls. Shamiso is still overcoming her grief at the death of her journalist father in a car accident that might or might not have been an accident. Tanyaradzwa is a mischievous, outspoken girl who loves to sing but is has a terrible burden-- she has a cancerous tumor on her vocal chords and surgery might mean loss of her singing voice, if not death.

**contains very
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
2.5 stars!

This is a debut YA novel set in Africa and following the lives of two young girls. One called Tavengerwei who has been diagnosed with cancer and Shamiso who has moved away from England after the death of her father. Both of them are at the same boarding school, trying to come to terms with their own personal issues as the world around them opens up their secrets. It was short in length, making for a faster read. However, the storyline is thrown back often between past months and the
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you netgalley for giving me ARC for my honest review

Today is my offday and I finished this book in a few hours. It was a short and simple story.

Btw there are a lots of POV and it make me frustrated.

Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-2019
I can't explain how deeply this story touched me. I was thrown back into 2008, the food shortages, the loadshedding, the insane price hikes, the teachers' strikes, the endless queues, the hopefulness of youth. And now in 2019 we're back to square one. An amazing YA novel about grief and hope told brilliantly.
Rutendo Tavengerwei has crafted a brilliant YA novel about Shamiso, a Zimbabwean teenager returning from Britain after her father, a political journalists suspicious death, to a country she
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hope is Our Only Wing is a stirring coming of age story that touches on loss, grief and friendship. Written in the third-person, Tavengerwei introduces us to Shamiso, a girl who has lost her father and must find a way through her grief, all while navigating social cliques and privileges of her peers. Tavengerwei adds depth to the story by introducing glimpses into the lives of Shamiso's classmates, which in turn illuminates the shared struggles of growing up, and paints everyday life in a ...more
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a MG (or YA) book about a 15 year old girl in Zimbabwe. It's well written; the sweet story is a bit simple but deeper in terms of the context which I wish had been included and addressed more. It's a quick read.
Lizzie (Littlehux) Huxley-Jones
This is a really beautiful story. Fifteen year old Shamiso is sent to a boarding school in Zimbabwe from her home in London, after the death of her father. It is only through her unlikely friendship with Tanyaradzwa, a girl struggling with cancer, that she is able to map her way out of her grief.

I found this novel to be very important -- I was very ignorant to the issues of Zimbabwe, even though 2008 is within my adult lifetime, and I found Tavengerwei's writing to be informative without ever
Rich in Color
Review copy: Publisher

I was really looking forward to this novel as it focused on the growing friendship between Shamiso and Tanyaradzwa and how their friendship changes both of their lives. Sadly, the friendship of the young girls is what I actually found lacking. The two slowly interact but the development of their friendship mainly happens off-screen. There were many instances in the book where the two girls begin to open up to each other and then the chapter would end. Unfortunately,
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Available 3 May

A brilliant debut full of Zimbabwes golden sunsets. Shamiso is a fifteen year old girl forced by the death of her political journalist father to move back to Zimbabwe from London, this is just after the political transition of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. The loss on its own is enough to break any little girls world, but she must remain strong because her fathers death is under enormous suspicion what really happened to her father, the night of that strange and implausible car crash?

Alejandra Rodriguez
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Soho Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*

This was a beautifully written, and poignant novel about the friendship between Shamiso and Tanyaradzwa in conjunction with the political turmoil taking place in Zimbabwe. Shamiso and Tanyaradzwa are both struggling to maintain hope when both girls are experiencing turbulence in their own lives. This is definitely hard-hitting and heartbreaking, with a lovely
Kerry Henderson
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shamiso is sent to boarding school after the death of her father still grief stricken she wants nothing to do with anyone there until she meets Tanyaradzwa. She is dealing with her own issues but she has the hope Shamiso is lacking. Can they get through everything that being in Zimbabwe during a time of great unrest.

Oh this book really plays to my emotions. It's so well written and there are points I wanted to cry along with Shamiso. This could have been such a sad story but the title is

This was a short read about the lives of two girls, Shamiso and Tanyaradzwa, in the setting of the 2008 economic crisis in Zimbabwe. Shamiso is dealing with the death of her journalist father and adjusting to a new boarding school in Zimbabwe. Tanyaradzwa is battling cancer and trying to remain optimistic about her future. The girls become friends, finding kinship in the struggles they are facing.

The writing in this book is lovely. It's simple but poignant in its descriptions
 Adesuwa Grace (Somewhat Reserved)
2.5 stars

Intermission: There's a glossary that explains a lot of the non English words at the back of the book.

It just makes me sad to say that to read a book you've been really looking forward to and end up not liking it much at all, really. I thought that I might like the book after reading the beginning and I thought the MC would be relatable. As I read the story, I couldn't enjoy it because the characters felt so bland. Especially that Maths teacher, oh my gosh.

It was nice to read about
Richelle Robinson
*I received a review copy from Amazon Vine and voluntarily provided an honest review. This does not affect the opinion of the book or the content of the review.*

This was my first reading this author and it wasnt a bad read but I felt like something was missing while I read. The chapters are really short so I dont know if that affected my ability to connect to the characters. In my opinion, all the characters had the same personality throughout the book. I did enjoy the different point of views
Linda Hepworth
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shamisa barely remembers her life in Zimbabwe before her parents moved to Slough, a move made to enable her father to continue his work as a journalist, one who is prepared to be critical of the regime in his country of birth. Therefore, when the family is forced to return to Africa she desperately misses the only friends she has ever known. When they dont keep in touch she cant understand their lack of contact, especially as she thinks that they must realise what she is suffering following her ...more
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I have an Advanced Readers Copy that is due to be published in September 2019, but I see that other editions have already been published, so I am not sure what is different. Perhaps this is the first US edition?

This is a YA book, so it is problematic in that doesn't set the stage of 2008 Zimbabwe. I was an adult back then and was aware of what was going on in Zimbabwe, but the history was still hazy enough for me that I was confused for the first part of the book. For a US reader who wasn't
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, contemporary
Thank you to Soho Teen for the ARC of this book. There were many things I liked about it, but unfortunately I didn't love it as much as I was hoping to. The two main things I loved were the characters and the writing style. While the chapters are very short, I thought that worked well to tell the story. I also loved that there were chapters from the perspectives of various characters, even more minor characters. I thought the overall premise was beautiful, and the writing was also beautiful.

Marena Galluccio #MediaGalReads
HOPE IS OUR ONLY WING by Rutendo Tavengerwei is a lovely story that contains a determined balance of grief and hope. This post does not contain spoilers, but I will have a spoiler review published on my blog, #MediaGalReads, on Thursday, Sept. 12.

I graciously obtained this ARC from Soho Teen who kindly sent it to me for an honest review. Here is the shortened review.

Why I was interested: The book is a modern historical fiction story set during the 2008 Zimbabwe elections and the surrounding
It's a slim volume but don't let it be deceiving, there's actually a lot packed into it. Set in modern day Zimbabwe, Shamiso has moved back after her father's death. He was a journalist and there's some oddness in his death and what he was planning on revealing that become the backbone of the mystery of the story and how it connects to others in the area.

Shamiso meets Tanyaradzwa who wants to be her friend though Shamiso fights it for most of the book. Tanyaradzwa herself has a cross to bear--
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zimbabwe
Hope is our only Wing is set in Zimbabwe and takes place over a few weeks from January 2008.

Shamiso is a 15 year old who has recently moved from the UK to her parent's home country of Zimbabwe following her father's sudden death. Tanyaradzwa is a girl she meets at her new school who is undergoing treatment for cancer.

This is a fairly simple novel and is aimed and teenagers/ young adults. It touches on topics such as corruption, poverty, rolling blackouts and food shortages, music, hospitals,
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hope is our Only WIng is the heartbreaking story of Shamiso and Tanyaradzwa. After Shamiso moves from the UK to Zimbabwe she makes an unlikely friendship with the quiet lonely girl Tanyaradzwa. There lives are constantly changing as the political unrest and grief and mysteries try to tear them apart.

My favourite part of the book where Tanyaradzwas part, reading how despite her constant struggles she was determined to act normal and go to school. The fact the girls in the story are only
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway! I had never read a story set in Zimbabwe before and I enjoyed the author's descriptions of it. It was interesting to read about the political turmoil and what the people had to experience with waiting in line for hours because of food shortages, electricity loadshedding, and teacher strikes. All of this is told from the perspective of teenage girls so it isn't explained in any ways other than what the kids are experiencing. On top of all of this the 2 main ...more
Teenage Shamiso and her mother return to Zimbabwe, grieving the mysterious death of her father, a journalist known for speaking truth against power. Shamiso doesn't fit in at her boarding school but Tanyaradzwa, another teen, offers Shamiso a friendship that starts to help her heal. Swirling around them is the mystery of Shamiso's death, the specter of Tanyaradzwa's cancer, and a country in turmoil.
Shamiso's voice and grief are engaging and invite reader sympathy and curiosity. The setting,
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in a day. I quite literally couldn't put it down. It was addictive.

I was drawn into the life of the main character, at first thinking she was a little spoilt and an obnoxious teenager, but as the story continued and I learnt more about her struggles I began to love her.

As well as her own problems, her only friend at school was slowly dying of an illness that kept rearing its ugly head and causing her physical pain.

Both girls had so much going on in their lives, yet never gave
Dayana Aqela
First posted on my blog Bittersweet Misadventures:

This is a review copy given to me by Pansing in exchange for an honest review.

Firstly, I have high hopes to read a story with bizarre settings and characters' family background as this book mainly has been promoted as a book set in Zimbabwe. I could imagine the main character Shamiso queuing for bread and crisps in front of nearby convenience store and it wouldn't make any difference. It lacks of
Suzanne Bhargava
A moving YA novel (but suitable for ages 12+ I think) mostly about two girls with their own sorrows who befriend each other when they most need it. It is also about human rights, cancer, bereavement, boarding school, migration, family, and the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe during the 2008 elections.

I really loved this book. I love that it taught me about an aspect of modern political history of which I was ignorant. I love that it insisted on the growth of its characters, and left
Dagmara Kowalewska
I read this book in 2 days.
But being honest not because it was so interesting but because it was quite short and language was not complicated.
It is a story about 2 girls- 15 years Shamiso who moved grom UK to Zimbabwe after death of her father and about 15 years Tanyaradzwa eho struggling as she has cancer...
The book was ok- it shows nice picture about hope ehich can inspire the will to go on. And about friends- sometimes the time is needed to friendship to be formed.
The book was sad- was
Hazel Tyson
I read this super quick! To be fair the book isn't that big so it's not surprising.
I enjoyed the story though. Two children's lives, suffering different issues but equal amounts of sadness. It's hard to believe that these problems still continue to exist, and that people suffer the harsh realities described in the story, day in and day out. Whilst reading you can feel the oppressive heat from the weather, the outrage and anger from corrupted governments, much like anywhere I guess at the
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Rutendo Nomsa Tavengerwei grew up in Zimbabwe before moving to South Africa to study Law. One of her greatest influences in writing remains her father, who tutored Rutendo from the age of nine, teaching her how to write and how to play around with language when telling a story. According to Rutendo "writing is more than just story-telling for me. It's a way to protest against injustices, a way to ...more

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