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Wildwing

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When Addy is swept back in time, she couldn't be happier to leave her miserable life behind. Now she's mistaken for Lady Matilda, the pampered ward of the king. If Addy can play her part, she'll have glorious gowns, jewels, and something she's always longed for the respect and admiration of others. But then she meets Will, the falconer's son with sky blue eyes, who unsettles all her plans.

From shipwrecks to castle dungeons, from betrothals to hidden conspiracies, Addy finds herself in a world where she's not the only one with a dangerous secret. When she discovers the truth, Addy must take matters into her own hands. The stakes? Her chance at true love . . . and the life she's meant to live.

359 pages, Hardcover

First published September 21, 2010

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About the author

Emily Whitman

3 books117 followers
In Emily Whitman’s novels for kids and teens, myth and magic are part of everyday life. The Turning, based on Celtic folklore, is a Junior Library Guild selection. Radiant Darkness was number one on the IndieBound Kid’s Next List. Wildwing won the Oregon Book Award and was a Bankstreet College Best Children’s Book. Emily grew up in Colorado and studied history at Harvard and UC Berkeley. She's worked in bookstores and behind library reference desks. Emily loves researching her books, whether by mining library treasures or learning to fly falcons. She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon. Come visit her at emilywhitman.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 194 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah.
237 reviews1,088 followers
January 30, 2018
In her own time, 1913, Addy Morrow is the daughter of a seamstress. She was born out of wedlock, and the girls at school treat her horribly for it. One day, Addy snaps, and gets suspended from her all-girls school for punching the girl who was harassing her. Desperate, Addy’s mother finds the lass a job as a housemaid for an eccentric old widower named Mr. Greenwood, who takes to Addy immediately and allows her to borrow his books.

While cleaning Mr. Greenwood’s library, Addy comes across an elevator-like contraption and steps into it for curiosity’s sake, inadvertently sending herself back to her own town but several centuries ago. The lift is a time machine. Having made this discovery and gotten herself home safely, she resolves to return to the deep past and escape her present troubles.

The next time she arrives, it is on the scene of a shipwreck, and she is believed to be its only survivor, the Lady Mathilda, bethrothed to the knight of the castle. Addy becomes terrified of marrying the man, especially after she falls for his handsome falconer, William.

And while she may have, in a fit of teenage frustration and petulance, given up on her own life in her rightful time, her old life has not quite given up on her.

Content Advisory

Violence: An elderly man is arrested, imprisoned in a dungeon, and tortured with a thumbscrew. Later, after his interrogators are ordered to leave him be, he needs medical attention—and gets bled by the doctor. A girl punches her classmate in the face.

Sex: Several stolen kisses and breathy declarations of undying love between Will and Addy. Addy meanwhile is terrified of Sir Hugh and the thought of marrying him, having sex with him, and bearing his children gives her nightmares.

Language: One use of “bloody.”

Substance Abuse: Everybody drinks wine, but only Sir Hugh does so to excess. Keep in mind that the water was not safe to drink back then.

Anything Else: Addy starts out as a very selfish, angry character. It takes

Conclusion

Emily Whitman’s Wildwing is a pleasant, easy-to-read time travel adventure that’s pretty clean and ultimately has a good message. I enjoyed it and would read more books by her.

Also, that cover artwork is stunningly gorgeous. Great job, Ali Smith!
Profile Image for Cara.
280 reviews700 followers
December 3, 2010
The idea of this book is what intrigued me. It's a historical setting within a historical setting. Okay let me explain that.

We have this 15 year old girl, Addy, that lives in the the early 1900's. Addy has always felt like she deserved more than what she was born into, but it seems she is destined to work with her hands just like her mother. Luckily for Addy she gets to be a maid servent for Mr. Greenwood. Addy doesn't think this is necessarily lucky, but it's better than being a scullery maid. Mr. Greenwood lives with a sad story. His son one day got lost and the town searched high and low, but could never find him. Since then Mr. Greenwood has never been the same. Addy and him start talking about books and things seem to be going fine, but one day Addy enters the room that's been locked up ever since Mr. Greenwood's son disappearance. Housed there is a time travel contraption that will send her back to medieval England. There she will be mistaken for Lady Matilda, learn to train falcons, how to ride a horse, and fall in love with a boy whose eyes are as blue as the sky. It's not all rosy though, in the end she will end up having to make some hard decisions.

I could see lots of the "twists" coming and in all actuality I don't think the author was trying to make it a surprise to the reader, but I thought Addy was kind of dense not finding out sooner. When you read a lot you tend to see what the author is going to do, so it's really hard to make an avid reader really surprised. That's okay though, that's not what bothered me. What irked me was how Addy was in the beginning of the book. She seems kind of naive thinking status and owning things is what you need in life, and she doesn't give her mother enough credit for her sacrifaces. I do understand why she was presented this way because she needed to learn something, and shows tremendous growth.

Will, the love interest, and Addy's relationship is romantic and one of the strengths of the book. I was afraid I was going to hate the ending, but I can honestly say I liked it. The story shows how having status and money come at a price, and it's sad if that's all you have to your name. You need more than that.
Profile Image for Charisse Aguiluz.
78 reviews42 followers
October 16, 2012

I was entranced.

Up till now that I had put down my Android phone, I’m still faze by the time I spent reading this book. I can imagine my own self, getting curious by the locked room, opening it, hearing the door creaked open after fifteen years and discovering a lid, revealing a time machine inside. Up till now, I still haven’t recovered on the fact that few minutes had already passed since I’ve read it in just one day. It’s just that amazing.


Plot Summary:


Adelaine “Addy” Morrow is a fifteen year old girl who was born in a poor family and grew up without a father. Despite of the poverty, she still has big dreams and still holds her head high, showing to everyone that even if she was a poor girl, she wasn’t like any other. And because of this, she was always bullied by Caroline and her friends and is a ‘nobody’ at school.

A school play is coming up and Addy was chosen to be a queen and this enraged Caroline. She started teasing her and Addy couldn’t take it anymore and she hit her.

As a punishment, Addy’s mother made her quit school and work as a maid to Mr. Alec Greenwood, a very rich old man who lost his wife and son and still kept searching in the woods hoping to find his lost baby (who was two years old when he got missing).

Alec and Addy became friends and she added color to the old man’s dull life.

One day, while Addy was about to put a table cloth to the linen’s shelf, she passed by the locked room where she was forbidden to enter. Wondering what could be inside, she inserted the key to the lock and the door creaked open after fifteen years and went inside. She then noticed a lid and opened it, revealing a series of numbers and buttons. She then pulled the lift on the side and was plunged into another time, changing her life forever.


What I Love and Dislike:


- Plot is one of the things that made me fall in love with this book. I’m really interested in historical fiction, to know more about the Middle Ages, Renaissance Period, Greek Period, Egyptian Period and many others. This is the reason why I read this.

But, as beautiful as the plot may be, there are a lot of clichés that made me roll my eyes and already predict what will happen next. And guess what, it did happen! But clichés are hard to avoid since you can’t just wish to have an extraordinary idea and ta-daa, a unique idea! So I do understand why a lot of authors are using clichés.

- The character(s) is another factor I like.

I do admire Adelaine “Addy” Morrow for not giving up and still have a high self-confidence despite of poverty. Even if she was in the low class, she still thinks she belong to the high ones and that’s what I love about her. I, myself, think that I’m not like any other. But as good as it can be, like any other things, it has its own disadvantages. Thinking highly of oneself can lead for others to get annoyed, thinking you’ve got a big ego or maybe to jealousy that might lead to bullying for not all people can have such high self-esteem. Anyway, Addy is someone that almost everyone can relate to. I love how Emily Whitman made Addy who is kind of materialistic, thinking expensive things can make her happy, into someone who is mature and a person who learned a lot of things in life. I love her self-development throughout the book.

William or James Greenwood is a character just like Daniel from Fallen and Lucas from Starcrossed. I almost fell in love with him. He’s kind, compassionate and easy-to-be-around guy like you can tell him everything and someone who will always be there for you. I’m not that really surprised that Addy fell for him. Ever since their first eye contact, I already know they’ll end up together. He’s also handsome and got amazing skills as a falconer. He was someone every girl dreams for. I do really wish someone like him still exists in this world.

And many other characters that caught my eye like Beatrix, a kind and motherly temporary lady-in-waiting of Addy and Mr. Alec Greenwood, a genius old man whose life was changed by Addy.

- Writing style. I love how Ms. Emily describes everything; it was like I was watching a movie! This is one of the strengths of this book. Even with the clichés popping around the plot, with her writing style, she’ll still catch you off guard and your annoyance with clichés might turn to something you like, but only in this book. Her writing style made this book a great one and something worth reading despite the clichéd plot.

- Cover! Just look at that gorgeous cover! Addy, herself, holding up a frame that has two different backgrounds: the inside is of a beautiful and peaceful cloudy sky and at the outside, strong, angry, currents of waves splashing around and with lightning cackling around. How beautiful and symbolic! It is truly artistic and meaningful! Just like the cover of Liesl and Po! Authors should really take this as an example of a really excellent book cover!

- The lessons that Addy learned in the end might help you as life goes on. That being materialistic is not the key to true happiness. And many other lessons that might be too spoiler-ish if I’ll add it here.

- Cliches is one of the two things I dislike in this book. But like I said before, Ms. Emily’s writing totally made up with the clichéd plot.

- The second and last thing I dislike is that Ms. Emily made a mistake. She didn’t think that whatever Addy had done in the past will be affecting the future. I mean, come on! Isn’t it that they say “You can’t change the past so focus on the present and future”? And other books I’ve read that when a character goes back in time, he/she shouldn’t interfere or do something that didn’t happen at that time for it’ll affect the future like Ms. J.K. Rowling did on The Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? But since this is fiction and everything’s possible, I guess I should just let it pass.


Conclusion:


Wildwing by Emily Whitman is, by far, one of the most interesting historical fiction and young adult book out there. Full of romance, adventure, drama, and unexpected circumstances, you’ll surely enjoy this book like I do. Despite the popping of clichés every now and then, with the writing style, you’ll enjoy this like it was your first time to see them (or maybe not). The characters are really good and there’s a great self development of the protagonist in here.

These are the reasons why I’ll give it 5 stars.

A MUST READ!
Profile Image for Skedatt.
326 reviews
December 13, 2010
Warning: Rant ahead.

It started off OK, but I ended up really not liking it. I am soooo tired of those stories of "poor me, I'm so picked on, there is nothing good in life, blah, blah, blah." And instead of having some sort of self-discovery that helps her overcome her issues in life, she totally falls into the same pattern that her mother did, which is the life that she hated. Yeah, she went back to school and wasn't cowed by Caroline or whatever her name was, and that was great, but while in the Medieval world she set up a lover (the hot falconer's son) as she was getting ready to get married (to the big, gross knight twice her age). Gee, we are not supposed to be biased here, are we.

But first, let's recap. She is originally from 1913 and has been prejudiced against because of her mom's loose behavior that resulted in...her. Hence the "poor me." Now, she is acting in the same manner in a different time and era with a hottie that doesn't have any honor even though he is supposed to. So here they are lusting after each other (I really couldn't find any love in the book, despite the word being constantly used; it was not exhibited between her and the hottie.)

Remember, she was ticked with her mom for being a slut and putting her in the bastard position that she was in in the first place! Where is the logic in that? If you hate your life so much, and you know WHY you hate it (and I'm going out on a limb here (sarcasm intended)) maybe the solution is to NOT perpetuate said behavior into another generation.

So there is the crux of why I didn't like the book. Addy was a weak, selfish character--in a pantheon of weak, selfish characters--that didn't really change who gets her man and an estate willed to her by a kind old gentleman father-figure type.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for The Book Queen.
230 reviews129 followers
April 21, 2015
Stupid Goodreads ate my review and I can't be bothered to write it all again. Suffice to say that I really enjoyed this book but couldn't quite give it 4 stars because some things let it down, so I rated it 3.75 stars. The main character is incredibly selfish and there was a serious and very annoying case of insta-love which dragged my rating down, but the plot was fast-paced, very original - no tropes here! - and I found it difficult to put down; it also had a really nice writing style with some beautiful descriptions.
Profile Image for Tammie.
1,284 reviews147 followers
March 12, 2015
2.5 stars. This took a while to get going. There were some things that I thought were kind of unbelievable, like how a table cloth pinned over her shoulders and an apron tied around her hair make her look like she fits in with the time period; how a couple of people so easily believed her story that she was from the future; and Mr. Greenwood leaving his estate to her when they really had only just met, and her feeling like he was a father figure to her when they had only known each other for a couple of weeks or so; everyone buying her ridiculous story about why she was wearing the veil; the king not noticing that her voice was different. There were also some things that I thought were glaringly obvious that Addy didn't really seem to think much on until it was almost too late. Namely that the king would know she was an imposter when he saw her. I did like the lesson she learned in the end about money and material possessions, though I felt like she was all too willing make the same mistakes in life that her mother had made. Mistakes that she felt had ruined her life and resented her mother for. Ultimately she ends up not making those mistakes, but mainly because she just wasn't able to.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Hallie.
954 reviews123 followers
January 12, 2011
It could be dreadful - it could be fantastic. But it's definitely a possibility for the history project, so keeping it in mind (or rather, in my Goodreads virtual mind).

My LJ write up (which had as subject "More history fail" - probably easier to read there, though I've tried to do some re-formatting here).

It's been a while since I've done any, and it's been a while since I finished this book, but the strength of my feeling about it hasn't faded much. It's actually a wonderful book in some ways for steepholm and me, because its use of historical setting (two of them, actually) is so openly costume and romance type of historical that I almost wondered at times if it wasn't tongue-in-cheek. (It's not.) Won't name this book, despite the fact that it got a good review in Kirkus, because it doesn't seem to be selling that wildly. I will give the name in comments, if anyone is curious.

As I said, this is time travel, from one historical setting to an older one, which is an interesting choice. To do time travel by any kind of mechanical means (a machine rather than a portal, say) will require some engagement with modern science, obviously, even if the scientific mechanism isn't explored much. But this one starts in 1913, which allows for a softer, fuzzier take on the "how" of the time travel, not that I think it's a successful one.

The 1913, small-town England setting is treated quite differently from the medieval one, in that the relationship with history seems rather different in the two. The heroine, Addy, is the fifteen-year old daughter of an unmarried seamstress in a small, nosy village, and I didn't get beyond the third page before my head started shaking. Somehow Addy's mother has managed to keep her in school, which is unlikely in itself, but it's far more unlikely that the better off girls in the school know that her mother is unmarried and taunt her by calling her "bastard" and her mother a "slut". Okay, maybe this is just in the realm of the possible, but it's all extremely unlikely. 1) The mother probably couldn't have kept her baby without any family support; 2) if she'd got enough money from someone (the father being the obvious source) to do so, she'd have adopted an honorific Mrs. and become a widow somewhere; 3) the mothers who told their daughters that Addy was illegitimate (which they wouldn't have) would have very likely refused to give her mother their custom IF (again, extremely unlikely) her daughter had been in the same school as their respectable little darlings. Women who could sew and needed the money they'd get from doing so were not exactly a rarity at the time.

When Addy gets into a fight at school her mother carries through on her threat to take her out of school and put her in service. A place just *happens* to open up for Addy at the house of a very wealthy but eccentric-and-with-tragic-history gentleman, which Addy gets, despite her lack of experience and the great desirability of the position. When the woman who held the position before Addy gives her a run-down on her job, there are some really glaring slips. First, she tells Addy that Mr. Greenwood likes to keep the drapes closed, "But I say a person needs proper light for vacuuming". For one thing, "vacuum" as a verb is not a British usage. Then she goes on to show Addy "the vacuum", calling it a "nasty, heavy, unwieldy thing". But a vacuum cleaner was not at all a commonplace item owned by every household (rather a luxury) and the woman who worked there wouldn't have seen many newer, better machines, if she ever saw a vacuum cleaner at all. Much more likely that she'd just have swept the room, rugs and all - this was still common practice in the 50s and probably beyond. None of this really matters much except that it adds to the sense that the historical setting is more playing at "Upstairs, Downstairs" (or just the maid-costume part of that), than having a solid sense of the class structure and life of people in that world at that time.

Most likely, in fact, I think it's merely plot device of a rather clumsy sort, because when Addy accidentally stumbles through the time machine she finds in the forbidden room, and goes home with her hair askew and her dress torn, her mother's anger (assuming she's been fighting again) leads her to decide to make Addy leave this position and send her off to be a scullery maid. Life would have been very precarious for a single woman with no financial security, for heaven's sake - what mother would do something as insane as that? Not many - but of course it gives the protag motivation to go back in time for reals, to avoid the unfairness of her fate.

Before I start on the 1240 part, I might add that this book doesn't work for me at all well even if I set aside the history fail. It's first-person present tense, which doesn't help, I find Addy a pain, and the romance is about as vivid as an abandoned dog-chew. There is, however, this very memorable line (It's the second but the first is needed for intro.) : "And then I see him. The lad with the eyes."

Ah, it must be true love. Unless this medieval life is a lot harder than Addy's realised, and the description is actually a useful one to distinguish this lad from the other villagers.



(LJ cut reads "So grab your tablecloth, throw it over your shoulders, and come along to 1240")

Yes, Addy seriously does throw on the tablecloth she happens to have in her hands when she goes into the time machine - and with that, her apron wrapped around her head and a pin for her cloak brooch, "I look as if I belong". In fact, she passes for a fine lady. Easily fooled, them medieval folk.

Here's her first sight of them.

... but then I see there are more people coming up the dusty road. And it's the most wonderful thing: they look like they've stepped from the pages of Robin Hood. There are men and a boy in earth-colored tunics, belted at the waist, with leggings snugged to their calves and funny little night-cap hats. A handful of women chatter along in browns and greens, their headdresses strapped like bandages across their foreheads and under their chins, hiding all their hair, so their faces shine out like the centers of daisies. A straggle of children brings up the rear.



When she's completed her transformation (the tablecloth and apron, of course!), she follows the people, rounds a bend, and "I gasp at what's before me: a perfect little walled town, its gate open wide, colorful pennants flapping in the breeze. [...] Half-timbered houses crowd the narrow street, their upper stories jutting out overhead. I'm in a river of people, surging past shop fronts and whitewashed walls, past shutters thrown open to display bread or cloth or meat inside." Notice that being in this "river of people" has none of the drawbacks one might expect from the time. "Oh, the air sings to my senses, with the scent of meat pies wafting from laden trays, a rainbow of fabrics spilling out across tables, the lilting strains of a flute!" Nothing about less pleasant scents.

And on and on in the same strain. When she goes back to stay, she prudently sets the lift timer to return for her in 15 days, so she has a chance to come back if she can't make a new life for herself in 1240, though she has no real worries. And make it she does - passing as the Lady Matilda, who's shipwrecked just below the castle, on her way to marry the local lord (conveniently not around initially, while she settles in). There are a few embarrassing attempts on her part to speak authentically (a note at the end mentions the fact that the author felt free to ignore facts of history like Addy's actually needing to speak French), which involves her throwing around "verily"s and "prithee"s, but anything off in her behaviour is put down to her having hit her head when shipwrecked.

There's plenty more that makes no sense at all - like Addy's recognising a lift because she and her mother were in one when they took the train to the city to buy her "school things". Or the fact that she's gone to films, and it's not even mentioned as an enormous luxury. (An unmarried woman in the early 1900s, with a child to support by sewing - has money for school and buying "school things" - presumably uniform stuff - and sending her daughter to the pictures on a fairly regular basis - how?) Or in 1240, her intended husband, Sir Hugh, who's repeatedly said to live for fighting, and jousting when he can't get the real thing - being enraptured by the lessons in farming techniques he and his steward get, in fact, "drinking up his words like the finest wine". But by that point, the book wouldn't have been salvageable even without Sir Hugh's unbelievable behaviour. Except, as I said, that it's so out there in its fail.

Of course, I have to repeat what I've said before - that I'm using "fail" in a rather specific way, and I don't mean that the book is "bad" ("The lad with the eyes" aside). I do mean that the historical settings aren't at all accurately portrayed, and seem to be more playing dress-up than exploring at all realistically what it might have been like to live in the past. If you grew up with Rosemary Sutcliff, Geoffrey Trease, and Cynthia Harnett, well, it's certainly a far cry from them, but then that's part of what makes it so useful for our book.
Profile Image for Lady.
559 reviews4 followers
May 26, 2012
I had a cup of coffee as I reached the half way mark of this book, which naturally set my heart racing and got me all jittery. So there's a chance some of my enthusiasm for this story is a matter of all the intensity colliding with coffee.

But that doesn't change that this is a really well written book. At first I thought it was a little closer to middle-grade than YA because of Addy's simple point of view despite Emily Whitman's descriptive and interesting writing. But as Addy settled into her new life the story really came to life and contained a maturity and absolutely beautiful parallel with falconry. There was an immediacy to the story despite it being utterly predictable. In fact, that predictability almost created tension because I couldn't wait for Addy to figure it all out (and, admittedly, some of that anticipation may have been the coffee).

And I loved the choices Addy made. But they were honest choices and I loved what she learned from them and how they changed her. They were insightful and made it a really mature story.

The only complaint I had by the end was that I wanted more. The resolution was far too succinct. I needed at least another page . Just a little bit more to make it feel like a whole story that is fully resolved.
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,188 reviews2,893 followers
January 1, 2011
Why do I not read more historical fiction? It seems like every time I read one, I end up loving it, yet it is not the genre that I usually seek out. (Although I'll be changing that next year. I've already joined the YA Historical Fiction Challenge to help spur that action.)

I have to admit that it was the cover that first drew me to this story and then when I read the summary I knew I had to read it. When I first discovered it, it was shortly before the release and I was surprised that I hadn't seen it mentioned beforehand..... such is the way with so many titles out there, I suppose.

Anyway... I guess I should actually talk about the book itself, which was fantastic! It was very easy to read. It's a great historical fiction novel for people who maybe are thinking about picking up the genre... but don't want the story to be over-saturated with the historical aspects.

Addy was a brilliant character, I loved watching her personal growth through the entirety of this novel. She's definitely a character that will grow on you! You can't help but share in her frustrations to be more than who she is or who she is expected to be.

The story was predictable, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. I loved the imagery and the writing in this novel. One of my favorite aspects was the focus on the Falconry..... the parallelism of the falcons and Addy was superb! This was just a fun story to read!

Wildwing is a wonderful historical fiction with endearing characters, a delightful story and a sweet love story.
Profile Image for Small Review.
610 reviews207 followers
August 14, 2017
Summary:

Being the daughter of a poor single mother in 1913 is a difficult role to fill, as fifteen year old Addy can attest. Constantly ridiculed by her peers and treated like she is sub-human, Addy longs for a change in her circumstances. When her mother pulls her out of school after yet another fight with a wealthy classmate, Addy finds herself working as a maid for the mysterious Mr. Greenwood. Haunted by his own sad past, Mr. Greenwood unwittingly offers Addy a chance at a new life when she stumbles across a time machine he has hidden away in a locked room. When she is transported back to the thirteenth century and mistaken for a great lady, Addy couldn’t be happier, that is until she realizes that life as a lady can be just as difficult as the life she left. Torn between love and duty, Addy must choose between the life of privilege she thought she wanted and the pull of her heart.

Review:

Wildwing was my first exposure to Emily Whitman and it will not be my last. Whitman’s writing is well-paced and flows nicely. I found myself immersed in the world she created and I was fully engrossed in the story. There isn’t really any mystery here and all of the events and “reveals” are pretty obvious. Also, a lot of things are a little too convenient to be completely realistic, but I’m a sucker for happy resolutions and so this didn’t bother me at all. I enjoyed the book despite the obviousness, finding myself pushing off other things in order to spend more time reading. The scenes about falconry were so well-drawn that I felt like I was there with Addy. Whitman also did a really good job in capturing the “personality” of the falcon Pilgrim. Watching as Addy tried to figure out the customs and reading about her blunders from both her perspective and through the letters of the steward made for some amusing scenes.

Whitman’s characters were a nice mix of modern and historical, making them easy to like while still retaining the feel of historical fiction. I call this historical fiction “lite” in that the characters follow the surface level customs and cultural rules, but they have the mental abilities and attitudes of much more modern people. I generally prefer this because, honestly, people from the 1200s were kind of stupid in a lot of ways. And grubby.

I enjoyed all of the characters except Addy and her mother. I understood where Addy was coming from, so I’m a little torn. She suddenly appears in the 13th century as a lady with no idea how to behave so she tries to model the “great ladies” of her own time.* Her perspective on them comes from how they treated her as a poor fatherless child, and it’s true, they were not nice to her. Even with this understanding, I had a hard time warming up to Addy. Her haughty and cruel attitude sometimes didn’t seem like an act, and instead it seemed like she relished talking down to people and making demands. Perhaps that’s part of her immaturity, she is only 15 after all, but it did make her more difficult for me to like. She also seemed very selfish to me, though she did improve in this area a lot by the end of the book.

*(A complaint on that? She planned on traveling back in time and she at least had the foresight to get an appropriate dress. But that's it? She couldn't have spent an hour or two reading up on the time period? Didn't cross her mind to bring something of value with her? Sure Addy doesn't have a lot, but even a little something of worth from the 20th century could go a long way in the 13th century. Savannah from Janette Rallison's My Fair Godmother was a lot more quick thinking in this regard than Addy.)

The other characters were a different story entirely. Will (the guy Addy falls for), Beatrix (her lady’s maid), and Mr. Greenwood are all admirable people who I found very easy to like. They made me smile and reading about the way they treated Addy made me feel all warm and happy. They each also had characteristics that made them stand out beyond their kindness. Will and Mr. Greenwood each possessed impressive skills, and Beatrix had a keen insight and an approach to life I appreciated. These characters are the strength of the story, for me.

There were a few possible endings, and while Whitman didn’t ultimately pick the one I wanted, I was satisfied enough with the one she did choose. There was one event that was leading up to possible action, and I wish that action had been realized more than it was. I think Whitman would have written it well. The main character keeps me from adoring this book, but if she had been different then this would have probably been one of my favorite books. As it is, I did still enjoy the reading experience and I do recommend Wildwing to readers who enjoy medieval fantasies. Refreshingly, this is a standalone book.
Profile Image for Novel Novice.
132 reviews75 followers
February 15, 2011
I don’t know about you, but one of the main reasons I love reading is the escape it provides from my everyday life. A book can transport me to another world, envelope me in a story and let me get away for a few hundred wonderful pages.

With Wildwing by Emily Whitman, the escape is twofold — because in this case, both the reader and the protagonist find themselves transported to another world.

Wildwing tells the story of reluctant housekeeper Addy — who feels shortchanged by her lot in life as the bastard child of a single woman living in 1913 England. But her droll and drab life is soon changed dramatically when she travels back in time to the 13th century, where she is mistaken for the ward of a wealthy and powerful lord.

But Addy soon learns that life as a pampered princess isn’t all she’s fantasized about … especially when her forbidden romance with the Falconer’s son threatens the precarious life she’s established for herself. Soon, she must make some difficult decisions — about her life; her future; and her role in the past.

Wildwing is escapist fantasy at its very best. It has all those elements that satisfy us, as readers, at our very simplest — adventure, intrigue, forbidden romance. But Whitman tells it all in a unique way, without making it feel contrived or trivialized.

I especially loved the way Whitman managed to masterfully weave together the two time periods. It’s not just a story about traveling back in time; there are layers to the story that unfold like petals on a flower, each one delicate and beautiful individually — but even more perfect when combined.

I also have a particular fondness for the time machine itself — a contraption that feels as if it came right out of an H.G. Wells novel, or maybe Jules Verne. It’s like a tiny little dose of Steampunk inserted into the middle of this historical fantasy.

And while Wildwing is, at its very heart, a romance — it’s also a story about embracing yourself and making your own happiness — rather than waiting on others to create happiness for you.
Profile Image for Princess Bookie.
960 reviews97 followers
October 1, 2010
My Thoughts: Another historical read. I usually tend to stay away from these because I don't like many. Yes, there are some I like. But the majority, I don't enjoy as much as other romance books.


We are introduced to Addy, who is basically a peasant. She gets picked on by the other girls, she walks with her head down, she wants to just fit in and if she can't just be ignored completely. Addy lives in England in 1915. One day after an incident with another girl her mother threatens to send her away to work and do what "she's supposed to do." But things don't go as planned and she ends up working for an elderly old man. He lost his son years ago and has never been the same sense. While in his house cleaning, she finds a device that is a time machine that takes Addy back in time to her town during the Middle Ages. She thinks this is so great! She can go back in time and live as someone else! She goes back and is mistaken for Lady Mitilda so she plays along thinking its better than whoever she really is. She finds out shes to be the bride of a much older man, ick. And of course she meets Will and falls in love with him instead. And that is basically forbidden because she's already promised to another. Of course there is a lot of other things going on behind the scene and Addy realizes just what she has gotten herself into.

Wildwing was a creative book but it just didn't hold up for me. It was predictable in some parts, I knew what was going to happen before it would happen and that bugged me. I want to be surprised. I don't like seeing things coming.

Overall: I liked Wildwing but didn't love it. It was an okay historical romance. I wish I could have gotten more surprises but overall, I'm happy with the way it ended. I'm glad things went that way. I liked seeing all the dilemmas she got herself in. She wasn't perfect.

Cover: The cover is cute. I like the frame!

What I'd Give It: 3/5 cupcakes

princessbookie.com
Profile Image for Liralen.
2,652 reviews143 followers
April 6, 2013
Conceptually, I love this book. I mean, I loved Caroline B. Cooney's Both Sides of Time when I was younger. Addy went back quite a ways, too, which is also great conceptually -- that much more for her to figure out.

But Addy was, forgive me for saying this, an idiot and a total brat. And okay, maybe that's realistic for a fifteen-year-old girl, but when she's supposed to be both 'smart as a whip' (page 65) and a good actress, you'd think she'd get it together to question things a little bit sooner -- even if only to try to fit in faster -- and to copy the speech patterns of the people around her rather than talking as she thinks they should be talking and then finding it weird that they find her weird.

William: inoffensive YA male lead, but the ending was a total cop-out, and when it comes down to it their romance doesn't seem to be much more than hormones. Don't get me started on the 'came in a box' thing, which was obvious a solid hundred pages before Addy figured it out.

What galls, I think, is that Addy takes serious risks with potentially deadly consequences -- not just for her but for the people around her -- without really thinking about it. By the end of the book she is considering people other than herself, but it feels unearned, in part because although the stakes are reasonably high, the tension isn't. I am probably grumpier about the book than is actually warranted -- I did appreciate, for example, that it did take most of the book for me to figure out which time period Addy was going to end up in. But on the whole I just think it fell short.
Profile Image for Heather.
958 reviews91 followers
September 14, 2010
This is one of those books that I fall in love with by the end. I love how everything played together, and was so happy with the ending that I almost had happy tears! LOL And that almost made me give this book 5 stars. But, before the end it was more of a 3- or 4-star book. (I'll get to that in a bit.) But, knowing how it all plays out, I loved this book overall.

So, why not 5 stars? It was quite predictable. I was able to figure out halfway through the book (close to when we first meet Will) that Will is Mr. Greenwood's long-lost son. That was quite obvious, I thought. (But, perhaps a YA reader who is indeed "Y" might not catch it that early. You know, they're probably not as experienced in reading as I am, so they might not see it for a bit longer.) What I don't get is how Addy didn't figure it out right away. He came in a box. Given that's how she came ...

There were a couple of other things I found predictable, but now my mind is muddled. (Note to self: start taking notes when reading.) And as a result, I'll get to what I like best. The ending. The last few chapters, once Addy heads home, are heart-wrenching. It reminded me of The Time Traveler's Wife, but to a lesser degree. Not the plot or anything, just the deep, deep sadness. Not nearly as tragic, but still so sad. I was so very happy to see that things turned out for the better, and Will found his way to Addy.

Things I want to know: Do they marry? Does she accept Mr. Greenwood's estate? I'm guessing the answer to both questions is yes, but I sure would like a definite answer!

Overall: It's an enjoyable read. Will I read it again? Maybe. Am I glad I read it? Yes. Would I recommend it? Sure.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Amanda (Good Choice Reading).
295 reviews33 followers
September 11, 2011
I’m not typically a fan of historical fiction. In my experience, the language used often feels forced. I find it distracting and it rarely manages to hold my attention in the long run.

Occasionally there are exceptions to this, and Wildwing was one of those occasions. I will admit, I went in with the “Oyy, historical fiction :/” mindset, but within a few chapters, I had completely forgotten why I was so apprehensive.

Wildwing takes place in two different time periods, neither of which is now. There are distinct differences in the two, but Whitman manages to create them both without making the differences so obvious that they are distracting.

I think Addy is a great protagonist. She was tough, while still holding onto the innocence that comes with her age. The other characters, particularly those Addy gets close to, were also fascinating and well written.

Wildwing is a romance. I almost have to keep reminding myself of this, because while the love story was absolutely adorable, for me personally, it didn’t take center stage. Addy’s personal growth plays a major role in the story, and it was definitely something I enjoyed seeing.

With her seamless writing, Whitman has created a place in history that has a modern edge to it, making it much more enjoyable for me to read. If you’re someone who has a difficult time getting into historical fiction, I would recommend giving Wildwing a shot.
Profile Image for Shilo Quetchenbach.
1,111 reviews51 followers
February 24, 2013
This was a fun and quick read - a headstrong young girl from 1913 who cannot 'learn her place' and go meekly into service finds a time machine and travels back in time to 1260, where she is mistaken for the noble lady she so longs to be. The story is definitely light - things fall too easily into place, she meets with little resistance, she learns too quickly to fit in in 1260 where she could not in 1913 - some details are certainly glossed over. However, her story is still compelling, and her spirit shines through in both worlds. The falcons she loves embody her wish to escape the rules trapping her and fly free as her soul wishes to do.
Profile Image for melissa1lbr.
1,100 reviews26 followers
September 28, 2010
I enjoyed this sweet and passionate historical fiction with a smidgen of sci-fi. I thought that Addy was a fun character who was so full of life and wanting more than what she was given. I admired her and the difficult choices she eventually makes. It was fun to have a time travel twist to keep the historical setting from getting too dull. I also liked the romance :) Full review at One Librarian's Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Cindy.
Author 10 books1,094 followers
August 27, 2010
a lovely romantic historical
with a time traveling twist.
well written and researched, my
favorite part was the description
of the hunting birds and the heroine
with her falconer.
13 reviews
January 8, 2017
I love the theme of this book; money doesn't buy happiness! Who knew being a noble with a high social status takes away your true freedom?
Profile Image for Lena.
1,067 reviews
August 7, 2014
Loved it soooo much! It was really great! It is my exact type of book!
Profile Image for Michaela.
171 reviews1 follower
April 21, 2018
To me this book sounded like it had a potentially fun and interesting premise. The idea that a girl with a difficult life gets sucked back in time where she's mistaken for a lady and treated respectfully and given all the things she's ever wanted... Interesting. Court intrigue and mysteries? Love it! However, the execution was extremely poor. Poor writing, poor story development and character development. It just felt like it was written by someone very young. And the way the main character thought about things? Drove me INSANE. Like... WHY? I mean, she just never really has any deep thoughts, she simply skims the surface of what's going on and makes selfish decisions left and right. I mean, don't make choices for other people. Don't assume everyone thinks the same things you do. Also, she was weird as heck when she got there, we don't see any growth but she tells us that she has completely filled the part at one point in the story. ... . . ? Whatever.

One of the other things that bugged me is that the character is from the year 1912, right? So why does she act, think, and speak like she's from today? Pretty sure things were a little more different than portrayed in the early 1900's. Also, in the past she's in the 1200's, where I'm quite certain people spoke and behaved VERY differently from today. The author tried to show some of that but really, it just felt like someone playing dress up. It wasn't even remotely authentic. The way they spoke? "Throw in the word 'mayhap' every once in a while and it will sound legit"... I mean, a couple of random old timey words like "anon" doesn't suddenly make this story feel clever and realistic. I've read other books that send the characters into the past that make you feel like it's authentic. They obviously did their homework! Or at least they put an effort into giving the past a unique voice from the present. The character and story development can make up for a lack of authenticity as well.

Overall this book was sappy in a painful way with a love story with no development. He's hot. I'm going to be demanding and obnoxious and eventually I'll get my way and hang out with him constantly, with no one concerned by me spending all my time in the presence of a young, hot peasant boy... She's there for like 3 weeks. Yet the characters are MADLY in love. Also, why not return to the time machine, go back to the future, then return to the past and start fresh with lover boy? I'm just saying. Why does she feel so constrained? She has a freaking time machine!

When you learn what happened to Mr. Greenwood's son are you surprised? Nope. Called it from the little blurb on the back of the book. I mean, if you're going to do something obvious like that, make it so the character figures it out early and doesn't know what to do with the information OR just be better and disguising the surprise. Goodness gracious. The ending was.... Not surprising in the least. And a bit, flat. SURPRISE. Not.

Overall I was extremely disappointed in this book and honestly should have just stopped reading it after Addie's very first fight. It wasn't worth my time to read. I've just been looking for a good romance and haven't found anything to really "hit the spot" so I'm getting desperate and decided to give this book WAY more of a chance than I should have. Blegh.
Profile Image for Natasha.
Author 11 books36 followers
May 23, 2017
This is a time-travel romance that ends rather abruptly in my opinion. I don't like finishing a book and having more questions than answers.

Addy is a teenage girl who's bullied by the mean girls because she's poor and illegitimate. To make matters worse, her mom forces her to drop out of school to work as a cook/maid for Mr. Greenwood,a lonely, old man. Addy's mom feels Addy needs to learn her place in life and thinks school is simply filling her head with false hopes of grandeur. I wanted to smack this mom upside the head more than once!

Despite the grammatical and formatting errors, this was a good story. I just wish the ending had been more definite. If Addy had been a college student and old enough to live on her own in Mr. Greenwood's home, things could have been brought to a more satisfactory ending. Will could have moved in with her or married her. The actual ending of the story left too much uncertainty and too many unanswered questions. Addy is a 15 year-old high school student. How does she explain the presence of a strange young man in her life? Where will Will live? What type of work will he do? Will Mr. Greenwood be content to remain in medieval England knowing his son has traveled to the present? After presuming Lady Matilda was gone forever, did the king give Lady Hildegard in marriage to Sir Hugh? At the end of a romance, the reader wants a happy ending. She wants to know that the hero and heroine are going to live together and be happy. This story didn't leave me with the high I wanted.
Profile Image for Patricia.
2,908 reviews13 followers
May 27, 2017
I am at least half way through the book 68%) and just not sure I want to keep on reading. My primary reason is that I don't particularly like the main character. I prefer my time travel MC to be clever. Addy doesn't seem clever at all. For example, she doesn't seem to connect the dots (nor ponder the dots much) or try to pursue certain lines of thought--has Sir Hugh or the King seen Matilda before, perhaps Will came in the same "box" she came in, will her mother miss her, will she miss her mother, and on and on. Perhaps the author did this because Addy is 15 after all but, without the cleverness, Addy just comes across as so self-absorbed and that self-absorption makes her stupid.

I really am not interested in all the hawking, birds, training, etc.

Normally, I love time travel but this is just not clicking for me. I have had it on my to-read list forever and I am just really disappointed. Plus, to be my kind of time travel, some sense of history needs to be conveyed. Her destination could have been set in any sort of "ye olden times" given how vague the historical details were.

The past two days, I have been on a bad jag for choosing books. I have been choosing books that I don't like enough to finish. This is number 4 in a row.🤔
Profile Image for Mary Bronson.
1,430 reviews85 followers
March 10, 2018
I have mixed feelings about this book. When I read the synopsis of the book I thought it sounded very interesting. It was a historical fiction with a young maid girl named Addy who all she wanted to do is to be able to go to school, but then her mother told her they need to make more money so she makes her drop out of school and become a maid for this lonely gentleman. During her time there she discovers this object and she is transported back in time. She goes back hundreds of years and is mistaken for Lady Matilda who is supposed to marry a Lord.

Addy as a character got on my nerves. She was overplaying the part of a lady and was starting to act like a brat like how she did not want to go back to be a maid. It took her forever to realize she was acting bratty. Plus the story took too long. I felt it dragged a bit, but towards the middle, it started getting better. I did enjoy the relationship between Addy and William.
Profile Image for Sarah.
110 reviews9 followers
October 27, 2017
One of the best stories of finding our true selves and who we are meant to be....its an amazing mix of romance, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and reality. The love story and family connections are just perfect. The ending is the PERFECT ending to the story.
Profile Image for Viola Sung.
456 reviews24 followers
June 15, 2017
I remember reading this and liking it(?) But I don't remember anything about it.
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