“Ruined Wings” by Ashley Fontainne, and narrated by Andrea Emmes, is a story of a young woman having an exceptionally normal life who has it all. A loving and caring family, a coach that cares for her success, and friends who look up and respect her. She is at the top of her running game. Callie is so good at her sport that she is given her choice of colleges to attend because of her athletic aptitude. What could be better or what could go wrong? Her life quickly spirals out of control when a tragic family event occurs. At this point, Callie’s life goes from what it had been to a life of drugs, addiction, and prostitution.
Let me start by saying that I often do not seek out this genre, but Ashley is able to craft a story that nearly anyone can enjoy. This book, like a few of her others (Fine as Frog Hair), was quite realistic in its portrayal of life. This book though shows the ravishing effects of a teenager whose life is out of control from the use of drugs. The book takes its reader on a rather dark and emotional rollercoaster ride. It contains some great emotional high points. However, I found there were often more low and even lower points expressed until we see Callie reach rock bottom where the ride stops. I felt for Callie, her family, and those around her because of what each had to go through because of the bad decisions she made. Ashley did a good job of bringing the characters and the story to life and keeping them real.
For me, as much as the book seemed realistic, I had a very different childhood growing up than what was expressed in this book; thankfully. The family seemed “normal” in the first half of the book, however once drugs were introduced it quickly became dysfunction and never seemed to fully heal from the many wounds. Because of my lack of experience with the subject matter, it was difficult for me to judge the author’s experiences or research of the material.
As for the book’s narration, Andrea Emmes did an exceptional job of telling the story. She has quite a few other titles under her belt, along with various genres and lengths; including a best seller on Audible. I, like many others, enjoy her voice and her ability to voice multiple characters. I believe she was a good fit for this book. The audio was professionally done, and I do not remember hearing any audio artifacts while listening.
Although the book is not categorized as young adult (YA), I would highly caution younger readers due to the book’s subject matter. Although it starts rather clean, the book quickly dives into the darker aspects from the use and effects of drugs. Vulgar language is frequently used along with conversations and acts involving sex are scattered between its pages. Because of its main storyline, the book also openly addresses drug addiction along with usage and all the baggage that comes from it. I would not recommend this book for young audiences; I do not believe the author has classified it as such either.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.