Defect by Will Weaver: Young Adult Book Review
by Will Weaver
ISBN: 0374317259 / 9780374317256
I’m not a big fan of fantasy, but this one about a boy whose birth defect gives him arms that are like a bat's wings is one of my favorite books of all time. The cover gives me a rush as well.
David is ugly: He was born with a small face, bug eyes, a stooped back, poor hearing, and a strange body odor. There is also something else that he’s kept secret from everyone: He has collapsible wings. He can fly.
After being the target of continual bullying, and moving from school to school, foster family to foster family, David finally moves to an alternative school in another state. A childless farm couple who’s seen birth defects in animals compassionately takes him into foster care. He meets Cheetah, a girl whose epilepsy makes her as much of an outcast as David is. Only, Cheetah isn’t shy like David. Cheetah fiercely champions David to the limit. They strike up a friendship, and then a romance.
As usual in a book where the protagonist has a birth defect, David is faced with a decision. Shall he live with the defect? Or shall he undergo surgery at the hands of a doctor who claims he can make David “normal”? Only, in this book, David’s decision isn’t so easy as to choose whether to become more conventionally handsome, or to live with the defect. It’s not as simple as coming to realize that true beauty lies within. That’s not to say that this type of realization is easy. But David also has an incredible gift: he can fly. It makes his decision all the more difficult, and his choice in the end is genuinely thrilling.
Visit Will Weaver's website.
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