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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wish asks, "If you could have anything, what would you wish for?"

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

If you could have anything, what would you wish for? Sixteen-year-old Olivia Larsen doesn't even have to think about it - the only thing she desires is to have her twin sister back. Without Violet in it, the world seems to have lost all its color. Even surrounded by the beauty of San Francisco, where the family has just moved to make a new start, Olivia can't figure out how to go on without her best and oldest friend. It doesn't help that her parents are either MIA or at each other's throats. Just when Olivia really needs someone to help her work through her grief, navigate her new high school, and figure out how to move on with her life - she has no one.
Until a mysterious dress arrives on her doorstep. The gown's beautiful, fitting Olivia as perfectly as if it had been made just for her. Weirder still, it seems to be magic: almost as soon as Olivia wishes it, Violet's by her side. Olivia's missed her sister's vivacious personality so much, she hardly cares that Violet's a ghost, visible to no one but herself. True, it's a tad annoying to have an apparition - especially a very talkative, very opinionated teenage girl one - constantly whispering instructions into her ear, but with Violet at the helm, Olivia finally has the courage to explore her new town, make friends, and let go of some of her sadness.

As if it isn't enough to have her sister back, Olivia finds out she's still got two dresses - and two wishes - left. Wealth, romance, popularity, even perfect grades are all within her grasp. Magic can solve all her problems. Or can it? Olivia soon discovers that sorcery has its limits and that there are some things she has to work out for herself. At least Violet will always be there to help her deal. Or will she? As Olivia learns to live again, she also has to figure out how to let go of the one person to whom she's always clung. Or does she? With two wishes left, anything can happen ...
Wish, Alexandra Bullen's debut novel, is a funny, yet surprisingly tender novel about grief, love, and the powerful bond that exists between girls who are not only sisters, but also twins. Olivia's a wholly sympathetic character, whose struggles will resound with anyone who's ever felt lonely, out-of-place or consumed by grief. The magic element, coupled with Violet's snarkiness, give the story a lightheartedness that keeps it from getting too dark or depressing. In the end, it's a hopeful tale about a girl who loses everything, only to find herself.

(Readalikes: Reminded me of My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison and a little of Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt)

Grade: B

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG-13 for language, sexual innuendo, and scenes of underrage drinking/smoking

To the FTC, with love: I received Wish from the generous folks at Scholastic. Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like I heart you, You haunt me, which I loved. I think I will get this one, thanks for a great review.


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