Written by Alexandra Bullen
Published January, 2010 by Point
Genres: Contemporary, Loss & Grief
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For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone… until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn’t just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.
With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can’t solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.
I didn’t expect to enjoy Wish as much as I did. I went into it thinking it would be a more ‘fantasy’ based story than what it was. I think even though there’s the undertone of magical dresses, this is more of a contempory-type novel about a girl finding her strength and her own way. I highly recommend it!
First of all, I really love that there’s a series (the second book, Wishful Thinking, is one I’m going to have to pick up right away!) about a magical seamstress and wish-granting dresses. So, like I already said, I expected this to be more fantasy-based than what it was.
Reading the summary it all sounds rather predictable; a girl struggling with the loss of her twin sister, her bickering parents, fitting into a new school, making new friends and having a crush on her new friends boyfriend… but if you can get past that, and actually take a dive into Wish, you’ll find that all that doesn’t matter. I usually roll my eyes at premises like this, thinking ‘Yup, read it all before!’ but I honestly do think Wish handles it differently. It’s actually enjoyable for once!
Of course there are predictable turns of events, but I did enjoy the characters and was SO relieved to see there was a popular clique of girls who were actually quite nice and not bitchy! (Wow, they actually exist? Who knew!) I really enjoyed the relationship between Olivia and her twin, Violet, as well as the stunning backdrop of San Francisco which really is the third main character in this story. I felt like I was witnessing the city along with our protagonist!
I also liked Soren, the cute drummer guy Olivia instantly falls for. Their relationship could have been rushed and unbelievable, but it wasn’t. I really liked the way it played out. All the while, we have the added bonus of three magical wish-granting gowns! Although their relationship is a big part of this story, Olivia actually has other things to focus on.
I read Wish from start to finish in one night with only a minor break.
There were a few errors that I was left scratching my head about, though. Violet is only meant to be solid to Olivia’s touch, frowning how she couldn’t eat/touch food or shoplift some cosmetics, yet at times she picked up Olivia’s credit card from the ground and also a photograph. Eh? Also, Soren managed to call Olivia on her house phone after Olivia claiming they hadn’t even had time to exchange numbers. Has anyone else that read this book found an explanation for these occurances? Maybe it’s just my head playing tricks! It is 4am where I am, after all!
I recommend Wish for lovers of contemporary fiction. If you’re not into the fantasy/magical aspects of YA these days, don’t be put off. There are a few mixed goodreads reviews (that I’ve seen) but I find myself disagreeing with them. Decide for yourself and pick up a copy!
Recommended to: Fans of contemporary young adult fiction will enjoy it a lot!