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A Reader of Fictions: You Can't Always Get What You Want - Glee

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, February 6, 2011

You Can't Always Get What You Want - Glee

Wishful Thinking
Wish, Book 2

Author: Alexandra Bullen
Pages: 242
Publisher: Point (a Scholastic imprint)

Brief Summary:
Hazel's life kinda sucks. She has grown up in the foster system, passed from one foster parent to another. She never really got the chance to make any real friends at school because she moved so often. On her eighteenth birthday, she is given an envelope that could change everything: it contains the name of her birth mother, Rosanna Scott. She discovers that her mom lives in San Francisco too and decides to attend a fancy event in her honor. For that she needs a dress and she has the perfect one, picked up cheap and needing only a small alteration. The seamstress she takes it to gives her back three dresses and with them: three wishes.

I was really surprised by Wishful Thinking. It had way more depth than I had expected. Admittedly, I knew very little about it before I began reading, but I did know that Bullen has another book called Wish, so I thought maybe she just wrote the same plot over and over. I still don't know about that, but I am impressed enough by this book that I am not super concerned.

Hazel is a likable heroine. She struggles with selfishness and self-doubt, but who doesn't? Despite all the things she has always wanted, she does not waste her wishes or use them swiftly. In fact, it takes almost half the book until she uses her second wish. Not many people would show such restraint.

Bullen also used the time travel plot (caused by her first wish) well. She acknowledged the awkwardness inherent in falling in love with someone in the past. She also covers issues associated with teen pregnancy without preaching for one side of the debate or another. The best part was the way she conveyed the message that view, both in photography and of one's life, is incredibly important. There may be wonderful things in your life that you're missing, because you cannot see the best in yourself and are not open to others.

This is a sweet, well done YA story. Recommended!

"You can't always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need"

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