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Wish [Kindle Edition]

Alexandra Bullen
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

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Book Description

If you could have anything, what would you wish for?

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Olivia looks up from the wreckage of many months following the death of her twin to find herself uprooted across the country to San Francisco by her grieving attorney-mother and inconsolable contractor-father. Without Violet as a social and emotional crutch, Olivia doesn't know how she can face Golden Gate Prep. The touch of magic is subtle as the teen stumbles upon a hole-in-the-wall seamstress who agrees to mend an old dress of Violet's for a gathering at her mother's new firm. Instead, Olivia finds herself wearing a beautiful custom creation with a butterfly that bursts from fabric into life as Violet is wished back into Olivia's life. No one else can see or hear her, but Olivia's confidence is bolstered enough that she soon becomes friendly with Calla, the most popular girl in school, and catches the eye of skater cutie Soren. Complications ensue when Soren breaks up with Calla, and Olivia launches a clandestine romance, with a couple of dresses left to wear and wishes left to spend. This first-time novelist has produced an enjoyable variation on the three magical wishes scenario with nicely executed and believable characters, not so much fairy tale as realistic story—with some teen drinking. Olivia works through the wishes to realize her strengths and learn to face the world on her own.—Suzanne Gordon, Peachtree Ridge High School, Suwanee, GA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

After Olivia’s twin sister dies, she and her parents move to San Francisco, where she struggles to cope with Violet’s absence while navigating a new school and new city. When Olivia brings one of Violet’s torn dresses to an unusual tailor’s shop, she receives a mysteriously beautiful dress in return. She learns the dress is magical when she wishes for her sister back and Violet appears as a ghost; together they learn Olivia has two more wish dresses. With Violet’s help, Olivia’s social life improves but grows tricky when she begins secretly dating a new friend’s recent ex. Despite the fashionable way the wishes are granted, they work the same as in other fantasies, creating complications for Olivia until she makes an accidental but heartfelt wish that cannot be undone. This effortless fantasy makes good use of the conceit of wishes, giving Olivia what she needs to ultimately let her sister go, but the consequences of her social deceptions are resolved too easily. The happily-ever-after ending is pure wish fulfillment, but still one deservedly obtained. Grades 8-11. --Krista Hutley

Product Details

  • File Size: 428 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Point; 1 edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003MC5AW6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,308 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Special January 4, 2010
By LMS
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I read the description of this book on Amazon Vine, I was curious. It sounded like a very interesting and unique premise for a book. I couldn't wait to start reading it.

Now let me state up front that I am 33 years old, I don't know if 33 is still considered a young adult or not. So it's entirely possible that I am not part of this book's intended demographic. But I have read and enjoyed a variety of other young adult books, so I don't think that is the major problem.

Honestly, I found this book to be repetitious and dull. It was difficult to get through. I never really got "pulled into the story." I wasn't all that excited to find out what was going to happen next.

My major complaint with this book has to do with the characters. I didn't feel that any of them were especially well-developed. In fact, they felt often rather cliched. There is Posey, the mysterious and odd dressmaker, Calla, the popular and beautiful rich girl, Violet the free-spiritied rebel, and Olivia, the awkward, reserved social-outcast, and Soren, the cute, skateboarder/musician. I didn't feel that there were any truly strong characters in this book. For me, the characters fell very flat.

I also thought it was rather strange the way Violet returned to Olivia. In fact, I found it not very believable and somewhat creepy. I think it would have been better if we could have watched violet interact with some of the other characters. It would have been much more interesting if Violet had been angry about being brought back.

In the back of the book, there is a little blurb about donating it to children in need. That's a wonderful sentiment, but I don't know if I would feel comfortable passing this novel on to a child. There is a smattering of profanity present, and I just think that the story might be too complex and overwhelming for a child.

I don't think I will be reading any future works by this author.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars interesting concept, not-so-interesting execution January 19, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Olivia's rebellious, beloved twin sister Violet has died, and Olivia's parents have moved the family across the country to San Francisco to start again. Olivia would love to start her life again in a new city and a new school, but her life seems to have been put on hold when Violet died. Then one day, Olivia meets a mysterious seamstress who makes her a dress which grants her dearest wish, though perhaps not precisely as she would have wanted.

I can't say that I enjoyed _Wish_ especially. The writing is awkward and full of clichés and poor word choices. The magical element doesn't work with the rest of the plot at all; it's just a creaky mechanism to get Violet back and never believable in and of itself. The concept of Violet-as-ghost is potentially interesting, but poorly executed: for example, on one page, we learn that she can't affect anything physical, while soon afterward, she's flipping through a magazine.

On the plus side, the relationships between Olivia and her new friends are fairly well done. She gets in the middle of a breakup, and the angst around that feels real and actually worked better for me than the more fantastical elements of the plot. By the end, I felt as though there was a decent book about grief and moving on somewhere in there, but it's simply buried too deep in the labored writing and the tacked-on magical elements.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo to Bullen for a well-written debut novel. January 11, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a story that transcends reality and makes the reader feel as if they are personally involved with the characters. We are not separated by pages and words in a book. We are engaged and vested in the fate of our character. This is the book that you stay in bed to read a bit longer, and this is the book that you clear your schedule to treat yourself to a quiet afternoon.

I am giving this book 5 stars because Bullen's writing is clear and articulate, and it is a story well-told. I think that she could have written sappier, but she didn't. She respects her readers enough to make this a real story with a magical element. Bonus: I was pleasantly surprised to find out this was set in San Francisco, with the ability to make this book a travelogue for a newbie in town.

In response to some feedback about the drinking in the story, I thought Bullen hit the nail on the head with her description of the children of wealthy parents who attend an exclusive school in a very open city. Teenagers experiment and when they have their own cars, keys to the summer home, and free reign, they are going to emulate adult behavior. It's what they've seen, and it's what they know. These are cues teens pick up from the adults in their lives. Does that mean Bullen is encouraging underage drinking? No. She is simply an observer who is writing about teen behavior. That's what makes this a real story. There is no sugar-coating here. Teens who want to experiment are going to do so.

Onto the story itself:

As the story unfolds, we learn that Olivia has been uprooted from all that she knows to find herself in a new school, in a new state, and without her fearless twin sister to help navigate the social mores. Her parents are distant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you could wish for anything... January 18, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Olivia hasn't quite been herself since the death of her twin sister Violet. When her parents decide to move what's left of the family across the country to San Francisco, Olivia feels awkward both at home and in her new school. Without her lively sister to forge the way, Olivia doesn't know how to start her new life. When Olivia stumbles upon a small dressmaker's shop and learns that the dress she gets there is somehow magical, the sky's the limit, because with the dress, Olivia also gets a wish, a wish that could bring her beloved sister Violet back. And with two more magical dresses at her disposal, it seems all Olivia has to do to make her life perfect again is wish. But Olivia has to be careful because magic isn't the solution to everything, and what she thinks she wants may not be what she needs to be whole again.

Wish is a cute story of when fairytale collides with real life. Olivia is a grieving, scared girl who's nothing without her twin sister. However, through a very unique fairy godmother, Olivia is allowed more time with her dead sister. Olivia's tale is sad but ultimately sweet coming of age story of loss and learning to stand on one's own legs. It's about making the right choices and fixing mistakes, and it's a story that's extremely accessible because of how easy Olivia is to relate to. Her character may seem uninteresting at first because of her overwhelming grief, but Olivia quickly proves to be a thoughtful and well intentioned girl. Her insecurity and fear of moving on makes readers genuinely care for her. Wish may not be the most romantic or exciting story, but it is one that will touch readers and bring a smile to their faces.

Wish will be enjoyed by fans of traditional fairytales and fairytale retellings as well as by those who liked Saving Zoë by Alyson Noël and A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell. I look forward to more writing from this promising new author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What a lovely goodbye
I thought at first that this book would be the typical teenage angst romance, was I WRONG! this story was thoughtful and fresh.
Published 3 months ago by Soul on Fire
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed
I enjoyed this book. It's a Sweet story. Came in my Kindle so I decided to read. Teen story, relaxing read.
Published 3 months ago by Deb
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great story
Wish is a great book. It has a unique and interesting plot line. I loved following Olivia's story as she struggles to fit in a new place and grieve the lose of her twin sister. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!!
This was a great read. Ever though it was about high school, it hit a lot of heart strings that anyone who has lost someone will understand. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kristina Shaarda
4.0 out of 5 stars great book.
I'm sorry i am late with review.I thought i sent one. i'ts a good book to read .thank you much.
Published 8 months ago by Margaret Potteiger
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 WISHES
The book was interesting from start to finish. The plot, included: happiness, sorrow and a great deal of teenage angst. I thought the story was enjoyable for teens and adults. Read more
Published 9 months ago by kindle lover NJV
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet
Book was a twisted story of confusing love that ended up be a great plot. I wold recommend it for 9-12
Published 11 months ago by Alan Cormier
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wish Come True
This book was wonderful mostly because of its normalcy. Yes, there is magic, but to me it was mostly about grief and moving on with life and love being a factor. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Patty
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story
I downloaded several free kindle books for my 16 hour train ride home from winter break. This was an excellent download, I didn't put it down until I was through.
Published 14 months ago by ceheape
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This was an amazing book. I loved the romance and the dresses. This book sums up pretty much every girls' dream. Good job, Bullen!
Published 16 months ago by Jessica Vu
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More About the Author

Alexandra Bullen has been a playwright, waitress, barista, gardener, script reader, yoga instructor, and personal assistant. She grew up in Massachussetts, went to college in New York City, and now lives most of the year on Martha's Vineyard.

Visit Alex online at www.alexandrabullen.com.

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