From School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-Kayla McHenry's 16th birthday is not going well. It's bad enough that her mother, a professional event planner, is throwing a party that she does not want, including pink frills and a cake with four layers. And her best friend, Nicole, is dating the boy Kayla's madly in love with, Ben Mackenzie, and they arrive three hours late to the celebration. When it's time to blow out the candles on her cake, Kayla wishes that for once her wishes would come true. The next morning she awakens to a bright pink pony in her yard, and the following day to an endless supply of gumballs. Then a live Raggedy Ann appears in her closet, and after that she encounters a boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name. Now Kayla wonders what else will happen and how, more importantly, she can stop the wish she made on her 15th birthday from coming true-that Ben would kiss her. Although the story has a few plot holes and unanswered questions, such as what made the cake magical in the first place, they will not detract from its appeal. With slapstick high jinks, a likable protagonist, and some snappy dialogue, this novel will be a hit with girls who enjoy light, comedic stories with a little romance mixed in.-Jessica Marie, Renton Public Library, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kayla is an angsty outsider, growing distant from her suddenly beautiful best friend, Nicole, and doing her best to subvert the status quo. When she wakes up from her sixteenth birthday party, Kayla’s wishes from years gone by start coming true. She scrambles to hide the bizarre evidence (a life-size My Little Pony, a million gumballs, giant breasts) and stop the wishes before last year’s materializes with a kiss from her best friend’s now boyfriend, Ben. As she is visited by the wishes of her past, she begins to soften and glimpse the joy that can be found in small things, thanks in great part to Raggedy Ann, who has come to life. Kayla and Ann’s relationship is the most developed in the book, as she spends much of her time avoiding Ben and trying to connect with Nicole. By the book’s end, Kayla’s transformation is significant, but many questions remain. Even so, this is an entertaining romance enlivened by the fantasy spin and deepened by Kayla’s renewed appreciation for the world around her. Grades 6-9. --Heather Booth