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Iwishacana/Acanawishi Paperback – December 10, 2011
About the Author
Hello, my name is Larissa Hinton. I'm a grad student at Hampton University and hopefully by next year, I'll be a full time secondary English teacher. In the morning, I'll be a teacher but at night I'll become an author. Reference isn't working for you? Lol, anyway, most of the fiction I write really comes from a life of reading of what I love to read. Some of it, comes from a dark place which I never knew existed until college. Ah, gotta love college. Always discovering new sides of yourself. If you want to know more about me and my sarcasm, you can just check out my blog (http://teacherwritebookaholicohmy.blogspot.com/) and click on FAQ's. Thanks for reading my super short bio! :)
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Anissa escapes the police just to come home to get into a fight with her mother about getting into trouble all the time. Not listening to her mother, she goes to Iwishacana and takes an art class there. She then looses a bet and is stuck with Florence, a spoilt guy from Iwishacana. She then sneaks out to go to a party. When caught she is sent to Iwishacana boot camp for criminals.
While there, we learn that Anissa has been framed for the crimes she is charged with. All people in Iwishacana have an inability to wish for certain things except Anissa. Someone has hacked Anissa's ability and is using it to their advantage. Now Anissa needs to stop that person to clear her name and get out of criminal boot camp.
I really like the concept behind this story. It's a fresh new idea that has a lot of potential. I can see this easily becoming a series.
Having said that, I will admit that I would have liked more background on Iwishacna. I felt a little lost hitting the ground running with little to go on. I got the basic idea but would have liked to learn more about it, the ground rules behind wishing, and such. I also was a touch confused about the bet that got Anissa stuck with Florence. I might have miss read it, but couldn't find what happened.
Beyond that, this is a great story that has great potential. This is one to add to your young adult collection.
I received this story from author in a giveaway.
2. Larissa's made up words were fun!
3. I still dont know how to pronounce Iwishacana/Acanawishi :D the mystery of it all!
4. It is not your typical female lead! REFRESHING
5. Parts of the book reminded me of Cadet Kelly the coolest disney channel movie ever!
6. Iwishacana was a fun new world! It was different and unique, and interesting to explore.
7. Romance that left me wanting more! (did I mention yet that Florence was yummy)
8. The love/hate relationship between Florence and Anissa is whimsical.
9. I loved the playful rivalry between the characters, and their challenges for each other :D
10. I liked how everything tied off in the end! Satisfaction ;)
There's a city which is not quite of this world, called Iwishacana. In this city, wishes come true--if you want something you wish for it, and it appears. There are apparently some rules and restrictions, but it's not at all clear what they are. Eventually we learn that babies born in Iwishacana have a chip implanted in their brains, and this is key to how the wish system works. Anissa was not born in Iwishacana, but her mother was, and she has the ability to visit the city, to make wishes, etc.
Anissa's mother, Laura, is upset because Anissa is visiting Iwishicana without permission and doing other "teenage rebellion" kinds of things. When she learns that Anissa is taking art classes in Iwishicana, she grounds her. When she then discovers that Anissa has a male friend friend from Iwishacana, Florence, in her bedroom at night, she sends Anissa to Juvenile Police Camp in Iwishacana to wipe all her crimes off her record and get her on the straight and narrow.
Crimes? Well, yes. We find out about a third of the way through the book, when Anissa is already at cop camp, that someone has been using Anissa's identity to rob banks and commit other serious crimes. If she's really going to clear her name, she has to find out who. If she does find out who, the person will kill her unless she kills them first. This is part of how things are done in Iwishacana. You'd think that identity theft and using someone else's identity to commit crimes would itself be a crime, and that the correct course of action would be to report it to the police and then hire a lawyer, but no. Duel to the death, that's the ticket.
Of course, Anissa and Florence, being teenagers, act like it. Unfortunately, so to all of the putative adults who play any significant role in the story. This includes the character I dubbed Scipio, because his name is given only in Greek characters. He's the father of two of the other adults in the story, hence old enough to be Anissa's grandfather, and he's supposed to be a source of wisdom and guidance, and he still acts like a petulant teenager whenever he's thwarted in anything. Florence sometimes acts more mature--but only when the plot requires it; when it doesn't, he reverts. He's also nice or bullying depending on plot demands.
While the characterization is weak, so is the writing. Hinton consistently uses "then" when she means "than." There are sentences that don't make sense if you read them closely, that start off in one direction and wind up in another, that change tense partway through. This is by no means the worst sentence in the book:
It was a bland blue room with little decorations except for a picture of a guy and Brittnay stared directly at the camera with no smiles on their faces.
I wish I could be kinder to this book. There's an interesting story here, though parts of it need to be thought through more completely. I suspect the biggest thing this book needs is an editor. It's the downside of self-publishing; the author doesn't have to take advice or criticism from anyone they don't want to, until after they've already published their book. The same thing can happen to really popular authors published by the major publishers: Robert Heinlein, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, and other major best-selling authors have each in their time become "too big to edit." The writing of all of them suffered for it.
I hope Hinton finds an editor who'll tell her what she doesn't want to hear, and make her listen. It will be key to her growing to fulfill her potential..
I received a free electronic galley of this book from the author.
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