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Wish (Wish (Quality)) Paperback – December 1, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Wish Series

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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Wish (Quality)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Point; Reprint edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545139066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545139069
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,247,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barbara Bell VINE VOICE on 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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Things are a little tough for Olivia right now. Her family has moved, partly in order to help themselves heal with the death of Olivia's twin sister, Violet. Olivia is starting a new school, and tries to make some friends, but finds herself wishing she still had her sister. Suddenly, Violet appears to Olivia, and helps her learn that sometimes, when wishes are made from the heart, the come true, and they come with consequences.

Who among us has not made a wish or two? Most of the time they are frivolous, but occasionally, our hearts ache for something with such longing. That is why it is easy to relate to this book. I found that in terms of the targeted young adult audience, this book was well conceived. The characters sound like real teens, and encounter real teen scenarios and dilemmas. I liked both Olivia and Violet's characters. Death of a sibling, particularly a twin, could be devastating for a teen, and I liked that this book centered around such a touch topic, using light humor to soften the blows.

I was a little troubled by the behavior of some of the teen characters, and the fact that there were no consequences for the drinking and sneaking out, but that is part of what makes the story more true to the life of a teen. We all know they encounter that kind of stuff all the time. I think that many adult readers would have a hard time connecting with the book, since it is so focused on the teen world, but for the intended audience, I think the book is great.
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