4 January 2010

Review: WISH by Alexandra Bullen ****

"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.
In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?"

I fell head over heels in love with this book as soon as I saw the ARC cover a few months ago and I knew that I just had to have the book because it was so incredibly gorgeous. And then I actually checked the plot description and realized the plot sounded really good too soooo you can only imagine how excited I was when I managed to get my hands on an ARC of this!

I'm happy to report that the book didn't disappoint. I admit I didn't really expect this book to blow me away, but it was really rather enjoyable. It's a story of Olivia, whose sister Violet passed away recently and her family has decided to move to San Francisco. They're all having trouble coping with Violet's passing and the family is nearly falling apart. Olivia starts going to a new school and thus also has to make new friends. She meets Miles, her future project partner, his step-sister Bowie (their mothers are a couple), the gorgeous skateboarder and a musician Soren and his girlfriend Calla etc., but she also meets Posey, a seamstress who has the gift of making magical dresses. Yeah, we'll get to that later. Anyway, Posey makes Olivia a dress that grants her ultimate wish to have Violet back, even if only as a ghost, Olivia is happy again. She learns that she has two more magical dresses and thus two more wishes to be granted - and thus things get tricky ...

The plot itself requires you to suspend your disbelief. I mean, magical dresses with butterflies? Sounds cute, but I'm not buying it. So I took the whole thing more as a metaphor and then it worked for me. And once you get past that cute magical element, this is actually a really lovely story about coping with grief and moving on, about love and death, about love and friendship and betrayal, about families and last but not least, about the wishes we are sometiems too quick to make - be careful what you wish for and all that. ;) I can't say the plot was gripping, but it was certainly very clever and satisfying.

I can't say anything bad about the characters either - on the contrary, I thought they were all well portrayed and had depth. My favourite characters was probably Violet or her ghost - I loved her sarcasm and her optimism despite the circumstances, heh.

I also have to compliment the author's writing as I thought the novel was beautifully written. Ms Bullen has a way with words and I really appreciate it when authors don't just write whatever comes to their minds and leave it at that, but also work on their writing and improve it, which is what I believe is something Ms Bullen definitely worked on since the novel is just so well written.

However, what I liked by far the most about this novel is the stunning cover. The final cover (above) is slightly different to the ARC one, but I guess I personally prefer the ARC one, just because the dress is more visible and it really fits the final chapter. But wow, what an amazing cover, it fits the book so well (ignoring the hair colour of the model) and the shooting star and the violet dress and everything. Maybe it could just have a butterfly for good measure and it would be pretty much perfect!

All in all, I strongly recommend this novel. It's a quick but deep and beautiful read, inside and out. I can't quite rate it 5/5, but it's a 4.5 for sure!

overall rating: 4/5
plot: 4/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 5/5

13 comments:

Justine said...

I am in love with both the finished copy cover and the ARC cover! They're both so lovely. Oh and so is your blog :) I love the pink colours!

It sounds like a sweet, light read. I'll definitely have to check this one out!

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Ooh - magical dresses? It sounds great! Thanks for the really interesting review.

Melissa said...

I think both of these covers are so brilliant! I really want to read this one :)

Kari (Flamingo1325) said...

Thanks for the honest and great review!

Book Monster said...

Ahh sounds so good, can't wait til this comes out.

April said...

I love the ARC cover! I feel like for a ton of books I have to suspend my disbelief, not that that is a terrible thing, but you do make a great point. :-)

Lovely review, can't wait to get my hands on this one.

Shweta said...

Sounds like a really nice read. Some times books are just meant to be enjoyed. I have already left using logic while reading books and more so for YA these days. Great review

Adriana said...

This book sounds really sweet. The ARC cover is really nice, I like how you could see the full dress.

I have an award for you over at blog...
http://aivbooks.blogspot.com/2010/01/first-award.html

Becky said...

I am really good at suspending my disbelief. It amazes my husband. I think I could really enjoy this one. Thanks for a super review.

Raven said...

I love the ARC cover too. It's very pretty!

Great review ^_^

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Fantastic. I'm itching to read this. I love the starry dress.

Cleverly Inked said...

wonderful review. This is on my TBR list

Anonymous said...

This book was amazing.

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