Friday, November 04, 2016

The Seventh Wish

The Seventh Wish. Kate Messner. 2016. Bloomsbury. 228 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: I've only seen the ice flowers once.

Premise/plot: Some books are near-impossible to summarize concisely...and do the book justice. This is such a book. I want to just say READ IT. But I won't. That really won't help you make up your mind now, or refresh my memory later. Charlie, the heroine, learns a little about wishes and a lot about life in this middle grade fantasy. Why is it fantasy and not realistic fiction? A talking fish that grants Charlie wishes.

My thoughts: I LOVED this one so much. Why? Perhaps in large part because of the narrator, Charlie. I truly connected with her--despite our differences--and wanted to spend time with her. I just adored her as a character. And because I adored her, I didn't mind a bit reading about Irish dancing (she made it sound super fun!) and ice-fishing (not convinced this is super fun but still not enough of a deterrent to keep me from loving it). I really felt this one was well-layered and peopled with flesh-and-blood characters.

This one was wonderfully balanced between light and dark. On the one hand, we've got Charlie and her friends and their "problems." (A friend whose father is pressuring him to play sports when that is the absolute last thing he wants to do, for example. Charlie's own "troubles" about wanting to earn money so she can buy a dancing dress for competitions.) On the other hand, we've got grown-up problems as well. Charlie's sister experiments with drugs--with heroin--at college and life becomes MESSY very quickly.

The Seventh Wish doesn't read like your typical PROBLEM NOVEL. It doesn't feel weighed down with manipulative messages, themes, and morals. Part of me wishes that this one didn't have the fantasy elements--the fish that grants wishes. The other part realizes that maybe the fantasy elements give this one a just right balance so that it isn't heavy and serious and dramatic and IMPORTANT.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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