Source: ARC from Penguin
Grade: 3 stars out of 5
It’s Kayla’s Sweet Sixteen and nothing is going right. Her mother has taken over her party as a chance to advertise her business meaning it is absolutely nothing she wants. And yet her best friend Nicole, the one thing that might make this party bearable, ditches her. Still, Kayla grits her teeth and blows out her candles wishing that her birthday wishes would come true. All hell breaks loose.In Mandy Hubbard’s second teen novel she makes dreams into reality, but reality is bittersweet. Prada and Prejudice lacked for me that extra pow to make it from an OK read to a great read and You Wish has that same problem.
Turns out her wishes were not that great: Kayla is now stuck with a pink My Little Pony; all the gumballs you can eat (and die from); a Raggedy Ann that has come back to haunt you; and a Ken doll that has the hots for Kayla. There is also a wish that Kayla is most afraid of coming true: Ben Mackenzie kissing her.
But Ben is Nicole’s boyfriend so that is clearly off-limits territory. Kayla always had a crush on Ben since forever and not even Nicole knows about that wish. One can only wish though….
Each wish is hilarious filled with mirth that borders on nonsensical. There was childhood innocence as seen with Raggedy Ann and the progression of puberty with Ken (bom chicka wah wah) that You Wish features. Hubbard does well to balance the slightly sane—gumballs—with heartwarming reasons—ability to speak Italian after her father left.
However I had strong feelings on Nicole and Kayla as well as the ending. I found both characters unlikeable at times: Kayla for her whiny attitude at times and Nicole for just not being a good friend many of the times. These are just personal feelings, which you may not have for these two characters. But I have a question to those who may have read You Wish (slightly spoilish so highlight to see): does that mean the last wish disappears? I wish Hubbard would write something to clear some of the confusing of the ending for me.
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