Wish by Alexandra Bullen
This was a very pleasant surprise. Even though it was a Young Adult book, I was completely sucked into Olivia's world. I stayed up late and pretended to not hear my name when the kids called, because I couldn't wait to get back to the story to see what would happen next. I downloaded it, taking a chance, and am very glad that I did. To be honest, I didn't even bother reading what the story was about, but was so taken with the cover and that was enough for me.
Briefly, this Young Adult read is (and I normally don't do this in my reviews) about a teenage girl who lost her twin sister. She and her family move across the country to her mother's hometown of San Francisco, where Olivia stumbled upon an unique alteration shop. 'Mariposa in the Mission' created magical dresses that made wishes come true.
The story itself was very well-written. Ms. Bullen wrote a story in which the reader cares for the main character in her story. She seems to understand teenagers very well, and it is portrayed in her writing. Olivia is a young lady who has this incredibly sad thing happen to her, and it seemed that she didn't deal with it for some time. Olivia, throughout the story, starts to live her life. There are several elements to the story that are repeated, but in the repetition of those elements shows the progression that Olivia makes.
The only problem I had with the story was that there was a LOT of under-age drinking, with no consequences. I think that too much media aimed at teens shows underage drinking without consequences, and it would be nice to have authors or directors deal with this more head-on. Yes, it is something that many teens do, but it should not be shown so casually. The reader is left guessing at what caused the death of Olivia's twin until almost two-thirds through the story. (It is NOT alcohol related.) I would have also have liked to see more about Posey, learned more about her story as I think it would have helped flesh out her character more, but this did not detract from the story.
Read the end with a box of tissues near by. It was sad, touching and happy, all at the same time. Ms. Bullen did a tremendous job of telling the story of a young lady who lost her twin, was given three wishes, and what she did with those wishes. There were amusing scenes, many poignant scenes, and it dealt with many issues facing teenagers - popularity, relationships, friendships. This is a great story for anyone who enjoys a well-written Young Adult fiction story. This reader was completely glued to the story, and couldn't stop saying how much she enjoyed it after finishing the story.