Monday, December 20, 2010

when you Wish upon a... dress?!


Author: Alexandra Bullen

Publisher: Point

Pages: 323

Read Time: 4 day

Rating (1-5): 3.5

Tag Words: Wishes, magical dresses, sister returned from the dead, twins, California, crush, popular girls, vegan-freaks, 2010 debut author

My Summary: After Olivia receives the gift of a magical wish she utters the words that bring her sister back from the dead and into her new life. Everything is wonderful again, Violet is back, Olivia’s crush Soren is handsome and Olivia learns she has two more wishes. When a girl has everything she has every dreamed of, what more could she wish for?

My Summary:

I wasn’t as in-love with this book as I thought I would be. It’s still a good book, and slightly fluffy, but I was expecting more than magic fluffiness from Wish. I suppose that I assumed the book would have a more serious tone; when you wish your twin-sister back from the dead your world can’t possibly be the same right? I mean, you should be talking about life, the things that Violet wished she had done different, how strained the family has become, and not just clothes and boys, right? Well, I thought so too, but apparently clothes and boys are more important than I gave them credit for because that is all that consumed these twin’s lives post-reappearance.

First of all, if I had a magic wishes, I would use all three to attempt to change the past and make sure she never died- giving up cute boys and the ability to take my sister’s place as the lively twin wouldn’t even cross my mind as a reason to keep her a ghost. The fact that Olivia found such sudden peace throughout the story really confused me. I was expecting the story to be more messy, tear-jerking and yes, magical, but in sensible down-to-Earth quantities.

I also felt that some of the characters- such as Miles- were unnecessary and I kept waiting for Olivia to realize Soren wasn’t awesome, and turn to Miles. When that didn’t happen I felt a bit bereft, Soren truly was a good guy the entire time and I didn’t get the chance to really see him because I was bracing for impact. Occasionally the writing lagged as well, I would have cut a lot of the trivial stuff down and made the magical logistics a bit more sensible.

I did see gems of potential from Bullen here and there, the writing about how Violet always wanted a wishing star was truly touching, and I loved how Bullen paired the Virginia Woolf novel, “To The Lighthouse” against Olivia’s life, it was poignant, even if Olivia worked on a fashion show, instead of the assignment in the book. That was the crux of why I didn’t love Wish, when it came to a fork in the literary road- Fluffy, or Weighty- Bullen inevitably picked Fluffy. Too bad, neither the writing, nor the characters really supported the fluffy, they were poised to tackle the Weighty.

Notes on the Names: Very hipster-chic naming strategy. The names really set off the Californian background. Some Cali-inspired choices were: Lark, Eve, Graham, Soren, Calla, Farley, Miles and Bowen for a girl. The twins were named Violet and Olivia; Olivia is a personal favorite so reading the name on every page made me smile. I’ve always thought this pairing would be spectacular for twins, when you rearrange the letters of one you are so close to creating the other! And may I just say that Mariposa, nn Posey was pure genius and with that, I bow to Bullen on the naming-front.

Thoughts on the Cover: It’s such a pretty cover, don’t you think? My edition came in a purple jewelry bag filled with silver stars to wish on; if only I had also received a Wish-Upon-A-Dress…

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