Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review: You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

Title: You Wish
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Publishing Information: 304 pages; July 29, 2010 by Razorbill
Series: Standalone

Where I got it: E-book from the library

Synopsis from Goodreads:

"Kayla McHenry's sweet sixteen sucks! Her dad left, her grades dropped, and her BFF is dating the boy Kayla's secretly loved for years. Blowing out her candles, Kayla thinks: I wish my birthday wishes actually came true. Because they never freakin' do.
Kayla wakes the next day to a life-sized, bright pink My Little Pony outside her window. Then a year's supply of gumballs arrives. A boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of the same name stalks her. As the ghosts of Kayla's wishes-past appear, they take her on a wild ride...but they MUST STOP. Because when she was fifteen? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her. And Ben is her best friend's boyfriend."

Main characters: 2.5/5

My first impression of Kayla is that she's a little quirky. I like to have a character that is acknowledged as a bit of a pessimist, however I think it's maybe a little unrealistic that she can identify herself thus at age sixteen? For example, I was a major pessimist in high school and I would have denied it with the best of them. I could relate with Kayla's sense of feeling like her best friend has outgrown her, but I feel like she may have overemphasized the point to where I was a little sick of her whining. And the whole thing with her wanting her best friend's boyfriend? It's realistic, but I was tired of Kayla's jealousy and downright meanness about their relationship. I appreciated how she changed at the end of the novel, realizing her mistakes and deciding to create herself anew.

Secondary characters: 1.5/5

Some of the characters were one-dimensional, for instance, Kayla's mom. Ann was a little quirky but I ended up liking her because she was a foil to Kayla. Even though the end explained why Nicole had been acted weird, I didn't feel like she was fully-formed and therefore likeable. Ben, the love interest, was a little more three dimensional, but I still didn't feel that there was enough justification given as to why Kayla was in love with him.

Writing style: 2/5

Some of the action felt a little passive, and I couldn't get into it because it felt like it was being described to me rather than feeling like I was in the action. Some parts of the novel were hilarious, both in writing style as well as situational, however others parts seemed like Hubbard was trying too hard to be witty or have that sarcastic teen voice.

Plot: 2/5
I know this is minor, but right off the bat I was turned off by the reference to Old Navy being the "in-crowd" place to shop. I'm sorry, but Old Navy hasn't been a cool place to shop for about ten years. Some more research would have helped this point, I think. Just randomly, I loved the bit about the Photography class because I took two in high school and failed pretty miserably at them. The fantastical aspect of all of Kayla's wishes coming true was part cute and fun and part over-the-top. I appreciated the point where Kayla realized her past mistakes and had a revelation about herself and her life, but it was a little obvious coming.

Ending: 2/5

The ending moved really quickly and a lot of it was unbelievable; and I don't just mean the part about the birthday wishes coming true. It wasn't satisfying and it wasn't exciting.

Best scene: Nothing really stands out

Positives: Some funny situational humor, good final transformation for Kayla

Negatives: Passive and boring writing style, one dimensional characters, over-the-top plot devices


Verdict: Fell a little short of the reviews I'd read... I wasn't expecting greatness but I expected more than this

Rating: 4.0/10 (2 stars)

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