Monday, 3 January 2011

Review: You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group:Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin AU
Release Date: October 2010
Format: Paperback, 284 pages
ISBN-13: 9781595142924
RRP: $14.95 AUD
Source: Book provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review, and all opinions expressed are my own.
Cover love? Very pink, cute and bubbly, obviously, but I think the cover may turn some people off the book, which is definitely not (just) rainbows and unicorns.


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.


The cover of You Wish had me divided – it attracted me to the book, because I was looking for a fun, contemporary read, but it also gave me doubts, because a book that cute and hot pink is obviously targeted towards a particular audience, namely the tween girl category. The premise of the book certainly suggested a Disney Channel plotline, but I suppose my inner girly-girl was intrigued, because I immediately picked up this book in the early evening and finished it by nightfall, a grin spread across my face.

You Wish definitely calls a plethora of Disney movies to mind, specifically Life-Size with Lindsay Lohan, where a girl’s dreams come true when her Barbie doll comes to life,  but the consequences of her wishes are, of course, dire. In You Wish, Kayla is feeling down on her birthday party (a celebration thrown by her career-oriented mother), because her best friend Nicole, has ditched her for Ben, Nicole’s boyfriend, who Kayla has secretly fancied for years. So when Kayla angrily blows out her candles and wishes that all her previous wishes would come true, they do, in a startling turn of luck.

 But Kayla soon discovers that with every new day comes a new wish, and a new disaster. And what did she wish for last year? That Ben would kiss her. Now she has 15 days to reverse this chain of events before Ben really kisses her, and she loses her friendship with Nicole forever.

So as you can imagine, every day comes with a new adventure for Kayla, and I thoroughly enjoyed the hilarity that ensued. A six year old’s dreams of ponies, dolls and gumballs quickly becomes a sixteen year old’s worst nightmare. The plotline isn’t very original, with many of the “wishes” done before in kids’ shows. Even the friendship between the characters, and the predictable romance connections reminded me of the formulaic styles of countless books and movies before it. It’s pretty obvious what the ending will be before the book finishes, so You Wish definitely isn’t the book to turn to for masterful storytelling.

And while originality isn’t one of this book’s qualities, nor is character build up, we do get to see Kayla grow throughout the two week long span of the novel, beginning to understand the consequences of want, and the importance of friendship. There are many hilarious scenes, and I can definitely imagine this as a movie. Edit: Movie rights for You Wish have been optioned by RCR.

You Wish is a feel-good novel, one that will cheer you up, and have you smiling yourself silly. Perfect for tweens and young teens looking for a fun, light read.


You Wish at Penguin | Mandy Hubbard's Website | Mandy Hubbard's Blog | Goodreads