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. (from publishers site)
You Wish is an addictive, wild and quirky read that cleverly manages to explore some meaningful themes under the madness.
You Wish was always unexpected - anything could happen with the wishes and the way they cropped up in Kayla's life was so creative. It really felt like Mandy Hubbard had a blast while writing this, letting her imagination go wild. She wreaked havoc on poor Kayla with so many cringe-worthy and hilarious situations.
Despite the craziness of the wishes - it did have me thinking about things I've wished for and reminded me of that lovely innocence and make-believe of childhood. At it's core it's a classic coming of age story - Kayla is in a swirl of her childhood wishes while watching others around her growing up and changing (including her best friend who suddenly blossoms and is leaving Kayla behind for the popular crowd).
As a protag, Kayla is very relatable: she is confident in who she is but unsure of her place among her peers and so wants to be accepted for her quirky, slightly geeky self. She's also crushing on her best friends boyfriend - I think teen readers will find it easy to crush on Ben too - he's pretty spunky, with his grin and motorbike tricks and easy-going nature.
You Wish is an infectious kind of read - dizzying with wackiness yet touching with some genuinely heart-felt moments.
I recommend this to teens (and it would also appeal to mature pre-teens) who are looking for a fun, quirky and unpredictable read - this could easily cross over into upper MG with it's clean story (no swearing/illicit substances/sex). It's also perfect for reluctant readers, with it's fast pace and accessible prose.
On occasion it was a touch too cute for my tastes - but I think it's spot on for the audience it is written for :)
You Wish is available in Australia now.
You Wish @ goodreads
You Wish @ Penguin
Mandy Hubbard's website
Thank you to Penguin Australia for sending me this review copy