Monday, October 11, 2010

You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

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. (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


  1. I really like the way you wrote this review.

    Glad you enjoyed it. I, too, believe that the novel is just right for those you "recommended" it to. I know that some people are turned off by the super-pink cover and that saddens me a bit since this was a really good book. Hope your review can convince some people to order a copy. :)

  2. Ah thanks, Cass. You always write the nicest of comments :)

    Yeah, I didn't think about the super-pink cover being a possible turn-off. It stands out i think - and it's definitely not a pink book - kinda the opposite with Kayla being sort of daggy and such an individual :)

  3. YAY! I'm so excited to read this one (I really like MG, man. So it sounds like my kinda thing. Plus I love Mandy to bits). I'll definitely be picking it up :D

  4. I've been looking at the book for a while. And I'm always looking for clean YA books for my middle school 8th graders. YAY

  5. sounds cool-- I queried Mandy when I was shopping around the first version of my WIP. She was one of those agents who responds REALLY quickly, which was pretty awesome, even if the news was not good.

  6. Awesome review!

    Have I told you that I never tire of your adorable header?

  7. This sounds like it has a really cool premise. Great review - I especially like how you comment on the audience, few reviews tend to do that. :)

  8. I think you nailed this review!!! Great review, after reading this book I can safely say I couldn't agree more with you!

  9. that's a really clever idea. xx

  10. Hello! I wasn't planning to read You wish because of this PINK cover. It's just uncomfortable. But after reading the plot and your review, which is all professional and cool, I thought: 'Hey! This seems like a good story. This is a good idea.' But still, I'm looking for more mature reading. And this is when your review is useful, because I know exactly if this book is for me! But if this book cross my path in the library, why not?

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Thanks for the commenty love :)