Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wishing Day by Lauren Myracle

Title: Wishing Day
Author: Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date: May 3, 2016
Pages: 336
Source/format: ARC from publisher

Rating: ☆☆☆

Synopsis (from goodreads.com):

On the third night of the third month after a girl’s thirteenth birthday, every girl in the town of Willow Hill makes three wishes.

The first wish is an impossible wish.
The second is a wish she can make come true herself.
And the third is the deepest wish of her secret heart.

Natasha is the oldest child in a family steeped in magic, though she’s not sure she believes in it. She’s full to bursting with wishes, however. She misses her mother, who disappeared nearly eight long years ago. She has a crush on one of the cutest boys in her class, and she thinks maybe it would be nice if her very first kiss came from him. And amid the chaos of a house full of sisters, aunts, and a father lost in grief, she aches to simply be...noticed.

So Natasha goes to the willow tree at the top of the hill on her Wishing Day, and she makes three wishes. What unfolds is beyond anything she could have imagined.

M Y  T H O U G H T S 

Natasha is 13. Every girl who lives in the town of Willow Hill will visit an ancient willow tree on the third night of the third month after a girl's thirteenth birthday for Wishing Day. On Wishing Day, a girl makes three wishes. One impossible wish, one wish the wisher could make come try herself and the deepest wish of her secret heart.

From the first page, I connected with Natasha. Her friendship with Molly and her sisterly bonding with Ava and Darya is something I enjoyed reading. The girls have different personalities but they are super close. Ava is 11 and she quirky, creative and a dreamer who loves math but hates Math Mate worksheets. Darya is 12 and is known for being popular and pretty but is always running late. Natasha, on the other hand, is dependable, sensible and loves to read and write.

Healthy relationships between females is sometimes hard to find. Natasha also has her aunts watching over her since her mother disappeared eight years ago. Natasha also has a good relationship with her Papa. I also enjoyed how the Russian culture is woven into this novel.

Lauren Myracle captures Natasha's voice perfectly. Natasha is humorous and doesn't mind speaking about what is on her mind. I am glad Myracle includes writings from Natasha's journal; it's a good change of pace to see what Natasha is thinking in first person since the novel is written in third person. Myracle also includes wishes of other characters when they were thirteen, which I thought was a nice touch. It is interesting to see what each person wished for.

Wishing Day is the first novel in the Wishing series. I highly recommend this Middle Grade novel for those who are looking for a novel full of life, laughter, first crushes and strong female relationships. Myracle also adds a sense of mystery within the novel. Who is Emily? Papa and Aunt Vera mention Emily. Also, who wrote the random secret notes? Pick up Wishing Day to find out.

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