Pink cakes, pink ponies and gumballs

You Wish by Mandy HubbardYou Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Publisher: Razorbill
Number of pages: 272
My copy: paperback, bought from Fully Booked

What if all your wishes really came true?

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.

* * *

Totally honest moment: I know I said I hardly buy books because of their cover, but the main reason why I wanted to have this book when I saw it is because of the pink. This is probably the brightest book in my shelf right now, and I’m pretty sure my guy friends would not get this book because of that cover (unless you believe that real men wear…er, read pink-covered books?). But I just love it. The pink, the cupcake, the pony — it’s like a little girl’s dream birthday cake on a book! :)

But Kayla McHenry, You Wish‘s protagonist hated the pink. She hated everything during her sixteenth birthday party where her mom used it more as an event to market herself as an event organizer for the sweet sixteen birthday market, and her best friend ditched her for a date with her boyfriend, who incidentally, Kayla has been in love with for the past three years. (Okay that sentence was mouthful) It was a truly sucky birthday, and I couldn’t blame Kayla for acting that way, and wishing that wish that changed everything.

And wishes. I’ve written about how I used to make wishes with my review of Jackson Pearce’s As You Wish, but Mandy Hubbard’s newest novel literally takes the cake at wish fulfillment. You Wish is a sweet, sort of coming of age story with lots of fun, toys and lessons learned for girls who are growing up. The entire story kind of reminds me of 13 Going on 30, but perhaps it may just be because of the pink and yes, the wish. For the next two weeks after Kayla’s disaster of a sixteenth birthday, one wish from her past birthdays come true, with hilarious results. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if Kayla wished for mere toys as she grew up (like what kids would wish for birthday gifts or Christmas gifts at redenvelope.com), but she had to wish for more outrageous things. A real pink My Little Pony? Raggedy Ann Doll coming to life? A shower of gumballs? Become a mermaid? Have bigger breasts? Practically everything that a little girl and a teenager would wish for as she grows old came true for Kayla, and it wasn’t fun at all. Not to mention that Kayla’s best friend is slowly drifting apart from her, and she feels more and more attracted to Ben…Kayla had to find a way to undo the wish, and fast, before her last wish for Ben to kiss her comes true.

I haven’t been reading much contemporary YA lately because I feel like almost everything has been overdone. Come to think of it, I think this may pass as speculative fiction given the magical elements, so yeah, I guess I still stayed away from them! But I digress. I love how the author tackled the story without magic overpowering everything. True, having all those wishes coming true at that extent is unbelievable, but at some point in the story, I started to believe that those things were actually happening to Kayla. The magic wasn’t a way to escape, too, but to show Kayla how much she’s changed, and how much things are changing around her. However, these wishes also taught her that she also had the power to change herself and somehow effect the same change around her if she really wanted it.

Kayla’s character development was painful to read for me, because I know how it feels like to “lose” a good friend because she suddenly had a boyfriend. I wasn’t in love with her boyfriend, mind you, but she was so in love with him that our friendship was…well, discarded. Thinking about it still kind of stings until now, and unlike Kayla, I haven’t had the chance to repair that discarded friendship because the other party doesn’t seem to want to (or maybe she’s kind of oblivious). I wanted to reach inside the book and comfort Kayla in her lonely moments, but I was glad at how the author handled that in the story, by not pointing the blame at a single person. Friendship issues are never uncomplicated, because as the saying says it takes two to tango. Kayla and Nicole’s friendship in the book was at the stage where they could choose to grow in it or just leave it, and Ms. Hubbard resolved it beautifully.

As for the romance aspect, I liked it. Ben wasn’t my type of guy, but I thought his chemistry with Kayla felt real. It didn’t make me all tingly all over, but it was a pretty cute high school romance. :)

I’d totally recommend Mandy Hubbard’s You Wish to all girls and girls at heart (and yes, even boys, too, if they can stomach the pink!). You Wish is a thoughtful novel about friendship, family, body issues, conformity, clean slates, and yes, wishes. Be careful what you wish for, because you never know when another wish could make them come true! :)

Rating:

My copy: paperback, from Fully Booked

Cover & Blurb: Goodreads

In My Mailbox (5)

Oh hi. This isn’t a review, for a change, because I realized I posted so many reviews this week. Eep! Not that it’s bad, but I’m just not used to it.

This week’s In My Mailbox is supposed to be last week’s post, but our wireless was acting up. I found out last night that our four-year-old wireless router died, so I had to get a new one today. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that we have stable connection again! (Yes, that’s the Internet addict in me speaking)

Anyway, let’s just pretend the things I’ll post this week wasn’t for last week. ;) In My Mailbox is a weekly book meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren, where bloggers post about what books received that week, be it via  mailbox, library or store.

I went book-crazy last week because it was sale, and it was payday. Last Saturday, Grace, Jana and I went bookstore hopping to take advantage of the book sales. We started at Fully Booked Greenbelt, Powerbooks Greenbelt, then at Powerbooks Shang, National Bookstore Shang, Fully Booked Gateway and finally, National Bookstore Cubao a.k.a. The Mother Ship. :) We went home tired but very, very happy with our purchases. :)

Yay!

Yay!

From top to bottom:

  1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson
    I figure I’d need a break from YA every now and then, and I’ve heard good reviews of this one. Let’s see if I’d think the same thing.
  2. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
    Finally! I have been looking for the paperback version of this since I saw good reviews of the series, and Chachic loved it so much. I can’t wait to start reading this. :)
  3. Dark Blue by Melody Carlson
    I’ve been looking at this book since I saw them in OMF (or was it the book fair?), but I never had the motivation to get it. Finally grabbed a copy from National after seeing it was less than P200.
  4. King Dork by Frank Portman
    Impulse buy! I saw some good reviews of the book from my friends in Goodreads, but there were also some bad reviews. I didn’t finish The Catcher in the Rye, so I am kind of wary of this impulse buy. Here’s to thinking positively. :P
  5. You Wish by Mandy Hubbard
    I WoW-ed this book a couple of months back, and thanks to Grace for pointing this out to me! :) Don’t you just love that pink cover?
  6. Spilling Ink by Ellen Potter, Anne Mazer and Matt Phelan
    Saw this, and I just had to have to have it. Writing books are always in my list, even if sometimes I don’t finish them. ^^
  7. Happyface by Stephen Emond
    When I saw this curious book with a smiley face in Fully Booked, I was surprised to see that it was filled with drawings inside. Happyface is a journal of a boy nicknamed Happyface, about how he always seems happy but really he’s not. I’m reading this now and I am loving it. :)
  8. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    The Book Smugglers have a good review for this, but I wasn’t about to pick it up until I saw the hardcover version in National for less than P350. I just had to get it, even if I’m not fond of hardbound books. The paperback costs P399! This is a bargain, as far as I’m concerned.

Not in picture: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Picked it up as a favor for Ariel, who can’t seem to find a copy of this book. There were piles of this in Powerbooks Greenbelt and Shang.

This is probably the biggest weekend stash I have ever had, and my wallet wasn’t really complaining. Probably because it was payday? I am not so sure. But I’m okay with this stash — I mean it’s probably not as expensive as say, getting Outer banks short sales (which isn’t that expensive, either, I’m pretty sure).

But it’s not over! :) Guess what else arrived last week!

It's in a pink case, definitely.

Tadaaaa!

Paper-like screen

Eeeee ♥

Yes, I have a Kindle! I gave in and ordered, and my mom brought it home last week. Funny thing, though, was I ordered this one two days before Amazon announced they were releasing new Kindles. T_T But so far, I’m pretty satisfied with this one! I don’t really need the Wifi (although it would be more convenient), and 3G signal works pretty well when I’m at work. Reading on it is awesome, though. The screen really doesn’t strain the eye.

I’ll post a review of the Kindle soon, after I’ve read a couple more books on them. But I can say now that it’s a very good investment.

Oh, and her name is Astrid. :)

Now that’s a long In My Mailbox post! How about you, what’s in your mailbox? :)

Sample Fridays (3)

Let’s start off Sample Fridays # 3 with…a logo! Yay!

Yes, it’s a play on Amazon’s logo and Kindle, since I get my samples from Amazon and I read it in Kindle (for iPhone). Hee.

Before I continue, just a sharing. I am still contemplating on getting a Kindle for myself since I seem to be reading ebooks more and more now. So last week, I was browsing and comparing the different ebook readers, namely, the Kindle, the nook, and the Kobo reader (thanks to Chachic for sharing the last one with me). I read reviews, weighed pros and cons and wondered if maybe, the other ebook readers are more worth it than Kindle. I was already leaning into the nook, but then it hit me:

  • I already bought books from Amazon.
  • If I get a nook, that would defeat the purpose of getting those books, right? I’d have to acquire them again.
  • I am really just an Amazon fangirl.

I still haven’t made a final decision, because I’m not even sure if I want to buy. The price drop in the readers ($189 for Kindle, $149 for nook WiFi and $199 for nook WiFi & 3G) made them even more tempting though.

Hmm.

But anyway. I’m not in a hurry. Onto the samples! Book covers and blurbs from Goodreads. :)

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

I got curious with Mandy Hubbard when I put You Wish in my WoW for this week. This seems like a fun, normal YA/chicklit/sorta fantasy since Callie ends up being in the past. I bet it’s a dream, though. I just wonder how much similarity this book has with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice? I hope it has a lot, and I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis

I’d love a cup of coffee. I wish she knew how pretty she was. I wish I could drop this kid in the dryer sometimes. I just want her to be happy. I hope she didn’t find out what Ben said about her. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin…

Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She’s used to walking down the street and instantly knowing people’s deepest, darkest desires. She uses this talent for good, to make people happy and give them what they want. But for her older sister, Jessica, the family gift is a curse, and she uses it to make people’s lives—especially Joy’s—miserable. Still, when Joy Hears a frightening whisper from Jessica’s own mind, she knows she has to save her sister, even if it means deserting her friends, stealing a car and running away with a boy she barely knows—a boy who may have a dark secret of his own.

I finished reading the sample of this last night, and it left me wanting for more! It seemed like a really good story, and it has a lot of good reviews, too! The capitalization of words that refer to their gift/curse kind of threw me off while reading, though — I mean, if you can Hear Whispers, it’s kind of hard to ignore that, right? See what I mean?

Beauty Sleep by Cameron DokeyBeauty Sleep: A Retelling of Sleeping Beauty by Cameron Dokey

The Princess Aurore has had an unusual childhood. Cursed at birth, Aurore is fated to prick her finger at the age of sixteen and sleep for one hundred years — until a prince awakens her with a kiss. So, to protect her, Aurore’s loving parents forbid any task requiring a needle.

Unable to sew or embroider like most little princesses, Aurore instead explores the castle grounds and beyond, where her warmth and generosity soon endear her to the townspeople. their devotion to the spirited princess grows as she does.

On her sixteenth birthday, Aurore learns that the impending curse will harm not only her, but the entire kingdom as well. Unwilling to cause suffering, she will embark on a quest to end the evil magic. The princess’s bravery will be rewarded as she finds adventure, enchantment, a handsome prince, and ultimately her destiny

Fairy tales! Beauty Sleep’s sample is charming, especially at the part where Aurore discusses how magic works in her world: “If you haven’t grown up here but come to live, one of two things can happen, of course: Either the magic leaves you alone, or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, it does the same thing to you as to the rest of us: It makes you more of what you are.

Three samples only, since I was pretty busy this week. :) More for next!

If you also sample in Amazon (or even in Barnes and Noble or other sites), what have you sampled lately? Share them in the comments and I’ll check them out!

OH AND DON’T FORGET! Feed by Mira Grant giveaway is still ongoing — if you haven’t entered, then what are you waiting for? :D

Waiting on Wednesday: You Wish by Mandy Hubbard

I’m still on a slight fantasy break, even for Waiting on Wednesday…although I don’t think this particular book is a break from fantasy. Wait, say what? I’m not sure if that sentence made sense.

Anyway, “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Waiting on Wednesday

This week’s pick is…

You Wish by Mandy HubbardYou Wish by Mandy Hubbard
Release Date: August 5, 2010

Kayla McHenry’s sweet sixteenth 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. And a boy named Ken with a disturbing resemblance to the doll of 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 15? She wished Ben Mackenzie would kiss her.

And Ben is her best friend’s boyfriend.

The cover’s so pink and girly! So chick-lit-y! I love it! The story somehow reminds me of the movie 13 Going on 30 for some reason, and I think it’s because of the wish thing. I can’t wait to get a copy of this book and see what happens with Kayla’s wishes. :D

What are you waiting on this week?