Thursday, July 9, 2009

Review: One Wish by Leigh Brescia

One Wish
Leigh Brescia
April 23, 2009
Westside Books
ISBN (hardcover): 978-1-934813-05-8

Overweight Wrenn Scott desperately wants what most high school girls daydream about: to be popular with the “right” group of friends and to snag a hot boyfriend.

Named for a tiny songbird by the father she never met, Wrenn lives with her single mom and her popular younger sister, Karly. Blessed with a beautiful singing voice, Wrenn auditions for and lands a role in the school's production of the musical, “Grease.” For the first time in her life, Wrenn's obesity has been overshadowed by her talent, and now she believes that all she has left to do before opening night is lose as much weight as possible in any way she can--because everyone knows that the chubby girl is never the star.

Wrenn's waistline shrinks rapidly as she secretly uses laxatives from one of her new, “it-girl” friends from the show, and soon her life spirals out of control in almost every other way. First, to Wrenn's dismay, her mom is falling in love with Phil, her unappealing TV station co-worker, who Wrenn describes with distaste as “a balding, Channel 8 News nerd.” Next, her younger sister Karly, more popular than Wrenn will ever be, is wrapped up in her own share of middle-school drama, and Wrenn's usually sensible best friend is falling in love with a guy she met online--but hasn't even seen yet! To top it off, as if Wrenn's rehearsal-filled, unpredictable life isn't crazy enough, she's exasperated to find out that Steven, the geeky student stage manager who's working on the show, has a crush on her, and he's even admitted to liking her before she slimmed down and had a makeover.

No matter what, she doesn't want to be seen with Steven, even though he's actually kind of nice, because popular girls don't date nerdy guys like Steven, and she desperately wants to be one of the elite, with a trophy boyfriend to show off. By the time she hits the stage, the chubby, quiet Wrenn that everyone thought they knew has changed so much she's almost disappeared. When she's diagnosed with an eating disorder, Wrenn nearly vanishes for real.

By the time its all over, Wrenn realizes that there are more important things than being thin and popular or dating a hottie, and that sometimes our actions can have permanent consequences.

I admit, I wasn't sure I was going to like this one at all. I won a copy of it, thanks to the awesome Debs, and thought I'd give One Wish a chance anyway. Plus, I've wanted to start reading more Young Adult, and this one qualifies!

But to my pleasant surprise - I LOVED IT. From the beginning, Wrenn stole my heart. And sure, while at times, she annoyed the living lights out of me, mostly because I knew she was making awful mistakes and I wanted her to open her eyes and see that! However, I could see how she was dealing with so much and she was a total champ.

This story is so engaging and moving. I loved every character, because Ms. Brescia made every one come alive. This story has substance, it has a meaning and I think it'd be a wonderful read for girls in High School. I'm past that (Ugh, I sound so old!) but as I ate up every word in One Wish, it made me go back to those days where every decision could bring utter disaster.

I really enjoyed One Wish, it's a wonderful story about a girl's struggles and finding out there's more to life than High School.

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He can Chapter-32 me anytime!

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