Because of my dentist woes last weekend, I tackled 3 books in 2 days. And by tackled I really mean I was swept away by 3 books in 2 days.
The first: An Amazon box was waiting for me when I got home containing As You Wish by Jackson Pearce and One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt. I was gloomy so I plopped down on the couch with One Night That Changes Everything (which, by the way, has a cover I’m not crazy about but a title to die for. Edit to add: I’m not crazy about the cover because the girl on the cover looks way too happy. Eliza is on the verge of a nervous breakdown until like 15 pages from the end.)
With only dinner to interrupt my reading, in three hours I’d consumed the book in its entirety.
I’d call this sort of book Candy Fiction if that term didn’t somehow imply there was something fluffy and inconsequential about it. What I mean by Candy Fiction is that it goes down so easy you start with a couple of pages and before you know it you’ve indulged in the entire bag.
Eliza broke up with Cooper when she discovered he was a slimeball. She posted something devastating about him on a social networking site. Brown turns down his application because of it and his creepy, high school fraternity friends seek revenge on her by stealing a very important notebook from her locker and blackmailing her with it. The notebook contains all of her emotional fears…things she’d like to do but doesn’t have the courage to do. This includes petty things like kissing a boy she crushes on to more serious things like telling her sister a crushing secret or telling her best friends that one of them is a tease and the other is a door mat for her “boyfriend.” The blackmail? Cooper’s friends make her traverse the Boston streets accomplishing various tasks from her notebook. Relationships are made and broken and changed before dawn when it all comes to a very dramatic (though not surprising) head.
I liked the relationships between the various characters. My only big beef is that time seems to be a little warped in the book because a LOT of things happen in what is essentially only like 8 hours. No one seems to have curfews and the main character’s friends ditch her for ridiculous reasons so many times I would have strangled them all before morning (I love them anyway.)
Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien is deeply, heartbreakingly disturbing.
(Also, this book was first published in 1975. The author was born in 1918 and died in 1978. The book is so well written you can’t really tell when the book was published. TAKE NOTE! A dystopian fiction should never feel dated.)
A dystopia set after a nuclear war that kills at least everything and everyone in the United States. Not just bombs, the enemy also dropped Nerve Gas and other horrible things into the water and the air. One teenage girl survives in a remote valley. Her lake is fed from an underground stream and due to the shape of the valley it seems to have its own weather and air pressure which keeps out a lot of the radiation and nerve gas during the attacks. When her family goes out to find out what’s happened, they never return.
A year passes before she sees another person. A man who has traveled in from Ithaca, NY in a radiation suit his lab designed just before the war started. What Ann discovers, though, is that there are worse things than being alone.
I read the book in its entirety by 3am because I had to find out what happened to Ann when the man arrived. The answer? Terrible things.
Ann was the original Katniss. She’s all over that valley, up trees, surviving better than anyone could in such a devastating situation. This is a true dystopia, where things really are as bad as they could be.
I read Jackson’s Sisters Red which I heard was so amazing and better than her debut novel and yeah, it was good. But I think I deeply enjoyed As You Wish more. It was a debut novel Jackson should be proud of.
Viola doesn’t belong. She used to belong, before her best friend and boyfriend came out of the closet. Now she’s awkward and out of line from the rest of her life. And she wants more than anything to be back to the way things were.
This wish is so powerful that it pulls a jinn from his world into hers to grant her three wishes. She’s dubious and terrified of him, he wishes she’d hurry up and wish for better hair, hips, and wardrobe. He wishes she’d wish for anything so he could get back home where he doesn’t age and doesn’t have to deal with her weird mortal whims. In the human world he ages, and he hates it.
But Viola doesn’t want a wish to fix her problems. She wants to fix her problems, and hates the idea of using a crutch like Jinn. So she starts treating him like a friend, giving him a name and offering him parts of her life. And much to his shock, he kind of likes not being treated like a servant or object. He likes having a name.
After a horrible accidental first wish, both Viola and Jinn realize the inevitable…despite their growing friendship, once she uses her last wish Jinn will be gone and Viola will have forgotten he was ever there at all.
Another Candy Fiction book, but I loved it. I ate it all up in only a few hours because I just had to know what happened to their friendship and blooming love. I had to know how Viola got her life back. And it was satisfying. And heartbreaking. And really beautiful. It was a love story. A good love story. And I just adore love stories. As You Wish comes highly recommended from ME. I loved all three books I read, but this one was by far the most surprising and the most satisfying.