Series: The Wish Makers #1
Edition: eBook, 239 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble *
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Everyone has a dark side. Mandy’s just moved in with her.
The last time sixteen-year-old Mandy Matteo broke a rule, her sister died. Since that day she has done only what is expected of her, but life as a goody-goody has made Mandy so boring her friends have all but abandoned her. And she’s given up on ever getting Ethan, the boy she’s liked forever, to notice her. Desperate, Mandy makes a wish to simply be happy.
Enter Desiree, a hippie from Woodstock serving a fifty-year indenture as a Wish Mistress (aka a genie). Years of only granting and never receiving her own wish have left Desiree bitter. Arranging for Mandy to right her biggest wrong – the exact thing Desiree would wish for – only makes things worse.
Still, Desiree does her job and grants the wish and happiness arrives for Mandy in the form of Lexi, her childhood imaginary friend come to life. Magical wishes have conditions though: Once started, the wish cannot be altered or revoked. Also, once Mandy is truly content with her life again, Lexi must go back to where she came from. However, the longer Lexi is alive the more she loves being alive, and she’ll do whatever it takes to stay that way.
Sticks and Stones is a light paranormal fantasy book with a huge emphasis on facing your past, overcoming fears and pressure, and truly living for yourself. This was another impulse download during one of my stress induced freebie one-click fests, and I put it high on my list of books to get to because of Utopya this year and I’m so glad I did.
This is a true “coming of age” story, where a wish starts a the main character on an unexpectedly hard journey to find the happiness she wants more than anything. Mandy is a hard working girl who enjoys cooking but is incredibly caught up in doing everything right, a mistake means anguish and she just wants to be able to let go of the need to be perfect. I totally understood and loved Mandy. I get her desire to do everything right, to stay on everyone’s good side, and to stay quiet…and I get why it causes her so much sadness. And when her wish takes on a life of it’s own and becomes hard to death with, I was really rooting for her to keep pushing forward. I really liked getting to know Lexi, even when she started to make me wary because it was cool to see the side of Mandy she keeps tucked away as a tangible person. Plus who doesn’t like a genie story? Desiree, the wish granter in question, is given some depth of her own and I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were a few chapters here and there going over her past and just how difficult granting wishes can be for her. I’m happy with the way the book ended because I can’t wait to see more of her and of Mandy’s friend Chrissy.
I wouldn’t call this book an ‘easy’ or ‘fluff’ read as it does deal with a lot of different issues, but it’s definitely one of those books capable of making you smile and wanting the best for everyone. There is a lot of female directed cattiness in this one, and normally it really bothers me but I think this book showed a real purpose to it and reminded me why I hate it so much…because it really does happen, especially in high school. Maguire’s writing is easy to dive into and get lost in, and definitely makes me want to find more books by her to devour.
Sticks and Stones is great for those who enjoy contemporary with a little fantasy twist, and like seeing characters tackle those tough moments where they have to focus and improve themselves before being able to find true happiness.