Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Book Review: WISH GIRL, by Nikki Loftin

Around a month ago, I was excited to feature Nikki Loftin's new book WISH GIRL. Since then, I read the ARC, and have included a review of the book below.

As a refresher, here's the book cover and blurb:

A dying girl gives a boy the strength to live in this lyrical novel that will break your heart and lift your spirit. 

Peter Stone’s parents and siblings are extroverts, musicians, and yellers—and the louder they get, the less Peter talks, or even moves, until he practically fits his last name. When his family moves to the Texas Hill Country, though, Peter finds a tranquil, natural valley where he can, at last, hear himself think.

There, he meets a girl his age: Annie Blythe. Annie tells Peter she’s a “wish girl.” But Annie isn’t just any wish girl; she’s a “Make-A-Wish Girl.” And in two weeks she will begin a dangerous treatment to try and stop her cancer from spreading. Left alone, the disease will kill her.

But the treatment may cause serious, lasting damage to her brain.

Annie and Peter hatch a plan to escape into the valley, which they begin to think is magical. But the pair soon discovers that the valley—and life—may have other plans for them. And sometimes wishes come true in ways they would never expect.

Book review: 

What really makes this book sing is the writing. Especially the first line: "The summer before I turned thirteen, I held so still it almost killed me." This, like other sentences in the book, are both poignant and straight-forward, which made this a very digestible read overall. And, the challenge the protagonist faces is one that many of us (especially introverts) can relate to--needing to get away from noise long enough to think. The fact that Peter's last name is Stone is no accident--and doesn't go past the notice of Annie, the "wish girl" he meets in the woods, who is also escaping something--a craft camp she's attending before a cancer treatment that will likely change her life--and who she is. Especially fascinating is how their meeting place affects those that encounter it. Throughout the story, Peter grows in unexpected ways that flawlessly intertwine with a seamless and well-paced plot. And Annie defies definition in ways that make her not only a compelling character, but one that readers will want to stick with for pages--especially when they find out what happens to her in the end. Overall, I really enjoyed this book--and have been recommending it to all the librarians I can find (including some at BEA last week). A great book for those seeking the unexpected, and wanting to explore the inbetween.

To grab a copy of WISH GIRL for yourself, feel free to click the Amazon icon below:

And here are Nikki's other books:

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