Published by Viking Books for Young Readers on May 11th 2004
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She's stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she'll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father's recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother's open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.
Ugh. This book was good, but it left me unsatisfied.
I like all the messages. They’re good ones. It was just hard to read about.
It was hard seeing Macy go through so much suppression. She was holding herself back so much. While she was thinking about a lot, she was clearly not seeing or thinking about other things enough. It was hard seeing her always refraining from saying the things that matter. It was hard seeing her give in to her mom’s controlling nature. Well, she gave in to everyone for most of it. She seemed willing to let people walk over her, and refused to think that there was anything great about herself. It was hard reading about a main character with such a lack of confidence, a lack of action.
I get that that’s what this book was about- learning how to deal with things and stand up to people and be okay with change. And learning to go after what you want. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a long hard slog.
This book had some points that were very similar to a book I read recently- Since You’ve Been Gone. Some points eerily similar, yet in other points there was a stark contrast. I can really only make an umbrella statement along the lines of this: The difference was that SYBG was a happy book. This one was a sad book. It left me kind of depressed towards the end. At that point, I knew how it would end but it wouldn’t be enough for me. It wouldn’t make up for all that sadness I had to go through.
And it may be because of the ending. It wasn’t exactly like SYBG in that it stopped immediately after that big defining moment at the end- there was an epilogue of sorts. But still, it wasn’t enough closure. We got to see how some things started changing, but in the long run it didn’t feel like enough.
It’s exhausting to read about sadness. I liked the beginning. I liked when Macy initially began changing, finding a new job and friends and having fun. But then her world started shrinking and it became very difficult to handle. It’s exhausting to read about her being miserable for so many pages. I’m one of those people that gets very affected by what I read. And this book was both depressing me and making me weary. Not a good combo.
When I was close to the end I was going to give this 4 stars. But now I’m going to have to make it 3. This is my second Sarah Dessen book, and while I wasn’t impressed by the first one I read, I was told that this was one of her best. Unfortunately this means I won’t be reading any more of hers. They are emotionally exhausting, but not in a good way, because there is no redeeming value that’s enough to compensate. However, I won’t be giving it lower than 3 stars because there are some good messages in here that, while exhausting and depressing to read about, are very relevant and ubiquitous.
“It’s not that I believe everything happens for a reason. It’s just that…I just think that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic. It’s the universe’s way of providing contrast, you know? There have to be a few holes in the road. It’s how life is.“
reaction upon finishing
*sigh* that’s nice. That’s great. Oh, I can’t even look at you *shoves book away*
this book in one word
Exhausting (see also: depressing)