Sunday, 22 June 2014

A Review of "Twenty Eight-and-a-Half Wishes" by Denise Grover Swank

After a hectic period of second year English Literature university finals and getting a new kindle for my birthday I really wanted to chill out with a simple chick-flick on holiday. As a student I obviously instantly started scrolling through the reams of (largely awful-looking) free books in this style on Amazon. Coming across "Twenty Eight-and-a-Half Wishes" I didn't expect much and the opening chapters held out to this expectation.
The book is set in a modern Southern style landscape. Its protagonist is a 24-year-old girl who lost her father at a young age and is controlled by a wicked mother. This Cinderella-esque storyline was waiting for a Prince Charming to arrive, but, akin to most other romantic novels of this era, Joe McAllister is a rugged, mysterious figure. This generic outset initially jars with the magic realism that Rose's visions imbibe the plot with. Her blunt reaction to (not giving any spoilers) certain tragic incidents in the novel heightens this; in my opinion making this protagonist and the book itself too unrealistic.
However, after the disappointment of these first few chapters the novel improves greatly. It develops into a mystery-romance novel rather than a mere romance one, which allows it to offer much more to the reader in terms of plot and interest. Moreover, Rose's visions no longer seem to jar with the main plot, but cohere with it and enhance it, allowing the reader as well as Rose to have a stronger grasp of the mystery at hand than most other characters in the text.
By the end of this book I realised it was just what I needed as a break from all the Dickens and Shakespeare-esque texts I had studied throughout this year. I'm even contemplating branching out to buy the sequel ...

If you've read this book or have any questions please comment.

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