Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Teen Fiction Tuesday: Three Wishes

Three Wishes, by Isabelle Merlin

Published by: Random House Australia
Pages: 326
Reading Level: 14 and up
Enjoyment Level: Medium

I always hate when I get a review request and it takes me a while to read the book. I also hate it when it takes me so long because the story is slow. Three Wishes is one of those books that takes forever for the first half and then no time at all for the second half, so it seems uneven, even though the last part is pretty exciting.

In Three Wishes, Rose is swept away into a fabulous life of wealth when her long-lost grandfather makes contact with her. She moves from her home in Australia to her grandfather’s chateau in France, where she finds out there are secrets in her family. Curses, witches, and people with grudges lurk around just about every corner. Her wishes come true, but there’s always a price with wishes.

The author has done a lot to connect her story to her readers. She’s set up a blog where reader can interact and follow along with Rose’s tale. The only problem with that was the distracting way Rose let her audience know there was a new blog entry. In the middle of the book’s text would be a rose, indicating that readers could visit the blog and see what the entry is. Instead of counting on the audience to figure it out, it was spoon-fed.

But once the conflict really got going and there was a mystery to solve, even the roses didn’t bother me too much. I did get sucked in and I wanted to know what all the answers were. I just wish it hadn’t taken so long to get to the best stuff. It almost felt like there were more words to get through in the first half.

The characters were the best element of the book. Rose, her grandfather, and his employees all felt very real. The author built a cast that complemented each other well and worked together with the plot to bring about the exciting second half and a good conclusion.

Three Wishes is a nice little mystery for teens despite the slow beginning. Rose is easy to relate to and the mystery element is well done. There’s even a hint of the supernatural thrown in to add a slight fantasy element. And although I didn’t take to it right away, I’m happy to have the opportunity to read.

Until next time, go read something good!

~ Vilate

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