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Wishing Day

Review

Wishing Day

WISHING DAY is a coming-of-age fantasy set in the daily life of a middle-school-aged girl named Natasha. WISHING DAY is a soft and subtle story --- not to be confused with dullness or a slow-moving pace. Lauren Myracle utilizes her style’s subtleties with surgical precision. She makes it look tremendously easy, making the story move cleverly and with a grace seldom seen in middle-grade novels.

"WISHING DAY is a story of self-confidence, personal beliefs, and family. It stands out as both a coming-of-age story and just as a great novel."

In WISHING DAY we are introduced to Natasha and her life. It is hard to navigate, although Natasha wouldn’t think so if you asked her. As the oldest of three, Natasha tends to keep to herself and read books. Natasha and her sisters, Darya and Ava, would have no one to look after them if not for their aunts, Vera and Elena. The two aunts clash regularly over the proper way of things --- one argues that children should be more whimsical, while the other argues in favor of logic. Their squabbles usually start a debate revolving around the existence of magic.

In Natasha’s family, magic is real and their traditions could almost prove it, particularly in the tradition of a daughter’s Wishing Day. In fact, it is the most sacred traditions of this family that can trace its origin back four or five generations. On the third night of the third month after a girl’s thirteenth birthday she is to make three wishes. This is how it has always been in Willow Hill. It is Natasha’s turn to make a wish upon the willow tree soon, and she isn’t sure what she will wish for. Whatever it is she wishes for, she hopes it will help her get noticed by someone --- anyone.

Lauren Myracle really has hit all the right notes with this one. Her writing of the sisters, both the younger and the older, read so naturally. These people have known each other for years and it reads with every moment of affection or tension they share. The way Natasha reacts to Darya’s mean verbal jabs throughout the book feels like a patient older sibling. The way the aunts argue when alone and quickly make their terrible attempts to cover the tension when the children appear are comical in their obvious relatability. But those sort of funny scenes add so much more to the ever-mounting tension between them as the spaced out scenes of magic and folklore start to become more frequent with visits from the Bird Lady. I’d tell you about the Bird Lady, but it would spoil so much!

WISHING DAY is a story of self-confidence, personal beliefs, and family. It stands out as both a coming-of-age story and just as a great novel. It is worth seeing through to the end.

Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge on May 19, 2016

Wishing Day
(Wishing Day #1)
by Lauren Myracle