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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review: Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

I get starstruck every time I see a celebrity in real life. No really, I think most of us react that way, thank goodness I don't scream like a fangirl whenever I see one. I don't even have the courage to come up and ask for an autograph or a picture of a celebrity when I see one.

However, in this book, Annika does something I'd never dream of doing.

Title: Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 272
Buy a copy: HERE


Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it’s all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery.

But Annika’s plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly finds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right?

Janette Rallison’s proven talent for laugh-out-loud humor, teen romance, and deep-hearted storytelling shines in a novel that will have readers laughing and crying at the same time.

At what lengths would you go to fulfill a wish? Annika's little brother, Jeremy has cancer. Jeremy wishes to see his idol, the guy who plays the Teen version of Robin Hood, Steve Raleigh. So what would a good older sister do? Go to California and try to get him to come see her brother before the biggest operation that could save his life.

I think we're all afraid of losing the people we love. No scratch that, we all are. So I understand Annika's persistent effort to fulfill Jeremy's wish, whatever it takes to haul Steve to her house and have him meet her younger brother. It's heartbreaking how she had to go to great lengths for Jeremy.

In some ways I admire Annika for her strength, at times I can't help but feel sympathy for her. She knows her time with Jeremy is limited, but I don't agree with the way she's coping. It never helps if you push people away from you. The pain will never go away and the inevitable would still happen.

I’d become broken glass. Fragile, incomplete, and cutting anyone who tried to touch me.

I try not to be skeptical on other parts of the book, but considering Annika's emotional state, its a bit hard to imagine how Steve easily fell for Annika, and vice versa. Given the short time they had, was it really possible to feel those feelings while Annika was racing against time to bring Steve to Jeremy?

Once I got past that thought, the story got better. I think Annika and Steve's paths crossed because of a purpose. Annika was desperately trying not to lose her family, while Steve was ignoring his when he should be thankful he still has a father, a mother and a younger brother, unlike Annika who was already on the verge of losing her younger brother, Jeremy.

Surprisingly, in his own way, I think Steve was that one person who was able to help Annika accept everything and start "healing".

For once, I ignored most of the romantic moments in a YA novel. I don't think romance was really the aim of this book, but it is a part of it.

This book deals with a lot of important issues, of which I am unprepared for. First, it deals with death, and how to cope with it. The portrayal of a family going dealing with cancer is very real. Acceptance, where Annika had finally understood and accepted Jeremy's fate. God is a prominent figure in this story. Annika had questioned him at times throughout the story. I guess aside from issues I have already mentioned, religion and faith is also an integral part of the novel.

It always breaks my heart to read about death. I mean I am only reading it and its already hard for me, what more if it was in real life? Finishing the book left me with a heavy feeling, but with hope. In a way, I am glad Steve was there with Annika. She will grieve eventually, everyone will go through it, but she can gather strength in such a difficult time from her parents, from her sister, from Steve, and also from Jeremy. It wasn't mentioned in the story, but I have a feeling Jeremy will be happy even as knows his time on Earth is short...

“Yesterday you asked me what the purpose of life is. I’ve thought about that ever since. I think it’s to do good no matter what life throws at you, to not let the pain turn you bitter. It’s something we have to learn, something we have to make ourselves become.”

“What about little kids who die? What’s their purpose, then?”

“Little kids don’t have to learn it. They already know.”

That's my favorite part of the story.

Jeremy was only a kid, and at one point I thought "he didn't deserve to die!", but in the end, I think, God has a purpose for everything. Everything happens for a reason. Jeremy must have fulfilled his purpose, and it was his time to go.

Overall, this book is such a surprise for me. I was expecting it to be another cheesy love story, but it was not. It was a bit sad at the end, but like I said, its hopeful. I love it nonetheless.

Rating: ★★★★☆ : FANTASTIC! - This is a really nice book. I love it!


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