Friday, August 8, 2014

Book Review: Dreamer, Wisher Liar by Charise Mericle Harper

Dreamer, Wisher, Liar

"Ashley is bracing herself for the worst summer of her life. Her best friend is moving away, and instead of being able to join her at camp for their last weeks together, Ash finds out her mom has arranged for some strange little girl to come and stay with them.
Then seven-year-old Claire shows up. Armed with a love of thrift-shop clothes and an altogether too-sunny disposition, Claire proceeds to turn Ash's carefully constructed life upside down. Besides, Ash has a secret. Ash, who is petrified of change and new people, has discovered a magical jar in her basement. It's a wish jar, filled with someone's old wishes—and it has the power to send her back in time and provide a window into another friendship between two girls. Discovering her own connection to the girls' story shows Ash that her life is full of surprises and friends she never saw coming. And while this may not be the summer that she expected, it could actually turn out to be the best summer of her life."
I've read this book before. Maybe that's just what happens when you read so much, but the whole book felt like a mash-up of Laurel Snyder's Seven Stories Up and Jordan Sonnenblick's Notes from a Midnight Driver. Now, I have also read pieces from a couple different authors about how frustrating it is to come up with an idea nobody has ever used before, and then discover twelve other books with the same plot are being published at the same time! It happens, and I don't think this was a copy, purposeful or not - it was just a bit distracting.
Taken by itself, this would be an enjoyable read for any middle school girl. Predictable enough to make the reader feel smart, interesting characters, and the twist of Ash's face blindness - the inability to recognize someone by their facial features. Mysteries and character growth are the main focus of the story, and those who like everything tidily wrapped up and connected at the end will be quite satisfied.

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