Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

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Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

Category: Teens
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Jason Mark Curley
Reviewed by Jason Mark Curley
Summary: Annika tries to make her sick brother's dream come true. A great read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: March 2009
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
ISBN: 978-0399246180

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Okay, let's get one thing straight before we go any further. I'm a man. I like manly things like horror, beer, Yorkie bars, kebabs after a night of beer, ibuprofen the morning after beer, films and books about war, Chuck Norris, and football – I love football – how much more manly can you get? I'll tell you – I support Arsenal, the manliest of all football teams.

So I was surprised when The Bookbag sent me this novel, a very girly book about girls being all girly with one another and doing girly things and acting all girlish. There must have been some kind of mistake!

It's all about this girl called Annika who has a younger brother called Jeremy. She's trying to get him the Christmas present of his dreams - an action figure based on his favourite TV show: Teen Robin Hood. But all out war is brewing in the queues outside the toy shop. Teen Robin Hood is the latest craze, and demand is vastly outstripping supply. Annika has to battle with an internet toy scalper who tries to buy out the store's entire stock in such a manly way. She manages to grab one off him and passes it to her friend, Madison, who's waiting at the checkout (that was okay; a bit of action never hurts).

On their drive home we find out why Annika wanted to get him the toy so badly. Her little brother has cancer: a brain tumour, and is due to go into hospital for an operation to remove it. But the action figure turns out not to be enough. Jeremy's real dream is to meet Teen Robin Hood in real life. Determined to make his wish come true, Annika and her friend set out to Hollywood to bring Robin Hood back home.

If I was forced into it, I'd say that the writing in this book is exceptional and truly written; aimed (like an arrow from the Hood man himself) at the type of reader who enjoys this kind of thing – girls! But I'm under no real obligation so I won't. Yes, the dialogue may be naturalistic, witty and incendiary, but it's girls talk, and who wants to read about that?

It's all very well put together I guess, and the story is both convincing and moving – I mean, not to me, obviously! But to someone who likes this kind of thing. I wanted to give it a lower rating, but the 5 is the only number key working on my computer at the moment, so I was stuck. It wasn't (as one of my housemates suggested) because I'd have a guilty conscience if I gave it a lower score, all right!

Oh and while we're on the subject of housemates – I DID NOT CRY AT THE END OF THIS NOVEL! I had a cold! Something got caught in my eye!

If you liked this book and you're a man, you have a serious problem. I'd go read Exit Music by Ian Rankin to bring yourself back to a state of normality – that's what I did; I mean, not cos I liked Just One Wish or anything; Exit Music was just the next book along on my shelf.

In all seriousness, thanks to the publishers for sending me a copy of this book. In return, I'm sending you the bills for my man-psychotherapy.

For a book with a similar theme I can recommend Before I Die by Jenny Downham or Henry Tumour by Anthony McGowan.

Buy Just One Wish by Janette Rallison at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Just One Wish by Janette Rallison at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Just One Wish by Janette Rallison at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Just One Wish by Janette Rallison at Amazon.com.


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