Review: Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (March 5, 2009)
Hardcover: 272 pages
Price: $11.55 from {amazon}
Summary: from {goodreads}
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 fi nds 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.


Review: I've grown wary of chick-lit, but I finally relented to Just One Wish, and wow, it far exceeded my expectations. If you note the previous chick-lit I have reviewed, they all fall into the 2-3 star range. However, Just One Wish had me ensnared in its cute plotline and likeable characters. Admittedly with a standard plotline, fairly stereotypical, predictable, and unrealistic, but it was definitely a book that had the entertainment value I needed.

Ahh, characters. Much of the chick-lit I read (maybe I have this unconscious radar for not-so-great chick-lit) tends to have weak girls and super-sexy-OMG-hot guys. It gets a little monotonous after a while. However, I found myself liking Steve, the Teen Robin Hood, who is the typical famous movie star with a deep interior. That being said, he really was extremely nice and, does it need to be mentioned, hot. I have a thing for super-nice boys, and Steve was definitely one that I would call sensitive, sweet, and caring, so I really couldn't help but like him. He was also the perfect gentleman to Annika, so he gets boosted a few rungs on the drool worthy ladder. Annika herself was likeable as well. She actually had a backbone and did what she wanted to get what she wanted, not in a spoiled way but in an "after I've decided, nothing can change my mind" sort of way. Annika cried at the end though, which helped me relate to her because no one's invulnerable, though some may like to seem that way. The only real complaint I have about her is her spontaneity since, excuse me, but the idea of hunting the most famous male teen star in Hollywood is pretty unbelievable... and Annika's bet with Steve was pretty inconceivable. And don't forget Jeremy, Annika's brother, who though he doesn't show up a lot, is so cute! Definitely the type of brother I would have traded my little sister for back when my sister was his age - in a heartbeat.

The one major thing I didn't like is the time span of Just One Wish. Granted the plot wouldn't really work over a long period, but the first time Steve leaned in to kiss Annika I was like "woah, slow down there!" Not because I didn't like them individually or together, but because it was so quick. On the other hand, the plot was fast-moving and had me wanting to read what was going to happen next. The book was predictable in that I had a general idea of what was going to happen, but I didn't know what exactly would happen to cause it. Janette Rallison's writing also helped it along, easy-flowing and up-to-date.

Romance: Mild, but emotionally one of the main features of the book. There were a few kisses here and there, but nothing more than that. It was more Annika and Steve's first, innocent discovery of actual love, both romantically and family-oriented.
Cover: 3.0 - simple, but cute! Reminded me of how much I loved blowing dandelions and making a wish when I was a young kid.
Writing: 3.5
Characters: 3.5
Plot: 3.5

Bottom Line: Overall, I would call Just One Wish pleasurable, but fairly average. Though it was predictable, had your typical characters, and followed a common plotline, Janette Rallison managed to create a multitude of fun, relatable characters that flesh out the plot and lessons about appearances and family. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a light read that they can read and enjoy, but don't have to get too involved in. My one wish is to see Janette Rallison write more adorable books that uplift my spirits! :)