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Sticks and Stones

(The Wish Makers #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Everyone has a dark side. Mandy’s just moved in with her.

The last time sixteen-year-old Mandy Matteo broke a rule, her sister died. Since that day she has done only what is expected of her, but life as a goody-goody has made Mandy so boring her friends have all but abandoned her. And she’s given up on ever getting Ethan, the boy she’s liked forever, to notice her.
Paperback, 268 pages
Published June 15th 2014 by Brown Bag Books (first published June 12th 2014)
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  111 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Start your review of Sticks and Stones (The Wish Makers, #1)
*I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me...,"
We've all heard the saying; hell, I believe it. It's what hooked me to read this book initially. And then when I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted it. However, I was really disappointed with it.

Rating: 2 Stars!

I didn't care for the main character. She was whiny, self-absorbed, judgmental, and childish. There is a lot of slut shaming and drama and mean girl
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
Sticks and Stones is a light paranormal fantasy book with a huge emphasis on facing your past, overcoming fears and pressure, and truly living for yourself. This was another impulse download during one of my stress induced freebie one-click fests, and I put it high on my list of books to get to because of Utopya this year and I’m so glad I did.

This is a true “coming of age” story, where a wish starts a the main character on an unexpectedly hard journey to find the happiness she wants more than
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of Sticks and Stones and I cannot wait for the rest of this series!

You'd think Mandy would be elated on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, but she's miserable. Her friends are pulling away and she feels like she'll never catch the eye of her forever-crush, Ethan. Alone and feeling totally hopeless for something to change, she makes a wish...

... and it is granted.

Desiree, a "wish mistress" with a bus-load of her own baggage, brings Mandy's childhood
Carol Edholm
Genie or Nightmare?

Being a teenager in high school is tough enough. Wouldn't it be cool to have your childhood friend come to life to help you get through the teen years? Fantastic idea or Nightmare? This story has all the ups and downs of being a teen -- with a few buried secrets tossed in. Come along for the ride and see how Mandy copes with being a Junior in high school. It's NOT what you think!
Joellen Barak
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book in one evening. It has a unique premise, well-developed characters and a fascinating plot. I found myself caring deeply about what happened to both Mandy and Desiree. I'm not usually a fan of fantasy novels, but once you accept the basic premise, the book holds together beautifully. It's categorized as teen/young adult, but I'm 48 and I enjoyed it immensely.
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Family Secrets, Whispering Pines #1 - An intriguing story. After finishing Stick and Stones, I dove into Family Secrets, my second book by this new-to-me author. These two books are nothing alike on storylines, except fantasy. I was drawn into this well written novel with an interesting plot and realistic characters, including the lovable dog. I couldn't put Family Secrets down until it was finished. There's an overview letting the reader know what the book is about, which I appreciate. This ...more
Lisa Harris
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I love so much about this series is it is kept light hearted with some pretty big issues. Mandy has suffered a terrible tragedy in her young life leading her to be a perfectionist. Instead of trusting what is within she cries out a wish that in reality teaches her a life lesson well learned and how to start trusting again. She also learns she will still be loved even if she can't be perfect every time. I would recommend this book to any young person looking to learn more about Self. It's ...more
joyce tollison
Nov 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Was very disappointed with this book..
Frank Murphy
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A magical coming of age that will slowly enter enter your heart & touch it.
An enjoyable read. I obtained a free copy on Kobo.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was impressed, really really impressed (It was an impulse download of freebie one-click fests and I’m so glad I did) - this book isn't an average YA book. It is a real must read from so may reasons but first a little about the plot:

Mandy just turned to sweet 16, but nothing changed. Even her long time crash, Ethan didn't act any different. So....On 11:59:59 Mandy made a wish and this wish was granted. Desiree, a "wish mistress" still try to give her a way to back from it to change it because
Caris & Carla
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sticks and Stones (The Wish Makers, Book 1)
By Shawn McGuire

Everyone has a dark side. Mandy’s just moved in with her.
The last time sixteen-year-old Mandy Matteo broke a rule, her sister died. Since that day she has done only what is expected of her, but life as a goody-goody has made Mandy so boring her friends have all but abandoned her. And she’s given up on ever getting Ethan, the boy she’s liked forever, to notice her. Desperate, Mandy makes a wish to simply be happy.
Her wish is granted and
Katie Roman
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I met the author at UtopYA 2014. She was the first person I really talked to and I remember her saying this was her first book. That stood out to me because my own first book had come out recently as well. And from a quick lurk on UtopYA's page she'll be an exhibitor this year and due to an utter lack of vacation days on my part I can't attend this year. That sucks for many reasons, one of them now being that I can't go gush to her in person rather than on my blog and Twitter.

So it's been a
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m selective when it comes to reading fantasy. It’s not my all time favorite genre to read, but I’m patting myself on the back for picking up a copy of Sticks and Stones. This is a coming-of-age tale that has a light coating of fantasy over it, not something I feel I’m drowning in with alternate realms and races, which makes it the perfect story me. I’ll admit there are times when I see a pretty cover like this one, purchase it without thinking twice because of the pretty cover, and then kick ...more
Rachel Barnard
“Live a little, Mandy Rose. You never know when life will take a sudden change.” (Kindle Locations 1745-1746).

Amanda Rose has a pathological fear of upsetting people and a fear of screwing up. Ever since the incident with her sister Alexa, Mandy has made sure to be the Goody Goody and not mess up, but she’s sick and tired of trying to be perfect. “I get straight A’s. I’ve got this great cooking club going, Nourishing Nosh, and I’m planning to put up a cooking and nutrition website for kids,
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given an ARC book for an honest review free of persuasion from the author or anyone else affiliated with this book.


The 'ol saying be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. I loved how Sticks and Stones brought out the good and the bad in what goes into a making a wish come true. A lot of wishes are just for some things to happen in your life and you never really think about the consequences. What about those wishes you really make from your heart
Susan (The Book Bag)
I love the idea of a Wish Mistress. Desiree, a hippie from Woodstock is serving a fifty-year indenture as a Wish Mistress. She visits Mandy and grants her the only thing she wants, to be happy.

‘My last truly happy time had been with an imaginary friend.’ ‘I want Lexi.’ ‘Lexi was everything I wasn’t.’

But as they say, be careful what you wish for because it may be more than you bargained for. What if Lexi isn't the same as she was all those years ago when she was Mandy's imaginary friend? And
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Honestly, I got about 45% through the book and was thinking of not finishing and moving to another book. Not that this isn't a good book, it is very well written, the characters are well rounded even the side characters (though not so much that you feel like hey get back to the real guys), and the concept is really unique. My problem was that it was feeling kind of young, like this was a book for young teens and I, being in the 35 and up category (not saying how up), just didn't feel in touch ...more
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book completely surpassed my expectations. when I first read the description, I thought it'd be a quick, light read. The beginning of the book solidified my assumptions- it starts off with Mandy (the main character) on the night before her 16th birthday. She spends it alone, making a wish before blowing out her candles. There is a 'Wish-Granter' named Desiree who fulfills this wish (making Mandy's younger imaginary friend come to life). But of course it comes with the usual 'be careful what ...more
Heidi Angell
I really enjoyed this book! I mean, I really, really, really enjoyed this book! I won it from a Youtube reading, and for the life of me I cannot remember the Youtuber who hosted it. I rarely enter these things because I rarely win! But this time I won, and I won big! The book is beautiful. The cover is stunning. The story is so relatable for me. I was a goody two-shoes like Mandy in high school. I never went to a high school party. (Outside of theatre parties.)

I love Mandy's story, and
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
The premise of this book is unusual which immediately grabbed my interest. It isn't the same formula re-worded. However, I was still unsure, even after reading the synopsis, about what I would be getting.

What I got was an interesting, rich and fully detailed book covering not just our main female character but Lexi and the Wish Mistress too. There is enough background on the other characters that they all slot in perfectly together and you know that you are getting a complete story. There are no
My Secret Book Spot
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Sticks and Stones by Shawn McGuire
4 of 5 stars

Mandy is turning 16, and like most teenagers she is feeling a little “different”. She is a year younger than the other kids in her grade, her friends all have boyfriends, yet her crush hasn't even noticed she’s alive. Feeling a bit lost and sorry for herself she makes a last minute wish on her golden 16th birthday.

In answer to her wish, Lexi, Mandy's former imaginary friend becomes not so imaginary and more than Mandy had wished for. Like
Sharon Hughson
The slow start and the rambling style keeps me from giving this book more than 3.5 out of five stars.
The premise was sound. I was intrigued by the idea of a modern day genie granting a single wish. Not sure the reason this wish was selected for granting while thousands went unheard.
This would have been a much better book if the genie didn't have her own point of view chapters. All of them had nothing to do with the current story. Although I was interested in learning how she got to be a genie,
Amy Laundrie
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
STICKS AND STONES: Shawn McGuire's tempting read for young adults

Gather the main ingredients, two sixteen year old girls,

Coat the wannabe chef Mandy with a wish and a guilty secret

Coat the darker Lexi with attitude and vanishing sprinkles

Mix in friends, boyfriends, and Desiree, a potent wish mistress

Add dashes of loyalty and jealousy

And a pinch of an abusive boyfriend

Sift in humor, heart-break, and intrigue.

Combine and bake at 350 degrees and serve for your next book club. Your guests will
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
This was such a fun read!!! I went in thinking wishes and choices and I finished it knowing I had just read a hit!

Sticks and Stones is about Mandy and her imaginary friend Lexi, and of course her crush! Mandy always follows the rules, but why? She is granted her wish and she has to figure out what her deepest soul is desiring.

Add in a temperamental wish-mistress and there ya go!

The story started out with quite a bit of back story but once it got going, you can't put it down! Lexi is supposed
Lenore Kosinski
3.5 stars -- totally not what I was expecting... Not that I had a lot of expectations for the book, but it was unique for me. I think I gravitate towards books with more of a romance plot, so this one was outside the norm in that aspect too. Was really the story of Mandy coming to terms with herself and some things in the past....with a bit of a mystical bent to spice things up. Definitely entertaining, but I had a hard time not cringing on some of the behaviors of Lexi and eventually even Mandy ...more
Wendy Terrien
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fun read! While it was the teensiest bit slow for me in the beginning, I really believe that must have been me (too tired, too hungry, too 95-degree-day-hot) and not the book. I picked it up the second day and read it straight through. I loved the characters and the intriguing backstory. I loved the voice and the romance. And I loved how it all tied together.

I'm looking forward to more of Desiree - she must be in book two, yes? Mistress of the Wish Makers and all that? Please more
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

Be careful what you wish for.

Mandy Matteo made a wish for her childhood imaginary friend to be real and she got what she asked for courtesy of her wish mistress, Desiree. Unfortunately she didn't get exactly what she wished for. Lexi, her now real imaginary friend is the exact opposite of Mandy, dark to her light, bad to her good. Mandy starts down a path of growth and discovery that can only end when she discovers what is truly in her heart
Lori Freeland
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone has a dark side. Mandy’s just moved in with her. That blurb from Shawn McGuire’s book, Stick and Stones, hooked me right along with the incredible cover. When I spent the weekend curled up with Mandy and her friends, I wasn’t disappointed. On her birthday, Mandy makes a wish. A wish that will change her life forever. But not in the way she expects. Add in a hippie Wish Mistress with struggles of her own and you have a compelling and crazy-fun read.
Jan farnworth
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the idea of a Soul Wish coming true and you having to figure out what your soul was truly needing when you made that wish. This story is very unique in its formula. I really liked being able to read a bit about each character from chapter to chapter. The guide Desiree even has her own back story that we slowly get to peel away as the story progresses. I am excited for the next book to really see what is going with Chrissy. Thanks for a great read.
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate to win a copy of this book as part of Goodreads first reads program.

What a fun read!! It made me feel 16 again (and it's been a long time since I was! LOL!!) The characters really drew me in, and I could relate to all of them. I look forward to the next book in the series, and anything else by this author.
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Suspense and fantasy author Shawn McGuire started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that's Episode IV) as a kid. She couldn't wait for the next installment to come out so wrote her own. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to tell a tale is as strong now as it was then. She grew up in the beautiful Mississippi River town of Winona, Minnesota, called the Milwaukee area ...more

Other books in the series

The Wish Makers (5 books)
  • Break My Bones (The Wish Makers, #2)
  • Never Hurt Me (The Wish Makers, #3)
  • Had a Great Fall (The Wish Makers, #4)
  • Back Together Again (The Wish Makers #5)