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Wishing Day #1

Wishing Day

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On the third night of the third month after a girl’s thirteenth birthday, every girl in the town of Willow Hill makes three wishes.

The first wish is an impossible wish.
The second is a wish she can make come true herself.
And the third is the deepest wish of her secret heart.

Natasha is the oldest child in a family steeped in magic, though she’s not sure she believes in it. She’s full to bursting with wishes, however. She misses her mother, who disappeared nearly eight long years ago. She has a crush on one of the cutest boys in her class, and she thinks maybe it would be nice if her very first kiss came from him. And amid the chaos of a house full of sisters, aunts, and a father lost in grief, she aches to simply be...noticed.

So Natasha goes to the willow tree at the top of the hill on her Wishing Day, and she makes three wishes. What unfolds is beyond anything she could have imagined.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published May 3, 2016

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About the author

Lauren Myracle

85 books1,965 followers
Lauren Myracle is the author of numerous young adult novels. She was born in 1969 in North Carolina. Lauren Myracle holds an MA in English from Colorado State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College. she has written many novels, including the famous IM books, ttyl, ttfn, and l8r, g8r.

Her first novel, Kissing Kate, was selected as one of ALA's "Best Books for Young Adults" for the year 2004. It was named by Booklist as one of the "Top Ten Youth Romances" of the year, as well as one of the "Top Ten Books by New Writers." Her middle-grade novel, Eleven, came out 2004, followed by its YA sequels (Twelve, Thirteen, Thirteen Plus One) .

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5 stars
280 (21%)
4 stars
379 (29%)
3 stars
407 (31%)
2 stars
175 (13%)
1 star
32 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 243 reviews
302 reviews3 followers
April 17, 2016
Wishing Day doesn't seem to know who it is, what it wants, or how to go about getting there. Is it a family issues book about why mom disappeared? A tween romance? Fantasy? Magical realism? Elements of each appear and disappear throughout the story as it moves jerkily along to its setup for a sequel. Curious, though, about what the target audience will think. . .
Profile Image for Christy Hall.
261 reviews56 followers
January 5, 2020
After her 13th birthday, a young girl will walk up a hill to a weeping willow tree and make three wishes. The first will be an impossible wish. The second will be one she can make come true for herself. The third will be one from the depths of her heart.

Wishing Day was the current mother/daughter read in our house. After finishing The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane (about a girl looking to solve the mystery of her missing father), my daughter picked this book up. We didn’t realize that it was going to include another girl looking to solve the mystery about her missing mother. It’s interesting that YA lit likes to use that concept. Anyway, my daughter had a hard time settling into the groove of this one. Partly because the last one was a really good read and partly because the story was a bit jumbled with a bunch of secrets and mysteries. Once she settled in, we couldn’t read it fast enough.

Natasha is the main character. She is very introverted. She lives in her head way too much. She’s the oldest of three girls - all very close in age if not close in personality. Natasha loves her sisters but feels very removed from who they are. She isn’t outgoing, popular, upbeat or joyful. She’s a writer of stories without endings. She’s the glue in a family shattered with grief. But what happens when she gets too tired trying to hold everyone together - to be the good girl all the time? Natasha is a beautifully layered character. My daughter and I felt very connected to her and her struggles to be seen and loved for who she is.

The cast of secondary characters is well built. Darya is the pretty and outgoing middle sister with a wicked sarcastic streak. Ava is the upbeat and positive youngest sister who still believes in magic. Molly is the goofy best friend. Benton is the crush. Stanley is the adorkable boy in class. Aunt Vera is the grumpy, strict older sister of Natasha’s mother. Aunt Elena is the fun-loving, kind younger sister of her mother. Her father is lost in his grief over his missing and presumed dead wife. The Bird Lady is ... odd and mysterious and we think she’s magical somehow.

I’m not sure if Myracle wanted her story to be magical realism or fantasy. If it was magical realism, then it wasn’t done right. If it was fantasy, then it really wasn’t enough. However, the magical/fantasy elements were interesting and linked to the mystery, so they really did suck you into the story. Overall, the story was heartbreaking and heartwarming if it’s possible to be both at the same time. After finishing the cliffhanger ending (which didn’t make us too upset because we knew it was a series), my daughter immediately grabbed the next one to read. Wishing Day proves the old adage is true: be careful what you wish for because it just might come true.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
Author 1 book132 followers
April 4, 2017

Beautiful prose and character writing and the audiobook narrator was incredible.

Profile Image for Amber.
991 reviews
May 6, 2017
Natasha has just turned 13 and on her wishing day she goes to Willow hill to make three wishes. She wishes to feel special, get kissed, and to get her mom back who has disappeared. What will she do when weird things begin to happen and her wishes come true? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good read about being careful what you wish for. There is tons of fantasy in it and is a very heart-warming YA tale about family. If you like stories like these, then be sure to check this book out at your local library and wherever books are sold.
65 reviews1 follower
February 19, 2019
I won an Advanced Reader's Edition of this book through a Goodread's giveaway. There were a few typos in this copy, but I wasn't really concerned about them since I knew it was an advance copy. I was upset by how choppy the book felt. It's in third person, but it almost seams to be following 'stream of consciousness' half of the time. The rest of the time things seem to have an actual order to them. I also felt like there were too many things left unanswered at the end. Questions were asked, but with no yes-or-no answers they still left things pretty much up in the air. I'm sure for someone else this will be a great read, but for me it was just really disappointing. The idea is good. It just doesn't flow well enough for me.
Profile Image for Hazel.
282 reviews
October 18, 2019
To make a long story short, this book was b.o.r.i.n.g. B O R I N G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Profile Image for  ⊱ Sonja ⊰ ❤️.
2,269 reviews408 followers
November 1, 2017
Natascha (13) lebt mit ihren Schwestern Darya (12) und Ava (11), ihrem Vater und ihren beiden Tanten Vera und Elena zusammen. Nataschas Mutter Klara hat die Familie vor vielen Jahren verlassen. Nun hat Natascha kurz nach ihrem 13. Geburtstag ihren sogenannten „Wunschtag“. Es ist Brauch, dass alle 13-jährigen Mädchen drei Wünsche äußern dürfen – die sich dann auch erfüllen werden!? Natascha ist sich nicht sicher, ob sie daran glauben soll, und trotzdem möchte sie sich ihre Wünsche gut aussuchen und überlegen. Soll sie sich zum Beispiel wirklich wünschen, dass ihre Mutter zurückkehrt? Und wie sieht es mit ihrem ersten Kuss aus?

Mein Leseeindruck:

Das Buch richtet sich an junge Leserinnen ab 12 Jahren. Es ist daher kindgerecht leicht und einfach geschrieben, hat aber trotzdem eine gewisse Tiefe – alleine schon aufgrund des Themas der fehlenden Mutter. Die Autorin hat dieses sensible Thema gut in die übrige Handlung eingearbeitet bzw. ihre Geschichte drumherum aufgebaut. Natürlich ist das Fehlen der Mutter immer präsent, aber es geht eben auch um Themen, die wohl alle jungen Mädchen irgendwann beschäftigen – Verliebtsein, der erste Kuss, Freundschaft.

Mir hat es sehr gut gefallen, wie die Autorin diese Thematiken miteinander verknüpft und den Zusammenhalt der Schwestern – trotz ganz natürlicher Meinungsverschiedenheiten – immer tiefer werden lässt.

Dabei ist das Buch in einem sehr einfachen und leichten Schreibstil geschrieben, so dass auch junge Leser die Geschichte flüssig lesen können, denke ich.

Auch mir hat das Lesen sehr viel Freude gemacht, obwohl ich nicht mehr zur angesprochenen Altersgruppe gehöre. Daher kann ich das Buch auf jeden Fall weiterempfehlen und freue mich nun auf den zweiten Band!
Profile Image for Sandra.
28 reviews2 followers
December 2, 2016
There is nothing I hate more than a book without an ending. Even though I realised this story wasn't for me partway though, I kept chugging away as I enjoyed the characters and wanted to know the answer to the mystery around which the tale is centred. I was therefore infuriated when I reached the last page to find there wasn't an ending! The whole book leads towards understanding one plot point, and to be left hanging and without answers was so frustrating.

Unfortunately, the book also had other points I did not enjoy. It begins as a children's fantasy story, but doesn't end up so. The fantasy elements are soon covered by annoying romances and sibling fights. The children's book elements disappear under the heavy weight of the parental depression that permeates the story. Reading this felt as though I'd been sold one product and received another; had I known the one question I had wasn't going to be answered, I wouldn't have kept reading.

The charm of this book lies in its characters- a unique family with a likeable and relatable protagonist. The author has a great understanding of her characters and brings them to life with rich descriptions and complex interactions. Had she stuck to creating the magic for which the characters so wish, as opposed to retreating to the realities of schoolyard crushes and mental illness, this book would've been great. I wanted to like it so much more than I did!
Profile Image for Barb Middleton.
1,682 reviews124 followers
August 19, 2020
Natasha's mother disappeared 8 years earlier and she now lives with two sisters, two aunts, and her father. It is her 13th birthday and she goes to the wishing tree where she is granted 3 wishes. She wants her mother to be alive, be kissed, and wish for someone to see all of her. She discovers that wishing is not about what you get but knowing what you have that is important. The pacing was slow for me and predictable as the wishes reveal themselves. There is a romance, identity issues, sibling rivalry, friendship, and outer versus inner beauty. There's plenty to dig into more deeply. The characters are strong and distinct. The father didn't make much sense but it's mostly a book about females so that seemed to make sense. The mother had depression and it would seem the father has withdrawn from the world. The magical realism tries to reveal the magic of being a girl, but sometimes it is confusing and vague. The ending is odd. It's unfinished. Natasha is a writer in the story who has trouble finishing her stories. Was the author being funny by not finishing his story? I think I missed the point and it is incomplete or not rounded out enough for me to understand. The ending and magic sets up for the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Taylor.
67 reviews
March 1, 2021
This book was probably on my bookshelf for 3 years before I got around to reading it, but now that I've read it, it was really good. Can't wait to read the sequels
Profile Image for Melissa T.
566 reviews30 followers
May 24, 2019
I was looking for kids books at the library a few weeks ago, and happened upon this series by chance. The covers looked good so I decided to get them.

I liked the background of the story, and the relationship between the sisters, Natasha, Darya and Ava.
The fact that their names all end in A (as do the aunts/mom) reminded me of my own sisters, whose names also end in 'a' so you could never tell who was actually being called for when our parents called us from the other end of the house.

The fact that the sisters were born so close together is a little odd, and I wonder if it plays some other part in the story. But, I do like the bond the three have.

I enjoyed what I'd call "the middle schooler experience" element of this novel. I was tranported back to 7th grade and all the feelings that went along with that.

I hope the Bird Lady plays some really key role further along in this series, because honestly I find her annoying. Although I just got an idea of that role, so now I guess I'll have to see if I'm right.

Another thing that bothered me is how excessive the father's grief/absence is. It seems to be too much. I know that they were in love, and grief is normal, but the mother disappeared 8 years ago and he walks around like a ghost.

Also, I'm not a fan of the ending. I literally almost shouted "That's how it ends?" The end is very much a let down. Which of course is meant to get you to read the next books, but still. I was hoping for a tiny bit more resolution than that.
Profile Image for Julie Suzanne.
1,898 reviews70 followers
November 26, 2017
I accidentally listened to the audiobook version of this book thinking that it was Wishtree by Applegate. What a terrible mistake. I'm so sorry to rip this apart as much as I'm about to, but it was truly awful. I couldn't relate to the characters, any of them, but I thought that perhaps a child with siblings could. Natasha, a girl with the mind of a writer, is curious about nothing, and allows herself to not have any idea why her mother "disappeared." No one talks about it, and she's not sure if she's dead or what, and she's not curious, really. She never asks. She has a lot of freedom to go where she pleases and she's really intelligent (having to pretend to finish her tests second because she's tired of being the one on top, the class pet, etc.) yet she never goes to the library to read up, perhaps, on what happened to her mother (and again, she doesn't ask anyone in her family, either). This is maddening, and I can't believe for a minute that such a person would exist, so how could I love a book with characters like that?

The magical realism aspect was annoying rather than magical, especially since there's this magical ability for Natasha to learn about her mom, her first wish. But instead, she shows typical tween characteristics of moodiness and pushing away that which is good for her and pushes away the magic, denying it's existence despite two of her wishes coming true....everything about Natasha's character development contradicts itself. And the ending is absolutely ridiculous--frustrating, implausible (even if you believe in the magical part of it), and then answers none of your questions.

This may have been the worst book I've ever finished, and the fact that it's titled up there as "Wishing Day #1" does not forgive its ending. Most books in series leave you completely aware that the book ended at a climax and there's no doubt that there's a book 2, OR, the book stands alone and you may be surprised to find a book 2. This just fizzled out in the worst way. However, now that I think about it, Natasha had a hard time finishing her own stories and maybe the author chose to have Natasha not finish this one either? This technique, although worth a moment of praise to the author for a clever move like that, is not worth the overwhelming dissatisfaction the reader experiences.

If I had known what book I was reading, (honest mistake if you see the covers of both books), I'd have seen the poor reviews of this one compared to the one I thought I was reading, so sadly, I wasted 6 hours.

The good news is, I'm an adult, and hopefully this book touches the lives of children in a way that I won't understand, so as always, my review is a narrative of my experience and not a judgement on the book's worth.
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,823 followers
July 31, 2017
I loved the premise of this book but unfortunately, I was really disappointed. The plot and POV was choppy and I had a hard time sticking with the story. Jarring would be a better description.

My Rating: 2 stars
Profile Image for Michelle .
466 reviews116 followers
June 13, 2017
Just couldn't get into it like I had hoped. Wasn't connecting with the characters and the story just wasn't working for me.
Profile Image for Allie.
59 reviews17 followers
June 13, 2016
I feel very fortunate to have received an ARC of "Wishing Day" by Lauren Myracle, the first book in this series. This is the perfect little novel for a young girl to read, especially one between the ages of 9-12. The story contains magic, sisters, friendships, crushes, and mystery. I found the whole family mystery aspect to be the most fascinating part of this novel- what happened to Natasha's mom? Who is Emily? What happens next? I was surprised by how anxious I was to know how the story progresses, especially from a children's novel. I thought this book was amazing, I just wish it had focused more on the story and the history of the wishing tree because I wanted some more backstory on that. I liked the little quotes that would sometimes take place in between the chapters. If you have a young daughter who enjoys reading, I would get her this book. Cute is how I would best describe the novel. The relationships with the sisters felt very realistic and authentic, I just wanted to know more about the mom! Maybe in the next book?
Overall I would give this book a 87%
Profile Image for katayoun Masoodi.
600 reviews116 followers
June 5, 2016
and i could give it even a 2, or if i had the next book then maybe a 4? cause this really finishes in mid sentence or so it seems, i am really not sure if it did finish or not, cause i am not sure if this was fantasy book or not!!
so while i liked the writing and the people, not sure if i know what the story is! something about depression or something about magic? real or fantasy or if it wanted the reader to get involved that i also couldn't figure out!!! :)
so a bit confusing and really aggravating ending but very nicely told!
Profile Image for Liza Nahas.
418 reviews29 followers
July 18, 2016
I found the first part of this book a bit confusing, and it almost seemed over-my-head. Then I reminded myself that it's written for kids in elementary & middle school and I dug in to tackle it. About half way through it begins to pick up pace and finally come together in a cohesive story. And, when I was then fully entranced, it ended abruptly! I have so many unanswered questions, but I'm not sure that I'll want to take on a book #2.
Profile Image for Stefanie.
292 reviews4 followers
April 23, 2017
I'm left with feelings of utmost annoyance. The non-ending should have been 2/3 through book, then an actual conclusion to follow. The fantasy aspects of this book were so uneven, that to package this as fantasy or magic or magical realism.... just no. I might skim the sequel to see if answers are provided, MAYBE.
Profile Image for Shelley.
1,170 reviews
July 10, 2016
Tedious and not at all satisfying. I liked the idea of the book, but it was moderately obnoxious. Perhaps a tween girl would not find it so. I'm irritated by the ending. I suppose this is meant to be a series, but there is not any resolution in this book at all and I'll never read the others.
Profile Image for Melanie.
80 reviews2 followers
June 23, 2017
Oh, the magic, the magic, the magic. It practically glitters on the page. And combined with such heavy doses of reality. It makes me wish for magic and secret notes and sisters and birds' eggs. So very taken by this book disguised as a middle grade story.
Profile Image for B.
1,760 reviews7 followers
June 20, 2016
The only thing I wish- is that I didn't read the book. Ugh
There could have been so much more about Natasha and her family, their history etc..
This just seemed very light.
Profile Image for KylaRodas.
22 reviews5 followers
September 30, 2016
This is a magical book! I love it so much. It was full of mystery. Now I can't wait to read book two!
Profile Image for Alexandra.
58 reviews2 followers
April 21, 2017
i love this story and i love that it's two parts magic and women and darkness and sisters and one part middle school slice of life
Profile Image for Eleanor.
37 reviews5 followers
June 23, 2020
This book was very good. My mom found it on the Bard magazine when I was 10. Bard is digital books for blind people. I started reading it and really enjoyed it. Even though the book was supposed to be for kids my age, I still felt like the ending was a little too old for me. It was almost right, but not quite. I finished the book because I was curious what happened. It wasn’t that bad. It was just a little intense.
No, however, I really like it. It’s about A girl whose mother went missing. On the third day of the third month after A girls 13th birthday, they get something called a wishing day. They have to make one impossible wish, one wish that they can make come true themselves, and the wish of their secret heart. The girl, Natasha, wishes that her mom is alive.
I want to read this book for a while, but I kept getting distracted by other books. Last year, at camp, I even had a dream about it. Then, a few of my friends were talking about the Warriors series, which goes on for a really, really long time. Then, after that, I started reading other books. Bard started acting up, and I had to start using Hoopla more. I figured out a way to read books that have been downloaded previously. It’s complicated. Anyway, I decided to read it.
There will be spoilers from here on out. I have to say my favorite part was when Natasha read her mom’s letter. It was so sweet. I have to say I wonder if Emily somehow turned into the bird lady. At the end, Natasha described her hand as small as a child, but with wrinkles. But that also might have been because she’s small.:-) I liked the memories that were shown in the book. I also liked when it talked about other peoples wishes. Overall, I think it was a really good book.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
31 reviews13 followers
June 12, 2017
This is a really great story about a girl in a special town. It’s a young adult novel that is part of a trilogy. Natasha lives in Willow Hill, where every girl, when they turn 13, gets to make three wishes - The first wish is an impossible wish. The second is a wish she can make come true herself. And the third is the deepest wish of her secret heart. Natasha is a typical 13 year old girl, but she lives in a world with magic and wishes that can come true. There is a good mystery and the characters are fun and likeable. The only thing I don’t like is something that I don’t like in a lot of young adult series these days - they just leave off on a cliffhanger. I mean, I get that it’s fun to leave things open that need to be solved throughout the series, but I like some sense of closure. JK Rowling did this really well in her series - even though we knew there were bigger issues that weren’t resolved, she closed up each book and left us with a satisfying ending. Wishing Day almost seemed like a long introduction to the series - a lot of exposition of the setting and backstory. That being said, I look forward to reading the other books when they come out, so I’m not that mad about it.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,277 reviews44 followers
November 4, 2017
I read this book to preview it for our school library.

It is a cute story. My main issue is that the main character is 13, but the story's voice is that of a much younger girl - maybe 9 or 10. Meaning, I think a 13 year old would find it too immature. Yet, there are two things in the book that I think some parents might think are a little too mature to mention in a book for younger kids: 1) the suggestion that the MC's mom ran off with another man and 2) a 12 year old telling an adult to "Lay off the vodka". I don't have a problem talking to my kids about these things, but I like a head's up before I get a random question about alcohol while they are reading, which is why I mentioned them here.

Profile Image for Krisi.
223 reviews
January 17, 2019
Just discovered this is merely book #1 of a trilogy and boy does that aid my review! I was drawn in, then honestly got a bit bored, then got drawn back in believing I'd discover the secret of Emily and the mom's whereabouts by the books end...but when it ended leaving me with far more questions than answers, I flipped my review in my mind. Luckily on here I discovered the info about the trilogy, which honestly would've been nice to know from the book somehow. I cannot yet tell you if this book is worth the ride, or not. Stay tuned, I guess...
And yes, I realize this is a YA book and I'm an adult, but I enjoy many teen/YA reads.
11 reviews
December 18, 2017
The book Wishing Day by Lauren Myracle is about a girl named Natasha who's been waiting for her 13th birthday. Whenever a girl in the town of Willow Hill turns 13, they get to go to a willow tree at the top oh a hill and make 3 wishes. Her first wish is impossible. Her second wish she can make it come true herself. And the third with is her deepest wish from her heart. After her wishes, Natasha's sisters want to know what her wishes were. She won't budge though. Throughout the book, Natasha just waits and sees if her wishes really come true.
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,505 reviews14 followers
March 6, 2019
Appropriate for: age 11+

3.75 stars

This book intrigued me right away, but it was so so. It came across kind of like Bridge to Terabithia, is there magic or isn't there? Personally, these kinds of books/movies annoy me. There was also middle school humor, which is blech to an adult and I've read plenty of great middle grade books without it.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 243 reviews

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