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The Wishing Heart

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With a book in her bag and a switchblade in her pocket, Rebel's been thieving her way through life while hoping for a cure to fix her ailing heart.

But when the bejeweled vase she just tried to hawk turns out to be a jinni's vessel, Rebel gets lost to her world and dragged within another. Now every magical being in the city wants the vase for himself.

Thrust into a game of cat and mouse in a world she never knew existed, Rebel must use her uncanny skills to find a way to free Anjeline the Wishmaker.

But wishes have consequences. And contracts. Anjeline's freedom could unravel a love like Rebel has never known, or it could come at the cost of Rebel's heart...

416 pages, ebook

First published May 1, 2017

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About the author

J.C. Welker

1 book124 followers
J.C. Welker is a YA author who's been, among other things, a fashion designer, a filmmaker and a kickboxer (seriously).

Her short documentaries which focused on homeless vets and LGBTQ issues in the military have been featured on CURRENT TV, and her novel won first place in the paranormal category of the 2016 YARWA Rosemary Awards. She continues to work towards giving a voice to LGBTQ stories, while facing magic and monsters along the way.

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5 stars
72 (51%)
4 stars
41 (29%)
3 stars
16 (11%)
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9 (6%)
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3 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 61 reviews
Profile Image for Mia Siegert.
Author 2 books155 followers
February 7, 2017
I received an eARC.

Please note prior to review that fantasy/paranormal is not one of my normal genres. Pretty much, I stick to contemporary in general because of confusion probably related to a concussion history. That said, THE WISHING HEART did not disappoint. It was a heart-pounding, addictive read with beautiful world-building. It questions what it means to be human and shows how love is the greatest magic at all. The scenes with the monsters were so vivid, so exhilerating, that sometimes I had to remind myself to breathe.

As well, the normalcy revolving around queerness in this book is just beautiful.

I definitely recommend this. I suspect that people who are big paranormal fans (and fantasy fans) will appreciate its values more than me as, again, this isn't my normal genre. Truly enjoyable.
Profile Image for Danielle's.
Author 1 book140 followers
April 23, 2017
The Wishing Heart is a must read. Add it to your To Read Section now because you don't want to miss this one.

Rebel has never known family. She does what she has to. Survival is her existence her escape is to the fantasy world of books. Rebel is known as the fingersmith. She is crafty with a switchblade and could pick any lock. She is trying to find a cure for her broken heart. She is sent on a mission to recover a pricey antique, but she is unaware how much it could cost her. The vase she steals isn't what it seems, and she has just signed up for the chase of her life. The vase is a vessel for a Jinni. Everyone has a wish, but wishes have consequences. Nothing is given for free especially when greed is involved.

The Jinni, Anjeline is a prisoner to the vessel and has to watch the misfortunes of those selfish wishes. She wants to be free more than anything but anything is a high price.

These two unlikely friends make a pact to help each other to put right what has gone wrong.

The Wishing Heart is full of adventure and fantasy. I would recommend it to fans of authors such as Cassandra Clare.

This book is a girl-girl romance novel which is a clean read. It is a lengthy standalone story, however, sets up the next mission.

I loved this book and was hooked from the very start. Easily a favourite read; Added to the shelf!

5 Plus stars out of 5. I can't wait for the next addition!

I received this book via Netgalley and Entangled Teen in exchange for an honest review. I have to say Entangled Teen is quickly becoming one of my favourite publishers in the YA/ Teen read genre.
Profile Image for lov2laf.
714 reviews1,044 followers
October 3, 2017
I really enjoyed this.

"The Wishing Heart" is a fantasy YA adult novel about a deft thief, Rebel, and a Jinni, Anjeline, who come into contact when Rebel steals the unknowingly enchanted vase tied to Anjeline. The story kicks off with high action right away and doesn't stop until the final page so it's a page turner through and through.

Though the book is an action adventure the author didn't skimp on character details making sure to depict each with depth and nuance. And, she was able to pull off a believable and slow burn f/f romance in the interim.

There were a few predictable elements of the plot due to the foreshadowing by the author but the majority of the book had me on the edge of my seat wondering how Rebel and Anjeline were going to get out of each situation.

Just because this is a YA novel, with Rebel being seventeen, I think this book can be enjoyed by adults, teens, and kids alike. And, though there is a lot of action and a romance depicted, it's all very PG (or even G...certainly a lot more kid friendly than Harry Potter) so the book could easily be consumed by any age.

This book wraps up itself but there's a big teaser at the end for more to come in the adventures of Rebel and Anjeline. I really hope this is the case and will happily read a series with these two.

Really well done. Recommend. 4.5 stars

Profile Image for Shelley.
5,156 reviews458 followers
April 27, 2017
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
*Rating* 3.5-4

*MY Thoughts*

The Wishing Heart, by author J.C. Welker, is a story told in alternating narratives by 17-year old Rebel, known as the Fingersmith, and Anjeline, known as the Wishmaker. Rebel was abandoned when she was just a baby at the Gramone's Institute for Displaced Youth. The only thing her mother left her was a book, which she takes with her everywhere she goes, and a pendant.

**Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews**

Profile Image for Mandy.
636 reviews67 followers
April 29, 2017
The Wishing Heart by JC Welker

Release Date: May 1, 2017 (TODAY!)

*I received an e-ARC in exchange for a honest review from the publisher - thanks so much for sending me over a copy!*

Okay, the moment I saw this book, I was sold. I saw jinnis, thieves, and gritty London, and I was doneeeeee. I don't think I hit request copy this fast in a longgggg time. It reminded me of Six of Crows and Aladdin, and I've been in Ketterdam withdrawals for far too long. And I was not disappointed.

Once Upon a Time...

With a book in her bag and a switchblade in her pocket, Rebel's been thieving her way through life while hoping for a cure to fix her ailing heart.

But when the bejeweled vase she just tried to hawk turns out to be a jinni's vessel, Rebel gets lost to her world and dragged within another. Now every magical being in the city wants the vase for himself.

Thrust into a game of cat and mouse in a world she never knew existed, Rebel must use her uncanny skills to find a way to free Anjeline the Wishmaker.

But wishes have consequences. And contracts. Anjeline's freedom could unravel a love like Rebel has never known, or it could come at the cost of Rebel's heart...
Oh, gosh, this book was good. It was so unique and cool and unlike any book I've read - and I thought it was fantastic.

"This isn't like your books," she said as thought Rebel we naive. "They're stories that know nothing about life. People are thornier than what those things tell you. Good doesn't always win. Light doesn't always burn away the darkness."
First off, let's talk about the writing. As I said, I say thief and switchblade and I was all FEMALE KAZ BREKKER, TAKE MY HEART AND GIVE ME PRETTY WRITING. Welker has some serious writing skills. Some of her lines were just SO pretty. Anyone that can inspire me to take screenshots on my iPad of pretty lines has some ridiculously amazing skills - only the glorious Megan Miranda has inspired me to do that, so Welker is now a must look for author for me. I'll be including a few lines throughout the review (see above evidence XD). There were a few lines that got a little too confusing in the midst of all the beauty, but I didn't care because PRETTY WRITING.

The inclusion of folklore was amazing as well. There was a lot of mystical creatures involved in this story - which you know I'm allllll about. Welker took some creative license with them and each one was super cool and interesting. Although the use of Courts kept getting me confused because I've read too many court books (between faerie books and actual princess books, Mandy gets confused) lately. But her mythology was great.

"Magic doesn't need to be explained or understood. It just needs to be believed."
Our two main heroines were ridiculously wonderful as well. I was a bit more partial to Rebel because she was so sassy and fierce. She had these lines that would crack me up, but she also had a beautiful depth to her. You felt for her, and you literally could not help but root for her. She was SO likable. I just loved her as a main character.

I did love Anjeline as well. I just felt more of a connection with Rebel and it's why poor Anjeline lost a bit of my love. XD Again, you couldn't help but enjoy and root for her as well. Her story was so sad, and you wanted her out of her cage as fast as possible. The other characters were interesting, but these two were the shining stars.

"I keep my promises. We'll find the means to free you. Maybe I don't look like much, but not all warriors wear armor."
The romance was so swoony as well. They were adorable together, and it was so believable and it wasn't instalovey. They took their time and weren't focused on their feelings when the story was getting so intense. It made it so much better when there were the little moments they had their tension and romance. Oh, sigh, this ship was so good, and I was trying hard to figure out how to mash up their names in adorable heart balloons.

"We're both caged birds, one of a heart, and one of a vessel," she said. "I'd almost lost hope of getting free. Until a girl in the night came and stole more than a vase."
The only issue I had was the pacing. This is a big book - I mean a seriously BIG book. Goodreads refuses to tell me how many pages the ebook is, but when I was looking at the little Kindle app it was telling me 5 hours when it's usually 3 hours for the regular books I read. And while everything was interesting and I loved the little twists and turns, it just seemed slowww at parts. And then there was times where I got a bit confused on things. It took a bit away from the story for me, since I felt like I was making no progress.

Overall, though, this book was fantastic. The writing was amazing; the romance had such swoons; and the characters were wonderful. I might have had a slight issue with the pacing and some of other confusing parts, but other than that, I was soooo into this book. Those first few pages drew me in completely, and sold me for the rest of the book. If that summary draws you in at all, let it because it lived up to the goodness for me.

Four crowns and an Ariel rating!
April 23, 2017
I received a copy of this book from Entangled Teen through Netgalley for review.

The Wishing Heart was a fun read. I adored Rebel, a thief with a good, but damaged heart. The book had plenty of magic and fun characters like Anjeline (the Jinni), werewolves, mermaids, magicians, and others. I really liked that it had the lesbian love story that I didn't expect in a fantasy like this.
Profile Image for Olivia.
3,041 reviews68 followers
April 21, 2017
“The Wishing Heart” is a YA fantasy about Rebel, aka the Fingersmith, who was abandoned as a baby and raised in a home for children. Although others have come and gone from the home, Rebel has always stayed. To take care of herself, she has turned to thieving alongside her friend Jaxon. Rebel’s heart has problems that are approaching a climax- she needs a big heist to get enough money for surgery. Jaxon scouts out a house with a safe, not knowing what is inside. Rebel uses her seemingly magic fingers to break in- but all the safe is hiding is a vase. She hopes it’s valuable enough to get the money she needs.

When Rebel goes to pawn it, she lands herself in a world she never bargained for- a world of magic. The vase turns out to be holding a jinni, Anjeline, a Wishmaker. She was imprisoned by the magician Nero, who trapped her and forced her to grant wishes. Wishes come with a cost- unless one has a selfless heart, the wisher finds themselves dealing with horrible consequences. Nero used the hearts of children to make his wishes, so that they would suffer the consequences of his wishes. He is on the search for a selfless heart- maybe in the form of his own child who has disappeared.

Anjeline and Rebel strike a bargain; if Rebel helps to free Anjeline, she will receive a wish without consequences. Together, they embark on a journey like no other, exploring the Sidhe/magic that resides within the world. Overall, it was a sweet and interesting, albeit predictable, book. We experience the book from both Anjeline and Rebel’s point-of-views, which certainly adds something to their romance, which was sweet and well written. I really liked the romance between them, building slowly over time, and the plot of the book was very unique and a refreshing new take on the magical realm. Although I found it predictable, it was still enjoyable! The ending was left a little open, and I am curious to see if this will become a series (and if so, I want to read the next one)!

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for S S.
20 reviews1 follower
May 2, 2017
THIS book! What an exciting, simply lovely ride. The romance was swoon-worthy (if you love a slow burn, this book's for you!), the adventure was thrilling, and the fantasy world that J.C. Welker built was both relatable (not too far, far away) and fantastical. I'm a big character reader and I found both Rebel and Angeline to be multi-layered and well-rounded. They weren't cookie cutter characters and, thankfully, had depth and flaws and I found myself rooting for them individually and as a couple. I definitely got some serious Laini Taylor vibes from this one! I'll be recommending for sure!
Profile Image for Lovely Loveday.
2,128 reviews
April 16, 2017
The Wishing Heart by JC Welker is scheduled to release on May 1, 2017 by Entangled Publishing, LLC. This is a fantasy/paranormal genre that does not disappoint! Welker creates a wonderfully intriguing book that draws you in and holds your attention. The setting and characters make this story a must read. I really like how Welker’s writing style makes the scenes so vivid and realistic. I think this book would be perfect for any paranormal genre lover
Profile Image for Lex Kent.
1,682 reviews8,697 followers
May 2, 2017
This was a really enjoyable read. I mostly read lesfic, but I would put this book in the more mainstream category, it just happens to have two females that fall in love. Fans of YA urban fantasy/paranormal, will really enjoy this book. The romance is super sweet, and If you are a mainstream reader that has not read many books with LGBT characters, I don't see how anything in this book could ever offend. The romance is sweet. And I liked how labels and sexuality were not an issue. These two characters fell in love, and that was that.

I love fantasy and paranormal books, so I was immediately drawn into this magical England. A place where Fae, Jinni, Mermaids, Werewolves and more exist. The story is about Rebel, a 17-year old (if I remember correctly) living in a home for unwanted youth. She spends her time as being one of the better thief's in the city, breaking into almost any lock, while never getting caught. Rebel has a heart problem. Her heart stops beating and she knows it is only time when it may never start again. She steals to hopefully be able to afford an operation. When she is told by a friend of a big score, she thinks this heist may be the one to save her heart. Rebel gets more than she bargains for when she steals a vase that has a Jinni in it. With every magical being in the city after the vase, will rebel get her wish for a new heart, or will she loose her heart to the Jinni instead?

I really enjoyed the pacing of the book. All the adventures the characters went on. All the paranormal beings they had to outsmart. Rebel may have skills as a thief, but she is not a superhero. She still made a kicks ass main character without having special powers. I loved the interactions between Rebel and Anjeline the Jinni. The romance is slow, but it is absolutely sweet, and you feel the love between them.

I think this is a book, YA urban fantasy fans will really enjoy. This is the kind of book that when you finish reading, you still think about the characters. The ending left it off in a way for another adventure, in a book 2. I will absolutely read it if it comes out, and will keep my eye out for other books by Welker.

An ARC was given to me by Netgalley, for a honest review.
Profile Image for mith.
752 reviews258 followers
August 14, 2017
thanks to the publisher for giving me an advanced copy of this!

alas, i can't push myself to read this anymore. the beginning of the novel itself didn't hook me though i could tell the author was trying to make it very action packed. but i didn't like the main character and i didn't sympathise with her at all, nor the persona she's built around as herself, which makes her seem too good to be real.

the world confused me. i'm still not sure what this is--urban fantasy? just fantasy? i know London is mentioned but there also seem to be fictional places mentioned, and magic, clearly, but i thought it was weird it wasn't really specified... it might've been too early, but oh well.

the writing isn't anything special. it failed to hook me, but that's just me--i'm too picky about writing. it's not bad but it's nothing to be impressed with.

i was also told, rather after i began reading, that this was basically a white-washed retelling of Aladdin. that alone just makes me not want to continue.

overall rating: 2 stars. i wouldn't recommend this.
Author 2 books22 followers
May 22, 2017
A sweeping tale about finding the beauty in others and letting your heart guide you. This gorgeously written novel follows the story of Rebel, a thief with a sweet, failing heart who will stop at nothing to save the ones she loves and a jinni named Anjeline who has lost her faith in humanity and only the most clever of thieves could steal it back. Action-packed with all the mythical creatures I adore in fantasy novels, a romance that is kind and passionate, and setting descriptions that will make you never want to leave Welker's world.
Profile Image for Iris.
1 review3 followers
May 18, 2017
The Wishing Heart takes the you on a journey that's equal parts adventure, blossoming romance and magic. Well written with vivid descriptions of the characters and scenes puts you right where the action is in the story, making for a enjoyable and captivating read.
Profile Image for Lea (drumsofautumn).
619 reviews626 followers
May 6, 2017
This is basically a whitewashed retelling of Aladdin! This is why I have decided not to go any further into my thoughts on this book. Ultimately I wouldn't recommend it!
I would love to link a review by a POC so if you have done a review of it & would be ok with me linking it here, please let me know!

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an early review copy!
Profile Image for Andrea.
Author 1 book4 followers
May 7, 2017
I received a copy of this book from Entangled Teen through Netgalley for review.

I really enjoyed The Wishing Heart - it had very likable characters and the sceneries were described in a way that it was easy to picture them as a reader. The book had plenty of magic and fun characters like Anjeline (the Jinni), werewolves, mermaids, magicians, and others. the romance part is quite slow but realistic - well as realistic that kind of romance can be. It was also nice that this book was more a mainstream fantasy novel, which happened to have two female characters fall in love and it was not over the top, which made it more realistic. I liked how labels and sexuality were not an issue.
All in all it is a fun story with a lot of twists and different creatures that all draw an interesting picture and make the main character more likable.

Profile Image for Shaila.
Author 4 books637 followers
September 21, 2017
These two will melt your heart! A beautifully evocative story that has a little bit of everything in it, but it's their romance that you won't forget. The pull these two characters have draws you in and won't let go. <3
Profile Image for Tiffany .
9 reviews9 followers
September 24, 2017
Wow!!! I loved this book from start to finish. So sweet, so exciting and sooo much more than I was expecting! Loved the characters, the imagery, the story was unique...felt more like watching a movie than reading a book (like Aladdin/Harry Potter/Pirates of the Caribbean...it transported you to another realm). Oh, and the love story was adorable...you'll love Rebel and Anjeline. :)
Profile Image for lacy white.
529 reviews54 followers
September 26, 2017
A special thank you goes out to Entangled Teen publishing for sending me a copy of this book. Much appreciated! All thoughts and opinions are my own!

screams This book has quite literally stolen my heart and no, I'm just not making a bad pun. This book is something that everyone needs to read, even if you aren't into paranormal/fantasy books. It's so much more than that. It's about healing, finding love and realizing that you are good enough to be loved.

The entire world was really unique and the building of it was well down. It blended magicians with jinnis and other creatures such as mermaids and lycanthropes, which are werewolves. I really liked the fact that it took place in London. I love England and I love reading books in that setting so that was a plus for me.

I think what really sold me on this book was the relationship that developed between Rebel, a little orphan thief, and Anjeline, a jinni or a wishmaker. They are now on my top 10 couples that I ship together. They are both broken and rely on each other to heal, while still retaining who they are. Those are the kind of relationships that I can get behind. I have never shipped a couple so hard like I did with those two. And you know what was awesome? The romance was not forced, as I sometimes find in LGBT relationships. It felt natural and smooth, as it should be.

I didn't want this book to end. I tried to read it as slow as possible but I ended up speeding through it because I had to know what was going to happen next. I just had to know if Rebel, with her heart problem, was going to be okay. I had to know everything and it spurned me to read faster. I will be getting this book in physical form because it holds a very special place in my heart.

okay, I'm done with the heart puns.
Profile Image for Starsandsun18.
258 reviews1 follower
October 7, 2017
“I can be stolen or given away and you will live, yet you cannot live without me. Tell me, what am I?”

OMG! Amazing! This is a debut novel right?
Everything that I want is on this book.
This is a clean romance. Nothing steamy going on but it’s still sweet and refreshing.
The plot is a bit of predictable but you’ll still want to flip the pages.
I remember Percy Jackson series in this book.
I’m now a fan of the author and I’m lookinb forward to her next book(s).

I like Revel and Anjeline. Their innocent flirting, cute banters.
Revel has a smart mouth and a silver tongue.
A lot of funny scenes. :))
I like Piran more than Jaxon, I haven’t had the time to warm up to him. In the next book maybe?

4.25 but because I super like the writing and I’m In love with both Rebel and Anjeline.. and Yes! I even dreamt about them. So, I’ll give this a 5.

Badly need a sequel?? Please!!

Profile Image for Kimberly Vanderbloom.
498 reviews37 followers
May 9, 2017
I received an early copy courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. I was pretty excited to read it so there was no twisting of my arm.

I really enjoyed this book. I am willing to admit that is was my first introduction to the Jinni world. I felt like I learned quite a bit now but I'm far from an expert. I loved how fast paced it was from the beginning until the end. You get to meet a girl named Rebel and you instantly fall in love with this thief from London and she goes on a adventure of a lifetime. It took me awhile to read this book because I was busy digesting it. This huge pivotal moment or event would happen and it wouldn't slow down. I was highly impressed and pretty addicted to it. The only thing I wish was that the ending was stretch out a little longer. It felt like it ended nicely but suddenly. I did like the very end where it opens it up for a series. I would recommend this book to any of my YA loving friends.

My favorite moment was when Rebel was flying through the air. I felt like it was the most magical moment of the book. You get to see her carefree with the wind in hair and a wildfire in her eyes. It was the moment that I knew that Rebel was going to be in my heart for a long time.

My favorite character was REBEL. I just loved her sassiness and her adventurous attitude. I loved how she never gives up and fights for what she feels is right. I like how she knows that she is flawed and is ok with it. She is just real from her feelings to her actions and I admire that. She makes no excuses.

I loved this book and look forward to getting a copy to add to my collection.
Profile Image for Brooke Banks.
920 reviews175 followers
May 6, 2017
Basically: an f/f Aladin where the Genie is the Princess and they're living in magical realism contemporary England. No fun animal companions but sarcasm and flirting are abundant.

↣Rebel's heart condition isn't just when it's inconvenient.
↣Includes hunger pains and the toll it takes, which is an important part of growing up struggling.
↣Book nerd who steals stories to survive. Now that's my kind of girl.
↣the apple scenes are adorable. (you'll get it when you read it, but trust me.)
↣Loved Anjeline's past with Solomon and the backstory
↣Rebel's lineage isn't a surprise at all.
↣Several of the plot turns aren't surprising.
↣Rebel was conveniently clusty at times.
↣Typical good vs. evil problem, which contributes to the obviousness to some plot points. Not necessarily a bad thing, but if you're looking for something different, come back when you're ready.
↣Foxy older brother thief, mermaids, fairies, court plots, Romeo & Juliet romance in the background.
↣While they're story could continue with the next magical problem, everything is wrapped up and can be read as a standalone.

If you liked my How to Make a Wish review from yesterday and like fantasy or magical realism, definitely give The Wishing Heart a shot. They've both got super cute f/f romances with relevant issues, drama, and their own form of magic.

Top Quotes:

Who keeps company with the wolf, will learn to howl.

Not everything written is truth. Just like not every story is false.

Nope. Not dead. Pain meant she was still breathing.
Profile Image for Dannica.
698 reviews24 followers
May 11, 2017
Fairly typical YA fantasy romance, except with lesbians.

Rebel, a poor thief with mad skillz, steals a vase from a rich woman. It turns out to contain a Jinn. After that, everything gets complicated and confusing with magic power struggles. And Rebel and the Jinn (Anjeline) fall in love. <3

Things I Liked
-Some interesting worldbuilding ideas, especially with the sirens
-Loved Jaxon the innkeeper, though it would have been nice if he were around more.
-Rebel and Anjeline's chemistry was pretty good, though I think they fall for each other a bit too fast.

Things I Didn't Like
-Too many different characters and magical people swirling around to the point that it grows confusing and we don't have enough time to focus on any of them.
-Twists were kind of predictable.

Not my cup of tea, but perhaps I'm just worn out from YA fantasy lately and I should take a break. Anyways if you're looking for fantasy with lesbians, this is a pretty good book for that! I received an ARC on Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
Profile Image for Katherine Paschal.
2,156 reviews57 followers
June 9, 2017

Rebel is an orphan, living in an institute for unwanted kids, stealing to make money to buy the medication she needs to fix her defective heart. When she breaks into a safe and finds a gorgeous, seemingly charged vase, Rebel knows that her luck just might have changed for the better. But she could never have anticipated the trouble that came along with the face, and the world she now finds herself surrounded by, where magic and monsters roam. Can she survive this new crazy world, and maybe, just maybe fix her heart along the way?

I knew this was going to be an exciting adventure when Rebel had already had three dangerous, potentially deadly encounters by the 23 page of the story. This was a very entertaining, magical story and the author created such a detailed, complicated world for her characters and the reader to get lost in. I had originally thought the cover was pretty enough and the synopsis was interesting so I wanted to read the book. I had no idea what the story was really about so it was fun discovering this fantastical world right along with Rebel. Seriously, nothing was left out of this book, be it good and evil Fae with royal courts, lycan packs, magician of all calibers, magic guilds, secret societies, rare artifacts… and let’s not forget the Jinni, magical wish graters who have been enslaved to grant wishes for others. But even the hierarchy within the Jinni had depth and complications, and I like the bit of history that was added to the book.

Just as important as the magical adventure was the characters, which felt real and complicated and I loved. Rebel is a lost girl with a bad heart who so desperately wants to be loved, be it in a familial way or a romantic way; she just wants people to call her own. She is the Fingersmith, a title used to give her respect for how skilled she is at picking any lock…as if it was magic. She steals to get money to buy her heart medicine, but I also think a part of her likes having a skill she is good at (not to mention the fact she is a treasure hoarder aka book and trinkets). As do all thieves, she has a code she follows and attempts to be fair. Regardless of her misdeeds, she was a good person that wanted to help more than hurt.

The other main character was Anjeline, who was not even introduced for a few chapters, so I was surprised that the story used dual narration with her. She has been trapped for years within her vase, distrustful of all who summon her to grant a wish. All her true powers have been bound, leaving her a shell of who she once was, only giving her a glimpse of her magic to grant a wish. And FYI, no wish is without consequences, so expect a nasty surprise…

This book was a female-female romance that grew over the course of the pages between the two main characters. This is actually the first girl-girl romance book I have ever read and I had no idea what to expect. I really liked how the author portrayed Rebel being a lesbian like a fact- Rebel likes girls (very much so, to the point of distraction at times). Everyone knew it, it did not need to be talked about or questioned, it just was. Her sexuality did not matter and she was not judged for it, which I think makes this a great read for teens to experience. Anjeline seemed like she was more the type of individual who liked a person based on character and worth, gender did not really mean anything, so for her to fall in love with Rebel made sense, since Rebel showed integrity as a person. The story was a clean romance, where you could feel the tension between the two and there were a few stolen moments, but nothing naughty occurred to make an R rating.

I was surprised by how much fun this book was, with the world building, adventure and the feels. The ending set up for more to come, so I am pretty sure that this will be the first in what I anticipate being an epic series.

I received this title in return for my honest review. For more reviews visit my blog at http://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for Meg.
Author 5 books234 followers
September 6, 2017
I loved this book! I was intrigued by Rebel’s character immediately. Stories about female thieves, magic, and gritty London are irresistible. Add in a stolen vase that isn’t what it seems and *hooked.* Rebel is a big character with a strong, resilient personality and an attitude that had me grinning at my screen. When she steals a vase, she finds Anjeline, a jinni who has been imprisoned inside the vase by a twisted magician named Nero.

Rebel wants to heal her broken heart and Anjeline wants to be free of her vase prison. They agree that if Rebel will help Anjeline, the jinni will grant Rebel a wish without a price. The ensuing adventure is as heart pounding as it is heart warming. I enjoyed everything about their relationship as it grows and changes throughout their adventure. I don’t remember rooting so hard for two characters, both individually and as a couple. Readers of Liani Taylor will be drawn into Welker’s writing style, the vivid world building, and the fast-paced, engrossing plot. Highly recommend!!!
Profile Image for Hannah Michaels.
567 reviews11 followers
August 4, 2017
I received a free ebook in exchange for my honest review.

I loved this book! It's a unique retelling of Aladdin and full of many different fantastic elements of the magical world. It was interesting enough to keep your attention through, and provided a great amount of entertainment. It was an exciting adventure, and Rebel is just the kind of person I want to be friends with. I started this book and it instantly reeled me in. The differences between the beginning of the story and the end were awesome! You could really see the difference in the characters and the evolution of the story!
Profile Image for Chiara.
870 reviews220 followers
September 19, 2017
A copy of this novel was provided by Entangled Publishing for review via Net Galley.

There was a lot I liked about The Wishing Heart. It almost made it to four stars, but there was just a little something missing. Nevertheless, The Wishing Heart was a really enjoyable YA fantasy!

I was quite surprised to find that The Wishing Heart featured two POV characters. The first is Rebel, the book-loving thief otherwise known as the Fingersmith. The second is Angeline, the jinni she releases from a stolen vase. Their voices were quite distinct, which is always a plus in multiple POV books. The main positive that came from Anjeline’s chapters was that it allowed me as a reader to get to know her a lot more than I would have if the whole book had been told from Rebel’s POV. Her chapters also gave insight into what was happening whenever the two got separated, as well.

When I was reading The Wishing Heart I was reminded of the earlier Harry Potter novels, in the way that so many magical things happen in such a short timeframe. There were interactions with a lot of paranormal and fantasy creatures in this book, and a lot of ‘oh no we’ve been captured by evil creature x’ moments, and it just gave off a big HP vibe to me. Even though they were quite entertaining to read, I probably would have preferred to have less of the creature/capture situations and more character and relationship development.

Saying that, though, I really did like the ship in The Wishing Heart. I thought that there could have been a little more development, especially on Anjeline’s side because she went from “ridiculous human” to “my precious human” a little too quickly for me. But even so, I thought that the romance between Rebel and Anjeline was adorable, and it was my favourite aspect of the entire book. Also, the fact that not one character blinked an eye at the romantic relationship between Anjeline and Rebel made my heart happy.

Rebel as a character was pretty great, even if she was a bit hard-headed at times. I loved how passionate she was about books and reading, and how she was willing to do anything for the people she cares about. I think she and Anjeline complemented each other really well because Rebel is stubborn and shy, and Anjeline is suave and a little bit sassy. I loved their interactions even before they became romantic because even though the two of them clashed, they worked through it for the best outcome.

There was definitely a set up for a sequel at the end of The Wishing Heart, and I really hope that’s the case because I would definitely read more about these characters. I think there is so much more to learn, especially about Rebel and Anjeline’s past, as well as the side characters.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed The Wishing Heart, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fast-paced fantasy novel with an super shippable f/f romance at its heart.

© 2017, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

trigger warning: emotional abuse, reference to sex trafficking, physical fights, use of ableist language, hostage situation, thievery, parental abandonment, torture, death, death of a father, murder, and institutional abuse (orphanage) in this novel
Profile Image for Lynndell.
1,526 reviews1 follower
May 1, 2017
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review The Wishing Heart by J.C. Welker! As the story opens, Rebel is breaking into a rich London apartment. She thinks of herself as a modern day Robin Hood, but she keeps the loot for herself so she can make wishes. She's an orphan living in a dreary institute run by an unkind matron and needs all the happiness she can find. She steals a golden vase, not realizing that it's actually a vessel holding a jinni named Anjeline. Rebel has a heart condition and she ventures on a journey to free Anjeline and repair her own heart. Along the way, they run into a variety of characters and creatures, some friendly and some dangerous. Rebel learns about her parentage and all of its mysteries. This story brings fantasy, mythology, supernatural and LGBT together tastefully and smoothly. The author, J. C. Welker, has a goal, "...to work toward giving a voice to LGBTQ stories, while facing magic and monsters along the way. ". 4 stars for a job well done!
Profile Image for S.E. Anderson.
Author 24 books133 followers
February 28, 2018
DNF at 50%
I just couldn't get into this book. I don't know if it was the style or the plot, because neither was bad in my view: I just personally couldn't connect. Not for me.
Profile Image for Val.
279 reviews53 followers
September 8, 2017
"You can force me to cast wishes, take my breath, take my hope, but may the Creator help if you touch her, because I will burn your world to ashes."

Ah, I just finished this book and God, I loved it. It felt like a sweet pastry full of cream, all soft and warm, yet spicy and mysterious. It's usually hard for me to give a book 5 stars because there's always a tiny detail that bothered me, and there are very few books that I absolutely adored. But this one completely deserves them, and it's without hesitation one of my favorite reads ever.

The story is original, fresh, dynamic: it blends modern realism with fantasy, turning it into something I've never saw before. And this universe is so, so rich! You get werewolves, Sidhe, mermaids, Jinni... Like this, it may seems like it's too much, but the author managed to flawlessly stitch all these ideas together, and it's a constant surprise as the reader meets another species, another part of this wonderful world. The story is clearly very well-thought and the pace! My God, the pace is quick and there's no useless lengths! The plot unravels, pushing you in a frantic race through London and all its hidden magical places. And as if this greatness wasn't enough, the writing is simply beautiful : rich, poetic, original, with some moments of humor: all that I adore!

The characters are pure golden. I rarely saw that before: they're all different, all morally grey, all three dimensional and so far away from some flat, dull ones you so often see in YA. Rebel is brave and sarcastic, but she's also deeply scarred and lonely, and the stunning writting will really blow your breath away, as her pain and fear is so precisely described you feel like it's your own heart that is suffering!
And Anjeline! I probably never saw this before (and it's a shame): she's a mystical, out-of-this-world creature, made of smoke and light, with wonderful powers and an aura that seeps through the pages, but she's also very realistically written. You often see high supernatural beings completely oblivious at everything, but that doesn't make any sense: if they have lived for centuries, then why the hell wouldn't they know anything about human world? Anjeline doesn't fall into this stupid trope: she holds both the mystery of the Jinni, while being clever and sarcastic and funny. She's definitely one of my favorite characters ever!
All the sides characters were also deeply interesting, like the Sidhe, the Siren, the twin wolves, or my favorite, Piran. The author crafted dozens of beautiful, dreadful creatures and it's simply brillant!

And the romance! I usually hate it because to me it's often unecessary and badly built-up. But there! The love between Rebel and Anjeline is so wonderful I passed by all emotions, from grinning to shouting and even to the tears! It's devotion and sacrifice, but in a way that is so beautiful and healthy! And there are no useless fights or even more useless third love interest: it's just them loving and caring about each other, no matter what. And as always, the descriptions are stunning (I was mesmerized by their link, the way they feel the magic between them, the fire and honey feeling keeping them together), and the dialogues are both realistic and beautiful (I had to take a break when Rebel called Anjeline "treasure of my heart" because that tiny, wonderful thing made me incredibly emotional.)

So yeah, all I have to say is a big thanks to J.C. Welker for bringing such moving, inspirational story, both modern and full of magic, with wonderfully well-written characters. The world needs more books like this one, especialy when it features real diversity and main LGBTQ+ characters. It's just brillant, honestly.
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