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Broken Wish

(The Mirror #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  488 ratings  ·  203 reviews
Hanau, Germany

Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange powers that she will do anything to hide. She knows the warnings about what happens to witches in their small village of Hanau. She’s heard the terrible things people say about the Witch of the North Woods, and the malicious hunts that follow. But when Elva accidentally witnesses a devastatin
Published October 6th 2020 by Disney Hyperion
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Julia There is one mention of a wlw relationship between two background characters but it's not significant.…moreThere is one mention of a wlw relationship between two background characters but it's not significant.(less)
Meghan Fairy-tale magic! The most occult thing I could identify would be a spell one of the character admits to using which made a young woman hiccup frogs. …moreFairy-tale magic! The most occult thing I could identify would be a spell one of the character admits to using which made a young woman hiccup frogs. All of it's very sweet and not dark at all. There are consequences for magic, as with most fairytales. I highly recommend this book, but also Julie C. Dao's other series, which is also focused on fairy-tale magic/fairytales set in Asian mythology (pulling elements from Snow White)!(less)

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Mar 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Where magic gives, it can also take--in ways that no one can foresee."
I've enjoyed tremendously every book I've read by Julie Dao, so when I saw that she had a new one out, the first of a four-book series where each is written by a different author (how unusual), I was intrigued. I confess I snatched it up so fast I almost got whiplash.

The series follows four generations of a family both blessed with magical powers and plagued by a curse that haunts them. In this first book, Broken Wish, w
Apr 03, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Hey all! I guess this is the best time to visit this Goodreads page, before the book starts to circulate and reviews come in!

In case you missed it on Instagram and Twitter, BROKEN WISH is my dark fractured fairy tale coming October 6, 2020 from Disney! It's the first in a four-book series called The Mirror (all written by different authors) about a curse that spans multiple generations of the same family. I am kicking off the series with the first branch of the family tree and detailing how the
10/09/2020: I once made a wish for publication day to arrive already... AND IT'S COME TRUE.

✨Where magic gives, it can also take—in ways that no one can foresee.

FOR BEST READING EXPERIENCE: Play "For Good" from Wicked on repeat so you can wallow in your feels some MORE ଘ(ᵕ˵ ૩ᵕ)━☆゚.*・。゚

Every family curse starts somewhere. This one just so happens to involve a stunning story about women at the margins of society—women who seek acceptance, form life-changing friendships, and stand up for eac
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-2020
Omg!!!!! The next in the series is going to be released soon!!!! If you haven’t read this, you need to stat!!!

This deserves all the stars in the galaxy! All!!!!! I started reading it and couldn’t stop. Every moment between work, children, and the few hours of sleep (that I was forced to take because my kindle died!!!!) I was devouring this book. It is by far, the most magical book I’ve read this year. That’s saying a lot because I’ve read a couple others that were really wonderful.

I fell immed
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow! This was fast pacing, entertaining, well-written, riveting story! It’s also dark, depressing and intense with the alluring vibes of Grimm Brothers’ bloody eerie fairy tales meet Tim Burton’s gothic world building. And I have to congratulate the talented illustrator who created this remarkable book cover!

This is extra special event for me to start this book because this is the first time I received an ARC from Disney ( At least 10 rejections later as I see the book at my virtual bookshelf, I
...the lines between hero and villain start to blur...

In other words, my aesthetic.

Thank you Disney Book Group, for my ARC!!

I am excited to check this one out.
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

Broken Wish is the first book in a fantasy series that is very intriguing. It follows a cursed families over generations, with each book being written by a different YA author. This first installment is set in 1865 Germany and lays the groundwork for following books. I want to say up front that I think I would have loved this more if I was an actual teenager, but I still think there's a lot to like and I'm interested in continuing with the series.

Thematically this is a b
Wren (fablesandwren)
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much to Net Galley and to the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this gorgeous book.

This book seriously surprised me. I wanted to read it because I have a soft-spot in my heart for Julie C. Dao (her Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is one of my favorite anti-hero books ever), but honestly wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. This book talks about so many hard topics like prejudice, revenge and being good vs bad.

A married couple moves to a town to get away from a reput
Charlie Jane Anders
May 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I adored this fable about a teenage girl who discovers that her mother was once friends with the Witch of the North Woods. This book references the Brothers Grimm a fair bit, and has a definite Grimm feel to it, but also packs all the warmth and emotional insight of a great YA book. At the heart of this story is the conflict between friendship and social conformity, and it's a rich vein. Elva's mother was friends with Mathilda, the local witch, until Elva's father started to fear what the neighb ...more
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it
As part of my pre-read review I said Broken Wish sounded amazing and the concept was - but I found a handful of issues throughout the story that really took away from the spectacular premise and left me underwhelmed. I will be honest, Broken Wish is what I would consider a 'dream book' of mine and though I try very hard to avoid my expectations from skyrocketing before I actually read the book, Soon as I saw Brothers Grimm, Magic, and 1800s Germany, I had already disappeared to a dark corner of ...more
3.5 stars! I flew through through this story. It does take on some very familiar tropes, to be sure. But I liked the fairytale feel, and the fact that it sets up quite nicely for the rest of the series.
Apr 03, 2020 marked it as to-read
four different authors covering multiple generations dealing with a magic mirror? and this one involves The Brothers Grimm? I NEED THIS NOW.
Thank you so much to Disney Publishing Worldwide and Netgalley for Broken Wish by Julie C.Dao!.
Broken Wish is the first in a four book series. And prepare yourself, because all novels in this series are written by different authors. This series revolves around multiple generations of the same family dealing with a family curse. In this one, we are transported in Hanau (which surprise! Is the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm) and we are sucked into the storyline of the origin of the curse.
This b

Literally two days after I post this review we get a cover reveal... amazing!!

"Family curses start somewhere" YES

Ugh, I'm so freaking excited for this. I won't be able to wait.

Come sooner, October...


Oh my gosh, a four book series from the powerhouse Julie C. Dao. Multi-generational. Multi-generational!! I am so excited for this!! And - this October!!

*quarantine happy dance*
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The time is the mid-nineteenth century in a small German village filled with superstitions and fear of the unknown or the “different.” For sixteen-year-old Elva, keeping her growing powers of magic a secret is becoming more and more difficult. She knows what happens to witches and she’s heard the horrors of meeting up with the Witch of the North Woods.When she sees a vision of devastating proportions, she must find a way to prevent what happens without revealing her secrets. Must she find the fe ...more
Sep 24, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-releases
September 24, 2020: give me a mix of history and classic tales, please, thank you very much
Mishma Nixon
Check out Julie's interview on my blog and enter to win a copy of Broken Wish!

Read my full review on my blog Chasing Faerytales

Julie C.Dao has pretty much established herself as a master in dark and twisty fairytale retellings. Following up from the deliciously dark and sweeping Forest of a Thousand Lanterns duology and companion, her latest book is a dark and bittersweet fairytale that sets up the stage for a series that follows a curse that spans multiple generations of the same family. In Bro
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Broken Wish immediately begins with a fairy tale atmosphere. It's a story about those wishes and desires we have that seem small but start an avalanche. At its heart, Broken Wish is a story about desire, promises, and sacrifice, but it's also a story about societal pressure. How we can let society change our opinions of people, to shun people and smooth us all down. The desire to be
Kate (Feathered Turtle Press)
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020

As a child, when she had asked her mother if fairy tales were real, her mother had replied: "Truth of a tale lies in where it took its first breath."

The Good
– Interesting dynamics between complex women and girls
– Elva's unflinching kindness and goodness
– Mathilda is easy to empathize with
– Solid storytelling
– Lovely sensory details

The Bad
– Slow start / beginning doesn't grab you
– Dao's writing style is clunky and rough around the edges
– Romance between Elva and Willem is a hard s

Julie - One Book More
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
The first book in the Mirror series, Broken Wish is a dark YA fairy tale about friendship, broken promises, and the importance of acceptance. Agnes and her husband have just moved to a small village in Germany where Agnes befriends Mathilda. Mathilda, a witch who is shunned by society, offers to make Agnes a potion to help her get pregnant in exchange for Agnes’ friendship. Agnes, desperate to have a child, promises but breaks this promise once she receives the potion since she and her husband b ...more
I really enjoyed this dark, fractured fairy tale that was a nod to the Brothers Grimm. The story takes place in a small village (Hanau) in Germany at the edge of the North Woods in 1699, which was during the time that the Brothers Grimm were collecting their fairytales. Folks readily believed in magic and the supernatural but considered it the work of evil. There is a lot of relevance to modern-day issues of racism, prejudice, and how you treat others, but what I loved about this book was the at ...more
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Magic. Evil. Magic Mirrors. Witches. This book has all the perfect ingredients for a lovely, dark fairy tale! I loved the story!

I'm not going to say much about the plot -- no spoilers. This book is a tale best enjoyed with no prior knowledge of events. I accidentally read a spoiler in a review before reading.....and I would have enjoyed it much more without knowing anything beforehand.

The story is fast paced and entertaining. The characters are wonderful. The book kept my attention from start t
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 12-and-13
Thanks to Disney Publishing Worldwide for providing a digital ARC of The Mirror Broken Wish in exchange for an honest review.

I am obsessed with Grimm Fairytales. Always have been, always will be. The Mirror: Broken Wish does an excellent job translating the magic and morals of Grimm stories into a narrative perfect for teen and tween readers. The whole idea of Disney recruiting a different YA writer to write each book in this quartet had me really interested and this book did not disapoint.

The m
Tarra Lyn | TLCBookNook
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a cute fairytale with Princesses needing to be saved by Prince Charming, this is not the tale for you. The first in a four-book series from Disney Books, Julie C. Dao creates a stunning, dark new tale, filled with strong women who don’t let society dictate who they’ll become. Fateful choices lead to unsuspecting consequences that span decades and into generations.

Dao is new to me, but I was immediately captivated by her writing, so much so that I finished this book in a d
Katherine Paschal
Broken Wish spans the lives of a mother and daughter and the unforeseen consequences of choices. Agnes longs to have a child and when her new friend says she can help she is excited by the opportunity- except that her new friend is called a witch by the townspeople and her husband fears the scorn of those people if Agnes continues her friendship. Fast-forward 16 years, Agnes' daughter Elva has been told to keep her powers a secret for fear of being scorned by the townspeople. But Elva longs to k ...more
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. This does not impact my opinion of the book

I found myself pretty time strapped for reading when I started this one, so it took longer to finish than it should. This would be a pretty fun (perfect for this season) quick read under normal circumstances. Overall, I enjoyed! This is going to be a series of four books, each one by a different author, that follows a family through generations as they grapple with a family curse. This
Max Hansford
I find myself slowly getting sick of stories that don't seem to have any overarching effects on anyone but themselves and their family. This book is, in one word, boring. Not a lot happens, and even though it's only 320 pages, it feels too long. None of the characters seem to have a reasonable motivation for what they do to themselves and to other people. I couldn't finish it, so the rest of my criticism may be wrapped up, but here's what really annoyed me. Why doesn't Elva tell her parents when ...more
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-tour-arc
You can read my full review on my blog, The Bookwyrm's Den, here.

Many thanks to Disney-Hyperion and Rockstar Books for a copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

I confess I’ve never read a Julie C. Dao book, even though her books have been on my TBR for a while and I’ve heard wonderful things about her. This one, though … this got me. I’m a sucker for fairy tale retellings, and this one just grabbed my attention. Plus, I read an excerpt, and the writing? *chef’s kiss*

Broken Wish
..... She knows the warnings about what happens to witches in their small village of Hanau....

That book sounds so ridiculous and funny to me because I live so close to Hanau. Why wouls someone even write a book that takes place in Hanau lol
Dec 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Julie C. Dao is the author of several acclaimed novels for teens and children, including FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS and BROKEN WISH, published by Disney Books. A proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York, she now lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.

Julie is represented by Tamar Rydzinski of Context Literary Agency.

Pronunciation: JOOL-lee DOW (like “wow”)

Other books in the series

The Mirror (4 books)
  • Shattered Midnight (The Mirror, #2)
  • Fractured Path (The Mirror, #3)
  • Splintered Magic (The Mirror, #4)

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