Saturday, May 23, 2015

Book Review: Dreamer, Wisher, Liar by Charise Mericle Harper

Title: Dreamer, Wisher, Liar
Author: Charise Mericle Harper
Published by: Balzer + Bray (2014)

My Rating: ✭✭✭✭✩

SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:

When her best friend is moving away and her mom has arranged for some strange little girl to come and stay with them, Ash—who is petrified of change and new people—is expecting the worst summer of her life. Then seven-year-old Claire shows up. Armed with a love of thrift-store clothes and an altogether too-sunny disposition, Claire proceeds to turn Ash’s carefully constructed life upside down.

While every part of Ash’s life seems to be disrupted, she must protect a carefully hidden secret: She has discovered a magical jar in her basement. It’s a wish jar, full of someone’s old wishes—and it has the power to send her back in time and provide a window into another friendship between two girls. Discovering her own connection to the girls’ story shows Ash that her life is full of surprises and friends she never saw coming.



My Review: 


This book was awesome! Full of mystery and adventure, but still with a tangible feeling of a realistic fiction novel, this was a true treasure to find. There were a couple setbacks that held me back from a 5.0 rating, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from liking it!

Synopsis: Dreamer, Wisher, Liar follows the story of Ash, who is convinced her summer is ruined when (1) she finds out her best friend is moving away, and (2) her mom tells her a seven-year-old girl is coming to stay with them. Ash is dismayed. Babysitting for a seven-year-old? No best friend? Nothing could seem worse! But then she discovers a magical jar in her basement, one that sends her back in time. At first it’s simply an adventure. But actually, these past times may teach her a valuable lesson.

As a whole, this book was well done. I’ll start with my positives—

Characters/Writing: The characters were real and relatable; they were easy to love. Claire was hysterical and adorable. The “past times” she visits were extremely well written; the characters there, in fact, were almost better written than the real life, present time characters. By watching through Ash’s eyes, you come to truly love Ashley and Shue and you relate to what they are feeling. The friendship scenario was a great addition onto the plot, adding more mystery, intrigue, and teaching Ash about friendship. Along with Ash, you come to love them, and you want them to be real, to exist, to still be alive in today’s world and not just something imaginary.

Writing: The other thing I really appreciated about this book was that, despite its length, every single scene contributed to the plot. Usually, books like these have mountains of pointless scenes that do nothing to advance the plot, but rather add unnecessary drama or romance. However, in Dreamer, Wisher, Liar, every scene had some sort of importance. I know because every time I thought to myself, great, pointless scene, BAM! something important occurred. It’s very hard to find these kind of books…but this one was one of them.

Other Positives: There were so many other little amazing things about this book: Ash’s face blindness was an interesting add-on; her favorite author and books, which play into her learning about friendship; Peter and the postal office; all her cards to Lucy; her communication with Lucy; playing and helping with Claire; and so much more—and that it all ties together in the end. Just amazing!

On the downside—

Ash’s mom seemed incredibly fictional. I mean, seriously? ‘THAT’S IT! NO MORE BASEMENT! For a week! Do you hear me?…you’re hiding out again!’   What kind of normal mom says that? Banning their kid from the basement? For no legimate reason?Also, how she could be so oblivious to anything Ash was doing down there (which, she was going back in time) was beyond me. And that she just yells down the stairs loudly rather than actually going down there. And how she managed to interrupt Ash’s back-in-time segments at the perfectly wrong time. It was just very unrealistic.

Secondly, Ash’s lying. So, I get that’s it part of Ash and part of the title. And I really liked the way Ash realized she was wrong in the end. But honestly, it was really this negative element that lowered my rating. I don’t get how Ash would be okay doing that, much, lying just for wishes; I understand how she loved going back in time, and honestly, I loved it just as much as her—but to lie so much? Also, how her mom wouldn’t catch on. Also, even though Ash realizes her mistake in the end and acknowledges her wrongness, she still doesn’t apologize or anything. All she does is decide to stop lying. Nothing else. No apology, nothing. That was really disappointing. I love that she realized her fault, but she could have at least apologized. A negative element to her character that I really disliked.


However, as a whole, this was a good book. The things I disliked were enough to bring it down a whole rating, but not enough to ruin the book for me. I’d recommend this to all ages and I look forward to reading it again and spotting things I missed—I’m sure there’s more details that flew over my head the first reading. It’s that detailed! 4.5 stars! 

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