For Charli Blake, being seventeen is a tough gig.
She's been branded a troublemaker, her reputation is in tatters and she's stuck in Pipers Cove, a speck of a town on the coast of Tasmania.
Thankfully, it's temporary. Her lifelong dream of travelling the world is just months away from becoming reality. All she has to do is ride out the last few months of high school, which is easier said than done thanks to a trio of mean girls known as The Beautifuls.
When Adam Décarie arrives in town, all the way from New York, life takes an unexpected turn. His arrival sets off a chain of events that alters her life forever, convincing her of one thing. Fate brought him to her.
Saving Wishes is the story of a girl who doesn't quite fit the life she's living, and the boy who helps her realise why.
I. Loved. This. Book. I read it quite a while ago, but for some reason didn't finish a review. I always find it harder to review a book I love than a book I hate. Weird, eh? Anyhoo, I thought I'd better come back and finish this review for NetGalley before they stop giving me free books (gasp!), and also because it is the best NetGalley book I've read so far. It kind of deserves some love!
So, first of all, great setting. No, I take that back. Frickin' awesome location!!! I'm so jealous that my husband has traveled to Tasmania, and I haven't. And who's the displaced Aussie, here? Yeah, me! So now I really HAVE to go there after reading this book - I've totally moved it to the top of my bucket list! If you're looking to escape the mundane locales of most books of this genre, then pick up Saving Wishes ASAP.
Next, characters. Charli is truly lovable, in spite of her flaws, and she has many. Maybe it's because of these flaws that I loved her so much. Even though she's got a roof over her head, a caring brother as her guardian, and a great best friend, you can't help but feel she's been dealt the short end of the stick. She's an orphan - well, dad is not in the picture, but he may as well be dead, as far as she's concerned - she's never even met the guy! Mother's been dead since she was three. She's a lousy student. And the whole town treats her like crap for something that she really should not be made to feel ashamed of. Her self-esteem is pretty much at rock bottom. All she wants is to turn 18 so she can get the heck out of Dodge and never look back!
But, she believes in magic, and fate, and that's why when Adam Decarie arrives in Piper's Cove to visit his cousin, Charli freaks out just a bit. He's beautiful, and nice, and smart, and wealthy...perfect, really. Even though it seems as if fate has brought Adam to her, Charli pushes him away hard! After a while, though, Charli realizes that they are meant to be together, and she holds on for dear life.
I can't really say much more about the plot without spoiling everything, but I will say that if you're thinking this sounds like a typical YA novel, you'd be totally, completely wrong. There are twists and turns you would never expect! And the ending...well, some people may not like it, but I thought it was completely realistic. I've been in a similar situation, and my relationship could have easily gone the same way. 'Nuff said on that!
My one criticism is that the two male characters had such similar names, Adam and Alex. I kept having to reread sections here and there because they didn't make sense: "What? Oh wait, that was Adam that said that, not Alex!" or vice versa. But other than that, this book was as close to perfection as a contemporary YA novel can be!