Book Reviews Young Adult Books

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison

8 of 10: Perfect light reading – funny and clean, with a nice romance. I loved every crazy second of Just One Wish about a girl determined to make her six-year-old brother’s dream of meeting his hero (Robin Hood) come true before he goes in for surgery.

This is one of those books where the cover put me off. I mean, I’ve been hearing about Janette Rallison for ages (a quick search of my Google Reader uncovers 92 references to various titles by her), and yet I have never picked up one of her books.

Then, for some reason that has already escaped me, I checked out How to Take the Ex Out of Ex-Boyfriend at my library and read it in a single evening. Bart kept giving me odd looks as I sat on the couch, feeding the baby and giggling outloud because, oh it was funny.

I’m fairly certain that Janette Rallison is to 2010 what Sarah Dessen was to 2009 for me – I think I’ll be reading all her books as quickly as I can get my hands on them.

Which brings us back to Just One Wish and it’s unfortunate cover. I knew the book was about a sibling with cancer and combined with that cover it just seemed all too serious and probably one that would depress me (I’ve already read Ways To Live Forever and this book just seemed like more of the same).

Oh, how wrong I was.

Annika is seventeen and her little brother has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor and will be going in for surgery in just a few days. Anxious to ease his fears about the surgery, she tells him that she found a genie in a bottle a long time ago and still has two wishes left, the last of which he should use to wish that the surgery will go well.

She is certain he’ll use the other wish to ask for a Talking Teen Robin Hood figure which she has managed to get a hold of (it’s pretty much the most sought-after toy at the moment). She’s all ready to whip it out and prove that the genie is real and thus his last wish about the surgery will come true and then he wishes that the real Robin Hood will come and teach him how to shoot a bow and arrow.

Well. That’s going to be a little more tricky. But Annika is not about to be stopped – she will just track down Steve Raleigh, the heartthrob guy who plays Robin Hood on the popular TV show, convince him to come back to Las Vegas to meet her little brother and all will be well.

It’s only going to require ditching school, lying to her parents, and driving to California. Not to mention breaking into the set, stalking Steve Raleigh, and – last but certainly not least – convince him to come back with her and spend a few hours with a stranger that has cancer. Easy peasy.

The end of the book goes for a little bit more of a thoughtful finish which seems maybe a tad out of place when the rest of the book has been a slightly (or extremely) madcap, but it also kind of works. It gives the book a weight it might not have otherwise and keeps it from being nothing more than sheer fluff.

I’m already scouring the local library catalogs so that I can get a copy of all her books because they are just the perfect feeding/rocking a baby to sleep books.

Now I just feel silly that I waited so long to pick one up.

Copy checked out from my local public library

P.S. The winner of Nightshade is Lisa. Send me your address and I’ll get it in the mail! I wish I had a copy to send to everyone – thanks for commenting!

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  • Reply Janelle September 10, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I'm glad you liked it, I love Janette Rallison!

    I went on a Janette Rallison binge last year (?) and devoured everything she's written and it's all perfectly wonderful. She has also written some LDS fiction under the name Sierra St. James, if that interests you.

  • Reply Jenny September 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    We've been in a reading drought over here… thanks for the suggestion!

  • Reply Corbett Family September 11, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Janette Rallison was a regular sub in my bunco group in Arizona. She is a mom that writes on the side. I've never read any of her YA books, but she also writes some adult romance (very clean) under a pen name and I've read a few of those (in fact, just read one in the last month). I have laughed out loud many times while reading them. I guess I'll have to try reading one of her YA books next.

  • Reply Miri September 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I meant to comment on this yesterday and I guess I got distracted as I scrolled down.

    I just wanted to say that as I was reading the very first paragraph of this post, Sarah Dessen popped into my head, and I had very fond memories of reading Just Listen and The Truth About Forever–and then I was surprised and amused when you made the comment later on about Sarah Dessen. Apparently there is just something Dessenesque about this!

  • Reply Meridith September 12, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Awesome. 🙂 I feel the same way–the perfect book if you want to just sit down and dive into a fun, fast-paced, hilarious world. I had my husband search the library and find as many of her books as he could. I've read about 8 of hers so far, and "Just One Wish" is one of my favorites.

  • Reply Meridith September 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Fantastic. When I found her books, I had a similar reaction and had my husband search the library and bring home as many as he could find. I've read about 7 of hers so far, and "Just One Wish" is one of my favorites.

  • Reply Laura H January 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I'm a big fan of Janette Rallison too. I didnt know she wrote under a different name.

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