Publication Date: 7 April 2022
Ed and his sister Roo are faced with the most boring half-term holiday in history: five days spent in the company of their elderly neighbour, Miss Filey, and her ancient, smelly cat. But when they find a box of birthday candles in a cupboard in Miss Filey’s house, their world is changed completely. Because these are no ordinary candles and every single one of them comes with a wish. There’s only one problem: some of those wishes actually belong to someone else…
I am a HUGE fan of Lissa’s books so was utterly delighted when I wished for an early copy and it popped through the letter box! I did the only sensible thing, ignored my family and responsibilities, and settled down to read it in one sitting (bar a rude interruption for dinner), and what a brilliant decision that was!
From the beginning, we are drawn into a perfectly ordinary world where, when the extraordinary happens, the balance of belief and cynicism is perfect and sets up the ensuing story brilliantly. As Ed and Roo realise that Miss Filey’s candles really do come with wishes and understand how those wishes work, we see them show an integrity that many may not – telling her the truth. The misadventures that follow see both Ed and Roo, with humour from Willard and a heavy dose of long suffering sarcasm from Attlee, learn how to be true to themselves.
First impressions, and how wrong they can be, are explored deftly within the story. I loved seeing their relationship with Miss Filey develop, and their opinion of who she is as a person change from first impressions of a strange old lady down the road to someone to enjoy adventures with.
It is not often that we see adults learning big life lessons from children, but Lissa does it brilliantly, and I am sure any reader will be assured that life is for living if only we are brave enough to make that leap, summed up beautifully towards the end of the story: “Because next month, or next year, everything could change, and all the things you thought were average and ordinary and forever might suddenly be difficult, and all the things you thought were difficult might suddenly be impossible…”
I was left with a life-affirming, warm, snuggly feeling that comes from having enjoyed a fabulous adventure with friends. Wished has that timeless feel of a book I could have read as a child, and one I would love to see adapted for TV (preferably with a theme tune to match the genius of Round The Twist as this would deserve no less).
Witty, warm, wonderful, Wished is a true celebration of imagination, friendship and making the most of every moment while you can. I genuinely couldn’t love it more!
Huge thanks to David Fickling Books for sending me an early proof copy.