STICKS AND STONES
(The Wish Makers, Book 1)
By Shawn McGuire
Everyone has a dark side. Mandy’s just moved in with her.
The last time sixteen-year-old Mandy Matteo broke a rule, her sister died. Since that day she has done only what is expected of her, but life as a goody-goody has made Mandy so boring her friends have all but abandoned her. And she’s given up on ever getting Ethan, the boy she’s liked forever, to notice her. Desperate, Mandy makes a wish to simply be happy.
Her wish is granted and happiness arrives in the form of Lexi, her childhood imaginary friend come to life. Magical wishes have conditions though: Once started, the wish cannot be altered or stopped. And once Mandy is truly content with her life again, Lexi must go back to where she came from. But Lexi loves being alive and she’ll do whatever it takes to stay that way.
I won Book 2, Break My Bones, in a giveaway and because I don’t like to start a series in the middle, I bought Sticks and Stones.
At first, it was hard to get into the book. The main character, Mandy, is not only boring, a goody-goody, but also one of these enervating ‘woe-is-me’- types that I abhor. The first third of the book, until after Lexi moves in and things start to change, the word that describes the experience best is ‘static.’ Grey-on-grey, boring, always the same. Not one toe out of line.
However, and this is a huge however, the second Mandy was forced step out of her comfort zone, the story gained traction. And then it turned into a wonderful, heartfelt story.
The way Mandy is forced to confront her demons and face the ugly truth hiding deep within in her, the way the rapid change of events leads to her coming into her own is gripping and has you into its claws until the last page.
Sticks and Stones is a story about guilt, about remorse, about fear (not teenage angst, but the real thing) of consequences; it's about a lot of things actually, but most of all about how honesty and facing your demons sets you free; how change, though painful, is a good thing if you choose a new perspective; and how letting you go can result in spreading your wings and learning to fly.
Sum Total: 4 STARS
Though a bit hard to get into at first, the story is good once Mandy finds her stance and voice. It’s a great book and it made me think. Which is something I value. It’s not the most enjoyable book there is; it hits home too close sometimes for that, as we all know either first hand or someone else having the same experience. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic read and I recommend it, as I'm starting Break My Bones now.
PS: the only reason it doesn’t rate 5 STARS is because however good, Sticks and Stones is still no Shakespeare. ;)
Get your copy HERE