Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
Wish carefully, because it may come true
on 11 August 2007
After reading really good reviews for this book, I decided I had to see if they were justified. Having now just frinished the book, I can happily say that every positive review this book gets is fully deserved.
The story is about 3 children; Ryan, Josh and Chelle. One evening they miss their buss home. Without any money for another fare, they go to extreme lengths, stealing money from an old wishing well. It is then not long afterwards that strange things start happening - Ryan has unusual growths on his hands; Josh seems to make lightbulbs explode whenever he is near; and Chelle cannot stop barrages of words from spilling out of her mouth, even though the words do not belong to her. The Ryan is visited by the Well Witch, a weird lady who has water gushing from her eyes and hides the words she speaks. From a mixture of guesswork and luck, the kids are able to help Ryan in establishing what she was after - she wants them to grant the wishes that they have taken from her well. Sounds simple enough in some ways, but unfortunately they soon learn that wishes are complex things, you never quite know what may be hidden behind the words - after all, the people that made them are complex, with different motives and desires urging them on. Soon, the business of granting wishes becomes more like a curse for the youngsters, but how do they get out of the debt of a Well Witch?
Although I am in my late twenties, I do enjoy literature for young adults and children. This, the first book I have read by Hardinge, was a breath of fresh air. Although there is a magical element it is quite different to what you will have encountered in the favourites such as Harry Potter. The three main characters are well developed - I particularly liked Chelle, who develops as the novel progresses. Each of the characters had their own problems or issues, and how these benefit the main story is very well done. There is comedy, friendship, betrayal, the darker side of humans and what they wish for and the consequences that this will then bring.
This is a highly recommended book, for both young and old.