“Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes” is the first book that I have read by Denise Grover Swank. It is not the kind of book that I typically would pick up and read and I absolutely cringed when I realized it was written in first person perspective. However, I decided to stick it out and give it a chance because I absolutely adore the person who referred the book to me! I have to say…I think this is the only book I’ve ever read in first person perspective that I got through without throwing it up against the wall in utter frustration.
The voice of this book is a girl named Rose. A spunky southern girl who is a bit naive, okay, a lot naive and a little bit crazy…at least to her neighbors and her mother. Rose’s mother is convinced her daughter is demon possessed. Why? Because, Rose isn’t like everyone else…she has visions about the future. Nothing hugely prophetic, usually the visions are useless information that Rose can’t help but blurt out such as someone locking their keys in their car or some other random slice of life.
When Rose has a vision about dying, she decides that she is going to live her life out in a short amount of time. Whether her momma approves it or not! Unfortunately, her poor momma doesn’t have much time to worry about her new found nerve. Momma takes Rose’s place in her vision and the town suspects that Rose is the one who murdered her! Desperate to live her life before a new vision proves true for her (or before she goes to jail) Rose sets out to accomplish a list of twenty-eight wishes. Her wishes range from opportunities that she miss out on as a child, such as, “dress like a princess” to “find a boyfriend”.
On this journey of self-discovery we get to know Rose’s sister, Violet, and a hunky neighbor named Joe who seems to be the answer to several wish-list criteria to the tune of “find a boyfriend”. Something is suspicious about Joe and honestly, there were times I wanted to scream “RUUUUUUNN! And other times I desperately wanted him to be better than he appeared. I suppose an easy-peasy romance would be a very boring read so of course there had to be drama! And drama there was!!!
I enjoyed this book, so…. I’m not going to spill all the details; you’ll just have to read it for yourself. I did have just a few complaints… Since my own sister uses the term “crappy doodles” I could overlook it…the first few times. I felt it was overused in some places since Rose was “growing up” I thought maybe she would finally choose a new expletive word at some point. And then my second complaint…now I’m not too stuffy when it comes to curse words in books but I felt the f bomb was a little harsh for such a fun loving light read (well, if you can consider murder fun-loving–which I did for this story). I understand they were used by persons who would be more likely to use them but it still felt a little…forced.
Overall, the story was well written and I think the author is one of the rare people who can actually write in first person perspective and do it well. The characters had an interesting voice on paper and a personality that kept me turning the pages to find out more!
About the Author:
Denise is a single mom who lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri raising five of her six kids. (The oldest has gone off to live on his own.) She loves to embarrass her children whether it be spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen or making her teens’ friends think she’s funny/cool. *gasp* (Even if its in her own mind.) On rare occasions, she is known to post stories about her crazy life on her family blog There’s Always Room for One More.She keeps her sanity by creating worlds to escape to and characters to hang out with.