Wish

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When your entire life has been one long search for that mysterious "something" that will finally make you happy and complete, what you want changes faster than the fashions in Vogue. But that doesn't mean you stop wishing, does it?  

This is Bella Grandelli's heartbreaking, hilarious, and seemingly hopeless quest-from her days as a pudgy, insecure eight-year-old in the seventies, to a Madonna-worshipping Notre Dame co-ed in the eighties, where she tries on boyfriends ...

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Overview

When your entire life has been one long search for that mysterious "something" that will finally make you happy and complete, what you want changes faster than the fashions in Vogue. But that doesn't mean you stop wishing, does it?  

This is Bella Grandelli's heartbreaking, hilarious, and seemingly hopeless quest-from her days as a pudgy, insecure eight-year-old in the seventies, to a Madonna-worshipping Notre Dame co-ed in the eighties, where she tries on boyfriends as if they're leg-warmers, to a martini-sipping entertainment journalist in the nineties. The only constant through her love-life chaos is her twin brother, Bobby, whose mysterious illness has been a source of both triumph and tragedy-no matter how hard Bella tries to wish him well. But it's only when her family faces a devastating crisis that she finally realizes the painful truth about herself and her life. And no one is more surprised than Bella herself when that journey leads her to the only person in the world who holds the key to her heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Warns Bella, the protagonist of Bellows's debut, "You only get so many chances in life to make a wish"; at 8 1/2 in 1974, what Bella wants most is to be a bride. Over the course of three decades, Bella's wishes change: they include not wanting to be embarrassed by her twin, Bobby, who has Asperger's; getting into Notre Dame; and not making a fool of herself on live TV. The childlike voice in which much of the book's first part is written ("Grandina always had enough love and kisses to go around, even when I'd be scared or sad and need a second helping of hugs to feel full") may strike some readers as contrived, as may the franglais in which Bella and her best "boy friend, two words" speak well into adulthood, and the surreal insight with which Bella's brother pegs her relationships. The novel fast-forwards through Bella's life, skipping years at a time (chapter headings orient readers by listing Bella's age, current idol, favorite song, most prized possession and best pair of shoes). Those looking for a three-decade slice of life will find the overarching story of Bella's coming to terms with her brother and finding love moving; others may wish the story's forward pull felt like more than just chronology. (Oct. 4) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A successful single gal finds fulfillment and love only after she stops blaming herself for her twin brother's autism. Chick lit meets family melodrama in this debut from the Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Kids. Even at the age of eight, Bella, funny, bright and obsessed with brides, is torn between duty and dreams. While her wish is to grow up and have her own wedding, she is haunted by a deep desire to "cure" her brother Bobby, who suffers from behavioral problems and seizures that are later determined to be the effects of Asperger's Syndrome. In years to come, as Bobby struggles with shock treatments and institutionalization, Bella grows up to discover men, a humorous and heartbreaking succession of Mr. Wrongs. These range from the smooth-talking high-school stud who takes her virginity, to a soulful British artist who sketches her during a college semester at Oxford, to a charming alcoholic she is unable to change. Bella goes on to excel as a New York celebrity-magazine writer and even receives a pep talk from an iconic Oprah Winfrey, who urges the young journalist to let her "bright light" shine. But happiness eludes her, and after suffering on and off from depression, she learns that the only way she can hope for a lasting relationship is by reconciling herself to the feelings of guilt over the limited life of Bobby, who will always be the other man in her life. A collection of odd ticks and obsessions, Bobby expresses his feelings by mimicking cartoon voices, and prefers to eat his spaghetti with tweezers. He is a more interesting character than most of Bella's suitors, and in spite of his inability to communicate in a traditional way with his own twin, it is he whoultimately teaches her about the complex nature of love. Bellows's weight-obsessed heroine, whose lousy luck with men is somewhat balanced by her killer taste in shoes, will seem overly familiar.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451216533
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/4/2005
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.83 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Melina Gerosa Bellows is editor-in-chief of National Geographic Kids, the fastest growing magazine in America. She has written for Ladies Home Journal, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and many other periodicals, and has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, The View, and others.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2005

    Easy read, You'll love Bella from the start

    On the surface, this book seems like an easy read chick book, but I found it spoke more about how every relationship in life brings you one step closer to 'the one', and every person in our life is brought to us for some lesson. Loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2005

    You won't want to put this down.

    This book was so fun to read that I was sorry to see it end. Having grown up in the same time period as Bella, I was amused at how many scary eighties and early nineties songs, clothes and hairstyles I thought were so cool at the time and had completely forgotten about. Ms. Bellows recreates each time period throughout the book beautifully and with fantastic detail in the characters and the world around them. The relationship between Bella and her twin brother as she grows up is so touching, I really enjoyed watching it change through time. Bella is a wonderful first person narrator and I felt like she was a genuinely loveable person. It's a book that you will want to read cover to cover without putting it down. I can't wait to see what else this author has to write.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2005

    Wish for the end to come near

    Perfect bathroom read. Mindless and easy to pick up from days in the past since there is no real plot to follow anyway. Waste of time unless your idea of literature is Briget Jones' Diary

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2005

    Fun and nostalgic!

    This book is filled with tidbits that will bring back the past....songs, shoes, styles etc.! It does have a more serious side as Bella struggles with her relationships, family and especially her feelings towards her autistic twin brother....but overall it is a fun romp backwards in time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2005

    you will read this book in 24 hours or less!

    if you are a woman and have ever searched for love, one of Bella's many boyfriends will take you right back to a special someone in your life. This is a great flashback book, as you read about Bella's changing taste in men youll see society, music, and shoe fashion evolving right along with Bella! You will read this book in one day or less, guarenteed!!! You just cant put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2005

    Fun, Easy Read

    This book is a funny and easy to read. I loved the way every chapter was a different man in Bella's life and how pop culture and trends were also sprinkled throughout the book. It was a really good book and I was sorry to see it end. I've already loaned it to 2 friends, who also loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2005

    Great Flashback Book

    I enjoyed reading this book. I loved how every chapter in Bella's life had a theme song, idol, and pair of shoes. This book is great if you grew up in the 70s or 80s, or just really liked those decades. There were a couple four-letter words in there (which I personally don't care for), but the book was good. It takes you on the ups and downs of a female character that many women can relate to, all the while, referencing many blasts from the past. Just when I thought I had the ending figured out, I was thrown a surprise and delighted by the outcome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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