Wishful Thinking

Wishful Thinking

4.3 32
by Alexandra Bullen

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If you could wish for a different life, would you? What if that life changed everything you thought was real?

Adopted as a baby, Hazel Hayes has always been alone. She's never belonged anywhere--and has always yearned to know the truth about where she comes from. So when she receives three stunning, enchanted dresses--each with the power to grant one wish--Hazel

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If you could wish for a different life, would you? What if that life changed everything you thought was real?

Adopted as a baby, Hazel Hayes has always been alone. She's never belonged anywhere--and has always yearned to know the truth about where she comes from. So when she receives three stunning, enchanted dresses--each with the power to grant one wish--Hazel wishes to know her mother. Transported to a time and place she couldn't have imagined, Hazel finds herself living an alternate life--a life with the mother she never knew.

Over the course of one amazing, miraculous summer, Hazel finds her home, falls in love, and forms an unexpected friendship. But will her search to uncover her past forever alter her future?

In the heart-pounding, luminous sequel to WISH, Alexandra Bullen asks the question: If you could wish for a new life . . . would you?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Alexandra Bullen's WISH:

"Bullen delivers an enticing first novel . . . she makes the sights of San Francisco come alive in this sweet story of siblings determined to remain inseparable." - Publishers Weekly

"Touching. . . . Readers [will be] rooting for Olivia to find her own voice and step into the sun." - Kirkus Reviews

VOYA - Angelica Delgado
Hazel hates her life — big time. She spent her childhood and early adolescence bouncing from home to home after her adoptive mother's death. Friendless and skeptical about her future, Hazel can think only about finding her birth mother and how that would make her life better. When a chance encounter with a wish-granting seamstress transports Hazel across the country and eighteen years into the past, she gets the opportunity to find what she has spent her life looking for. What Bullen lacks in prose panache and originality, she makes up for with readability and an altogether sweet and moving story. In addition to a suspension of disbelief required for the time travel genre, the reader will sometimes slog through ham-fisted phrases and inexplicable character actions. Yet, underlying themes of the validation of biological and constructed families, as well as self-actualization help the book to rise above its flaws. Hazel's transformation from distrusting introvert to a young woman willing to give and receive love makes for a bittersweet, but ultimately rewarding, experience. Push this to fans of Bullen's earlier whimsical novel, Wish (Point/Scholastic, 2010), or aficionados of Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic (Scholastic, 2000) and Kathryn Lasky's Blood Secret (HarperTeen, 2004/VOYA October 2004). Reviewer: Angelica Delgado
Children's Literature - Jeanna Sciarrotta
In her second novel, Bullen, once again beautifully marries reality with fantasy in an effortless story weaving the two together. On her eighteenth birthday, loner Hazel, adopted and then shuffled from house to house throughout her entire childhood, has pretty low expectations. She is shocked when her adoptive father leaves her an envelope containing her birth certificate, complete with her birth mother's name. She is even more shocked to discover that the woman actually lives in the same city. Intent on making a good first impression, Hazel takes a purchased second hand dress to a seamstress. The seamstress, however, is not who she seems and Hazel finds herself off on an adventure that she never would have dreamed possible—an adventure that could give her the sense of family that she missed out on her whole life. Wishful Thinking will have readers wrapped up in Hazel's story too intrigued to put it down. Bullen creates a solitary, yet likeable character that will tug at the heartstrings of anyone who has ever wondered "what if?" or uttered the phrase "I wish..." This is a quick pick read that most teens will find is neatly tied together and does not keep them guessing too long. Reviewer: Jeanna Sciarrotta
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—The author of Wish (Scholastic, 2010) has created another mysterious fairy tale with strong, down-to-earth characters and an intriguing plot. On her 18th birthday, Hazel is given the name of her birth mother. She tracks her down and prepares to meet her for the first time. She has a dress altered, but when she puts it on, she sees that it isn't the one she had dropped off. She arrives at the fund-raiser Rosanna Scott is hosting, only to find that the woman has died. Shocked and upset, Hazel scrambles to the ferry, wishing that she had gotten to know her first and finds a note explaining that she has three magical dresses that will grant her wishes. She has unknowingly just made her first one. Hazel arrives on Martha's Vineyard, 18 years earlier, where she meets Rosanna, only to discover that she is not her mother after all. Instead her mother is a pregnant teen who lives with Rosanna. While there, Hazel falls in love with Luke and must decide whether to remain where she is or return to her own time. Bullen has done an outstanding job of pulling off the magic and realism to create a compelling novel that has love, mystery, and adventure. Time travel can always be tricky but the author has executed it well. The book ends with the first dress waiting for another needy girl to find it, thus hinting at a sequel.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
Kirkus Reviews

For 18 years, Hazel has dreamed about meeting her birth mother, but when she's given the opportunity she realizes she might be too late. A sequel to Wish (2010), this outing reuses the concept of wish-lined magical dresses tailored to grant the heroine's heartfelt desires, but it takes a more fantastical turn. Hazel travels back in time from present-day San Francisco to 18 years in the past on Martha's Vineyard, where she finds herself face to face with her mom. Looking back on a lifetime of bouncing between foster homes, Hazel attempts to leverage her wishes to alter her life's painful past and in the process makes peace with her own present identity. Without missing a stitch, the text unfolds easily and enjoyably for readers new to the series. However, despite its unique initial premise and well-developed protagonist, portions feel predictable, and certain elements of time travel are glossed over. The result is good-enough fun without much staying power. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.72(w) x 11.70(h) x 1.04(d)
HL820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years


Meet the Author

Alexandra Bullen has been a playwright, waitress, barista, gardener, script reader, yoga instructor, and personal assistant. She grew up in Massachusetts, went to college in New York City, and lives most of the year on Martha's Vineyard (except when she's visiting San Francisco). www.akbullen.wordpress.com.

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Wishful Thinking 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
SJYALitExaminer More than 1 year ago
Tomorrow, January 1st, 2011, is the realease date of Alexandra Bullen's "Wishful Thinking." This follow up to her debut novel, "Wish," is the story of a girl who says, "When every day finds new and exciting ways to let you down, you start to expect disappointment." This is the story of Hazel, who found a torn up dress from a thrift store attached to a fancy school in the Haight and when she had an occasion to wear it, she located the seamstress whose card was attached: MARIPOSA OF THE MISSION. When this occasion arrives and Hazel goes to put on the dress, she is amazed to find another dress in its place. It is stunning and fits her perfectly, but belies the activities of the evening ahead. Our main character is about to meet her birth mother for the very first time in 18 years. Her adopted mother died from a horrible fire before her first birthday, and then she was shuffled from home to home, always wondering who she was and where she belonged. This one evening was her moment of truth, and in this stunning dress, she would be ready. But life had other plans for her, and when she boarded the ferry to go home for the evening, her heart was breaking. What she didn't expect was the wish she uttered out loud to free a golden butterfly from the hem of her dress. It is then that she is sure her grief is making her crazy, but in fact Bullen has woven a story of magic and wishes and dreams come true without being overly sweet or compromising her character. Where this wishful thinking leads the reader is a story not to be missed. Some sequels can't quite stand up to the strength of a first novel, but that's not the case here. Bullen's character development, description of a new unknown world, and the consequences that her character faces with every decision and every wish she makes is spellbinding. Start the new year right by picking up a copy of "Wishful Thinking" by Alexandra Bullen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a good book. I did not like the ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and i loved it all the way through reading it. I could not put it down. If you are in need of a good book to read i say you must read this. I can not wait to get the book Wish. I *wish* Alexandra would write another maybe from poseys point of view? This book deserves 10 stars instead of just 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book. If you liked the first book wish you will love this. Such a sweet story it will make you realize just how much you have to be thankful for. A must read!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
When Hazel turns 18, her stepfather hands her an envelope. It doesn't contain a birthday card, though, but instead includes the name of her birth mother. More than anything, Hazel wants to belong somewhere. After her adoptive mother died when she was just a baby, she's either been with her stepfather or in foster care. After doing some research, Hazel realizes that her birth mother lives in the same city. And she's having an art opening - tonight. Hazel knows that she has the perfect opportunity to meet her. She takes her only dress to a seamstress to fix the gaping hole in order to wear it to the opening. The seamstress, although gruff at first, tells her to come back in a few hours. When Hazel returns, she rushes off to the event, bringing along her dress to change in the bathroom. But she's shocked to realize that the dress she pulls out of the garment bag isn't the same one she dropped off. Without time to rectify the situation, Hazel immediately puts on the dress. And when she arrives at the party, she uncovers devastating news. Hazel doesn't realize that any wish she makes while wearing the dress will be granted. More than anything, she wants the chance to meet her mother. Will her wishes work in her favor? As the companion novel to WISH, WISHFUL THINKING takes another girl dealing with heartache and tries to make her dreams come true. I love the idea of three different gorgeous dresses for each wish granted, and I enjoyed watching Hazel attempt to uncover clues to her past while hiding her own secret. This is a wonderful book about one magical summer and a girl discovering herself.
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DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
This book had me crying so much by the ending. It was magical and lovely and so much more than I had imagined when I picked it up. The entire book is how Hazel gets to go back thru the magic of three lovely dresses and try and have the one thing that she has never had her young life.. a family. But on her 18th birthday, the day that she finally becomes an adult, she is given the one document that could connect her to her past, her birth certificate. But in finding the name of her birth mother, can that really give her the family that she longs for? I love the way you feel so much a part of the scenery in this book. You can almost feel the salt air when she is back in Martha's Vineyard, or the emotions Hazel feels all the time she is there. To say your emotions will get a workout is an understatement!! I was up and down the whole time, but I felt the ending was so perfect. You feel as if Hazel is at peace with the way things happened, even if they did not seem to match her original plan. All the characters are amazing, and Jaime is an amazing person who ends up being Hazel's real birth mother, and a true inspiration. This was a great way to show that family can be really what you make of it, and that the choices you make in one way or another, really do change the outlook of your life forever.
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cupcakes4eva More than 1 year ago
i fell in love with Wishful Thinking from the start. This book is enchanting and to be honest, I cried at least three times while reading it; that's how powerful Alexandra Bullen's writing is. This is an awesome book to read right before summer, maybe in March or April, which will make you so excited for summer!! I LOVED THIS BOOK AND AM OVERJOYED THAT I HAVE IT IN MY HOUSE SO I CAN READ IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN- ESPECIALLY IF I'M IN THE MOOD FOR A GOOD ROMANCE. (:
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